posted on 4/2007 By:
I think that most metalheads can agree that as much as we love this genre, it’s home to some bands with truly retarded names. Add Mortyfear to the list. Apparently this Finnish act used to operate under the marginally superior moniker of Mortifier, but apparently changed it because another band was already using the name (presumably the Italian black metal outfit Mortifier). They would have been a little better off opting for a more complete change of title, because Mortyfear is way too goofy for this band’s debut slab of stock-serious blackened death metal.
Well, maybe not totally stock-serious. With song titles like “Golden Shower,” “Kingdom of Sperm,” and “Pedophile Guards of Paradise,” Mortyfear have a definite vein of the absurd running through their music, though that might come down to their imperfect command of the English language. The music itself is rooted in death metal of a generally Floridian flavor, with bits and pieces of Morbid Angel and Cannibal Corpse (and maybe a sprinkling of Stockholm groove) showing up throughout God’s Skin’s convoluted and blast-heavy song structures. The slight black metal flavor comes mostly from vocalist Sami Kaste’s harrowing rasp, which seems a little out of place in the chunky proceedings except when guitarists Tapio Laitila and Juha Peippola indulge their proclivity for inserting dashes of Dissection/Naglfar-style melody. Though all the involved musicians are competent, only one—drummer Henri Yli-Rahko—stands out. His style is pretty straightforward and deliberate, but his ability to create stroke-heavy whirlwind rhythms without totally overwhelming the music is impressive.
Unfortunately, he is Mortyfear’s sole noteworthy asset. The band’s website claims that their music is unconventional, and that it is “emotionally appealing and remains in the listener’s mind whether one likes it or not.” As usual, though, this “we’re different, we swear!” rhetoric belies a fairly dry and pedestrian expedition into the heavily traversed realm of death/black crossover. A good drummer and an impressively clear production can’t save God’s Skin from coming off as an exercise in faceless riff stacking. Recommended only to those who feel compelled to purchase every acceptable-quality blackened death album they can find.
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