posted on 8/2007 By:
Let’s start with the bad news – there’s absolutely nothing on Mortifilia’s Redemption that you haven’t heard before. It’s standard death metal all the way, fusing European melody with Floridian brutality and speed. However, if you have a fondness for all things Swedish (think Dismember, Unleashed and At The Gates), you may well find yourself enjoying the enthusiastic delivery of this band despite the tried and true material. Redemption features ten songs in just over 33 minutes, so it’s certainly a concise album, and while short on standout tracks there are no real duds either. Every song here is consistent in terms of aggression and urgency, with the energy levels never wavering. The music is tight and well-performed, with an abundance of above-average soloing and a particular knack for catchy melody, and the production, while nothing mind-blowing, is perfectly adequate.
What’s most impressive about Mortifilia is their understanding of what makes a good death metal song in terms of song structure. Most of the songs on Redemption feature a variety of tempo changes, from thrash-inspired rhythms to blast sections to slow breakdowns and back again. This keeps the songs interesting and moving forward, never coming across as jarring or forced. The band also refuses to get bogged down in technicality, which old-school fans may appreciate. Vocally, lead throat Franta Knetl may have a somewhat ordinary death growl, but his delivery is fierce and full-blooded. All the playing is of a high standard, and as mentioned earlier the Dismember-like guitar work is particularly good with an endearing blend of savagery and melody. These boys won’t be winning any contests in lyrical prowess any time soon though, with standard death metal themes of gore fixation and religion-baiting being the order of the day. Clichéd titles like “Sacrificial Gore” and “Beauty Of Blood” are hardly indicative of the quality and sophistication of the music.
It will be interesting to see where Mortifilia go from here. With Redemption the band prove to be a well-rehearsed unit who have clearly put in the hard yards when it comes to songwriting. Were the band to be afforded a bigger recording budget next time around the result could well be more than simply good death metal. These guys have the potential for excellence, but a lack of originality in their approach right now appears to be holding them back. Let’s see what they can deliver next time.
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