Title: Altar of Decay
Label: Blood Harvest Records
Release: 23 March 2018
Aah, nothing like the putrefactive aura of a decaying cemetery, covered with fog, with gravestones eroded by the impious and icy passage of time. Fertile land and solitude, illuminated only by the whitish madness of the moon at midnight. Nothing like the sound of the best Old School Death/Doom of the early 90’s. Many current bands, as many will know, are immersed in a certain emulative tendency of the retro sound of the golden age of Death. An exercise of great nostalgic value, which does not always yield positive results. But the underground always has a diamond in the rough, hidden in the most inhospitable terrains of the world. Mortiferum is a relatively new band, with a single demo, this wonderful “Altar of Decay”, and has the peculiarity of having conjugated, in just four songs, the best of the most gloomy and claustrophobic Death/Doom sound of yesteryear. Far from the melodic aspects of the sub genre or the endless legions of buzzsaw guitars that populate our planet, Mortiferum is responsible for writing his gospel as a sort of ode to the legendary Finnish Death scene. His attack sounds like a mixture of untidiness á la Pestigore and the commendable obsession of Demilich, without reaching so much alien technicality. This is very noticeable in the use of some very angular riffs that generate epic counterpoints with a snare drum of lewd proportions.
The structures vary between cavernous spasms that remind me of Disembowelment, (Mourning September era), and Doomy sections that work with a great emphasis on some dark hallucinogenicity, like an insane vortex towards the collapsed miasma of our unconscious. The production deserves a separate paragraph, due to the intrinsic importance it adds to the work. Deliciously primitive, caustic and abysmal, I think it plays a fundamental role that enhances the most atmospheric aspects of the most rotten nature of these sonic monoliths. Undoubtedly, this makes the title of the demo totally meaningful. A declaration of principles, and a modern testament on the noble, and ancient, art of alchemy in the arts of putrefaction. “Altar of Decay” is like an ancestral animal that crawls, archaic and vital, emanating pestilence, sulphuring and waiting patiently for some unsuspecting prey. Excellent band, with very good ideas and a lot of compositional expertise that gives us one of the best demos that I could hear in recent times. Exceptional. 8/10 Sergio
8/10 To Greatness and glory!