Mortuous: Through Wilderness (2018)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Mortuous was forged in San Jose, California in 2009 from the ashes of guitarist Colin Tarvin’s previous project Funerealm. He was writing music inspired by Incantation, Autopsy, and Viogression, and later that year he released the ‘Mors Immortalis’. By 2010, it had become a full band, including former Exhumed members Col Jones and Mike Beams as well as Al Tarvin-Kibler, and Nick Scarboro. The current line-up is Tarvin, Beams (vocals, guitar), Clint Roach (bass) and drummer Chad Gailey of Necrot. Interestingly for a debut album, they have managed to bring in some high-powered guests including both Chris Reifert and Danny Coralles of Autopsy, Derrel Houdashelt, formerly of Exhumed, and Teresa Wallace of Dreaming Dead – the artwork is also from a renowned source, as the artist is none less than Marald Van Haasteren (Bolt Thrower, Baroness, Necrot).

In many ways it isn’t really a surprise to see that Reifert is guesting on vocals on two songs, as musically this has a great deal in common with the brutal attack that is Autopsy. We are led in gently with some really pleasant and atmospheric acoustic guitar (this is also how the album closes, so it feels nicely bookended), but there is the feeling that it is all going to change quite quickly, and that is very much the case. From here on in we are treated to a lesson in brutal death metal, which interestingly isn’t afraid to bring in elements of doom when the time is right. Highlight is “Crysalsis of Sorrow”, which features some interesting time changes plus incredible vocals from Beams – he can certainly hold his own when up against the likes of Reifert, which is no mean feat given how important he has been in the scene over the last thirty years (I must confess that I siometimes forget that he started off as a drummer, and played on the classic Death album ‘Scream Bloody Gore’). This is one of the best raw death debut albums I have come across in recent years, and if you enjoy the genre then this is a release you can’t afford to let pass by.

Rating: 9/10


Track list:
1. Beyond Flesh
2. Bitterness
3. Crysalis Of Sorrow
4. The Dead Yet Dream
5. Anguish And Insanity
6. Through Wilderness
7. Prisoner Unto Past
8. Screaming Headless



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