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CD Review: Mortuus – De Contemplanda Morte

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mortuus decontemplandamorteDreary as hell, but in a good way – Sweden's Mortuus drags the listener on a gentle descent into the abyss.  After an initial self-titled 7", this duo returns with a fully-formed full-length.  Church bells sound all over the place, giving the album a ritualistic, religious atmosphere, perfect for a release on The AJNA Offensive.  Wear some black, light some candles, and brush up on your Latin!

Despite the pretentious song titles ("Rebirth in the Sterile Triad of Six," "Supplication for the Demise of All: Withdrawal into the Lifeless Sanctum"), the album makes good on the promise of its cover – a luminous shadow wielding an upside-down cross.  This isn't the noisy "fuck your god" of Satanism for show, but a more nuanced, studied approach.

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The music follows suit, mostly staying at a grim, mid-paced trudge.  Even when blastbeats erupt, the overall feeling stays heavy-lidded.  Forget "br00tal," forget "technical."  Mortuus works with the primal, building ghostly fires.  Chords strum measuredly; dissonant jangles light the way like flickering candles.  Raspy growls reverb into the distance, while drums steadily goad on the funeral procession.  Basslines slowly roll like wagon wheels over dead bodies.  Electricity hangs thick in the air.  For some, this metal will seem lightless; others will revel in its shades of black.


Mortuus on MySpace
The AJNA Offensive

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