Thursday, September 6, 2012
Mortalicum - The Endtime Prophecy
Now, I'm exceedingly content with the bands Sweden is mustering today. There's a wide range of death metal barbarians whom precede to pen songs with the aesthetics of their primal countrymen and forefathers, a score of traditional heavy metal acts, who, actually don't even sound like throwbacks even though rehash the monumental, mournful tendencies of Mercyful Fate and Maiden, dozens of metal variants who all excel in their own territory, and finally, great number of heavy/doom bands, who, I think was born of the lower, more down tuned and despairing branch of the already common heavy metal treeline, leading to a prodigious array of bands that amalgamate the semi-drowning tendencies of the Mercyful Fate worship with hunky, monolithic guitars, and drowsy, trudging dynamics. Mortalicum are one these so called congealments, fusing heavy and doom together, and adding kicky rock n' roll spice to get things pumping.
Mortalicum are chiefly a hard-rocking heavy metal aspect, but their style is always reminiscent of some less ponderous doom, especially when the bands decides to travel by the light of mid-paced riffs. The hard rock element is really quite an interesting element to throw in because, there always seems to be grooving slam and unavoidable catchiness in the music, and with these bluesy overtones gulping up more than half of the album's brazen inclinations, much of the music is invigorated with a bright, gleaming flame, and thus, deep, suffocating doom sequences scarcely stomp. One other thing that boasts the eloquent propensity and efficiency of the record is the hefty tone. Well, it's not exactly as corpulent or dabbling as a funeral doom tone, but the band has worked out a sublime, bulky heft with semi-bluesy undertones and a strong 70's Black Sabbath vibe underpinning its monotony, so the tone works both as an indulgent implement and a somewhat ponderous narrator.
The riffs aside, there are obviously other things on this album that makes it as good as it is; the vocals being the most momentous. Henrik Högl's vocals are immense, even more megalithic than the guitar stream going under it, and he travels proficiently in high and low notes both, and especially in ''Ballad Of Sorrowful Man'' he exceeds and raises the point of poignancy to a new, escalated level, aplomb and secure with talent and experience. ''The Endtime Prophecy'' has its flaws of course, one being the subtle repetitiveness of the riffs. Yes, even though they have a brisk and catchy efficiency, if you behold their anatomy they really have few traits worth praising, and even fewer that stand out. This, comes from the singular focus on the heft of the tone and the delivery of the highlighted vocals, and therefore the album becomes devoid of variation and proper punishment (though I doubt that was their purpose) through its potent, visceral guitar barrages. Ultimately, though, Mortalicum did a very solid job here, and fans of heavy metal, traditional doom or bluesy metal in general should give this a try for sure.
When Hell Freezes Over
Ballad Of A Sorrowful Man