MetalBite Review by Alex on 11/5/2018 9:16:01 PM
Old school death metal produced with a claustrophobic sound; a touch of doom, a very slight tease of Vastum's Patricidal Lust (riff-wise) and a severe lynching of vocals bellowed from the guts of hell. Altar of Decay is a no-nonsense release; from the artwork that yells "What in the unholy cunt of Mary!", to the deep atmosphere and clutching nostalgic element of an era so beloved; prepare to be dropped and dragged face first onto the cold smoggy concrete of early 90's death metal.
The snare drum has a very raw black metal sound to it. There is a distinguishable sloppy sound the drums create especially on the track "Blood Chasm". This brings back that feeling of death metal in its most primitive and savage years; that period being 1990-1993 with releases like Disembowel's (Netherlands) "A Matter of Splatter" 1991 and Mindrot's self-titled demo 1990. The drumming is a strong example of what simplicity can produce once executed with the dedication to and knowledge of the craft.
The doomy sections are some of the most unnerving you will ever hear. They can easily pass as samples for Bela Lugosi's Dracula or Camillo Mastrocinque's Crypt of the Vampire. An example of this can be heard in the opening of the track "Vitiated Mortality". The guitar is played slowly thus placing an apprehensive feeling in the listener. Chase's guitars help in the conjuring some of the most unsettling images you would preferably see only in a state of unconsciousness.
The shared vocals by both Alex Mody (drums) and Max Bowman (guitars) are fairly deep and have a very doomy edge to them. What I appreciate the most is that they don't bombard the music being played, meaning; vocal passages aren't being sung throughout the length of any particular track. They give the rest of the music a chance to immerse the listener in its soggy garden of bodily fluids and decomposing limbs.
That sample of revolting laughter on Blood Charm at the 2:49 mark, competes for the title of most sincerely sinister laugh ever. The number 1 spot for most sincerely sinister laughter is currently held by Incantation with "Desecration (Of the Heavenly Graceful)" at the 4:25 mark.
Altar of Decay is a product of much dedication, skill, and might. A simple yet profound particle of death metal that wishes to remain loyal to the days of old. It pays homage to the foundation in which so many other forms of death metal have sprouted from; that being brutal death metal, grindcore, slam, etc. Mortiferum has generated much buzz in the underground death metal scene with their debut offering, Altar of Decay. I foresee great things on the horizon for Mortiferum should they continue to release such stellar and well thought out compositions.
Rating: 9.4 out of 10