Ad Mortem - Official Website

In Honorem Mortis

Germany Country of Origin: Germany

1. Von Hohen Himmeln
2. Größer Als Das Leben
3. Labyrinth
4. Der Letzte Feind
5. Urgewalt
6. Auf Kalten Gräbern
7. Todesstreben
8. Death And Beyond

Review by Felix on June 5, 2024.

Ad Mortem is another German band that dwells in the Purity Through Fire bubble. Probably due to the busy behavior of their label mates such as Mavorim, Atronos or Eisenkult, they decided to end their rather lazy approach. The result is that now we can talk about their first full-length, seven years after the band began its activities. In Honorem Mortis (use Latin titles, it makes your album much more sophisticated, haha) convinces with a nice black/white artwork that spreads both medieval and horrible vibes. Unfortunately, the first acoustic impressions are less good.

In my humble opinion, the guitar sound leaves massive room for optimization. The six strings appear blurred and sticky, definitely not sugary, but not very heavy as well. One gets used to it, but it remains a somewhat unnatural feeling to their sound. Aggravating the situation, the first song, precisely, falls short of expectations. 'Unter Hohen Himmeln' lacks a fascinating melody line or any other notable feature. Yes, there are speed, malignancy and surely dedication, but this components do not form a song that draws the listener into the album right from the beginning. The first outstanding riff occurs in the second track at 1:21 minutes. It lends 'Größer Als Das Leben' a very dynamic touch and proves that Ad Mortem are able to pen memorable riffs. But even without this great element, the song shows a much better side of the band than the opener. Ad Mortem combine machine gun drumming with typical, pretty cold lines and the vicious vocalist leaves no doubt that bad guys are at work here once again.

These two songs already define the quality spectrum of In Honorem Mortis. One gets some great tunes that do not lack high velocity, density and fury, for example 'Auf Kalten Gräbern' which also holds surprising breaks. But one is also confronted with tracks whose guitar lines are going nowhere. Their effect vanishes into thin air as soon as they are gone; and the vocals cannot make up for this. Henker’s voice spreads hostile vibes in abundance, but it is not immune against a tinge of monotony in view of his one-tone-dogma.

Finally, I must mention the uniformity of the tracks in terms of heaviness, velocity and general design. Variety is written in rather small letters here. This approach does not result in boredom, because there is still a proper dose of fire and intensity in the material of the Teutonic terrorists. Nevertheless, compared with the more flexible songs of their label mates (Atronos or Mavorim for example), Ad Mortem only get a seat in the second row. The band avoids serious mistakes and I do not doubt the technical skills of the dudes, but they cannot compete with the partly atmospheric approach of Atronos, not with the sophisticated melodies of Mavorim, not with the distinctive sickness of Eisenkult and so on. Nevertheless, In Honorem Mortis is no disappointment, because it does not lack a general substance. Yet it is true that it cannot win in comparison with the band’s contribution to their split with Mavorim, it cannot win. No problem – as long as they live in the inspiring PTF bubble, they should get enough impulses to take the next step.

Rating: 6.9 out of 10