Mortiferum smash doom, death together in morbid manner on bloody debut ‘…Psychotic Depths’

Photo by Carter Murdoch

It’s easy to feel awful all the time because things are pretty much that way. All the time. How can anyone maintain a sense of positivity constantly unless that person is just completely disassociated from reality altogether? Now that I think about that, that’s actually not a terrible idea.

With that in mind, unfurling “Disgorged From Psychotic Depths,” the debut from Pacific Northwest-based death-doom crushers Mortiferum, is dropping like a ton of bricks, right into our miserable laps. Following two demo recordings, the band delivers a six-track, nearly 37-minute record that shoves your face into the dirt and soot, barely allowing you a chance to get fresh breath. Their playing is warped and violent, and there is a heaviness both from a volume standpoint and from its psychological impact, that it’s sometimes overwhelming to handle. The band—guitarist/vocalist Max Bowman, guitarist Chase Slaker, bassist Tony Wolf, and drummer/vocalist Alex Mody—really doesn’t seem very concerned with your comfort anyway, as they’re hellbent on bringing poisonous elements from the depth of their guts.

“Archaic Vision of Despair” starts with morbid slow churning before the track begins dealing blows, and the riffs pile the fuck up. The growls rush to the center as the guitars sludge through, with the drums following behind as they crash through the echo. Riffs slither along the wall like a ghoul, while the leads light up and slice through the doomy underbelly, on their way to a slurry finish. “Inhuman Effigy” blisters from the start, as vicious growls penetrate, the leads tangle you in their web, and the drums pulverize. Violent fury is at every turn, while the growls crawl in their own filth, and the track comes to a fire-breathing end. “Putrid Ascension” is gloomy and mired in death, while the growls painfully stretch their wings, and thick riffs pound holes in walls. The track’s agenda is clear as it continues to go for the throat, while the growls boil in blood, and some atmosphere arrives to give a bit of a breather. Funeral winds then begin to blow as mournful guitars saturate the ground, and the spirit is driven away.

“Funereal Hallucinations” has super thick growls, a trudging pace, and a feel of violence and lack of mercy. Shifty riffs show up and strike, while the track takes its time disassembling you and doing psychological damage. Soloing opens up and delivers a pretty cool ambiance, even infusing the room with oxygen, while the roars devastate, and the pace picks up. This leads to your guts being stomped in as the track fades into dirt. “Interlude (Anamnesis)” has acoustic flushes and a classic metal feel, while noise warps and leads right into closer “Faceless Apparition” that unleashes a monstrous doom storm. The leads light the way while slowly delivered menace arrives, as the growls strike, and the track reveals in morbid death. Hulking growls erupt as the guitars splatter all over the place, with speed arriving to break shit apart. The riffs then swagger and land blows, the growls rumble, and the track comes to a bone-destroying ending.

Mortiferum crawl out of the shadows and into the horror of doom-based death metal circles with their blades sharpened and ready to strike. Their debut “Disgorged From Psychotic Depths” is a fine first step, a nicely portioned record that shows what they can do but doesn’t drub you past your breaking point. This is a morbid new entry into extreme metal’s overflowing world, but it’s clear from this record they have what it takes the dominate the field and demand our attention with violence.

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