Are MORTUARY France’s Best Kept Death Metal Secret?
Death/thrash genius at work!
Formed in 1989, MORTUARY are one of the oldest extreme metal bands in France and yet they remain one of the country’s best kept secrets. However, with a reissue of their outstanding 2016 release, Nothingless Than Nothingness, in the works, it’s time for the world to sit up and take notice of a band who more than deserve critical acclaim.
After delivering 4 demos of increasing quality from 1989 to 1995, it was in 1996 that Mortuary’s pummeling debut album, Hazards Of Creation emerged from the mire and while they have always been a little out-of-step with prevailing trends, their output has always been more than noteworthy. Sophomore effort Eradicate arrived in 1998, followed by the overwhelmingly brutal Agony In Red in 2003 and 2010’s G.O.D (Glorify Our Destroyers) in 2010; all distinguished by extreme brutality laced with fiendish melody and yet all remain relatively overlooked.
After six long years, Mortuary returned with Nothingless than Nothingness in 2016. A death/thrash opus revered by those who embraced its insistent groove and full on death/thrash assault, the band is now back with a reissue of this modern landmark, this time distributed through the label All Styles Editions. Nothingless than Nothingness will be available on all digital platforms from October 27th 2017 and CD copies will be available in early November!
The fact that these French death/thrashers have been around since the late 80’s was made abundantly clear on Nothingless Than Nothingness. With a sound that can only come from a band neck-deep in the roots of thrash and death metal, their relentless barrage was an accomplished statement of intent from a group of musicians who have sadly wallowed in semi-obscurity for much of their existence.
Well, all that’s about to change!
Performing for the first time at 2017’s HELLFEST Festival has increased their profile and the time is most definitely right to reissue one of 2016’s finest releases, in the formidable shape of Nothingness Than Nothingness!
Akin to the aural onslaught of Opprobrium (née the original Incubus) and the early releases of Malevolent Creation, each track on Nothingless Than Nothingness delivers garrotting grooves alongside classic death metal riffing, Slayer-esque solos and a percussive pummeling programmed to shatter spines!
From the doomy intro of “Only Dead Witness” – a fully formed song in itself – to the all out flurries of blast beat led speed and chunky thrash riffs that follow, these tracks effortlessly bob and weave their way around Patrick Germonville’s throaty growls and hollers and the result is a truly exemplary amalgamation of all that makes death/thrash so damn appealing; nothing new then but nothing less than completely engrossing throughout.
It was the manner in which Mortuary blended furious death metal with moments of sublime, semi-melodic, thrash riffs – and no better than on “Pleasuffering” – that hit the hardest. Deceptively catchy, each track overflowed with a thousand ideas that never felt forced, the likes of “Tube” particularly demonstrating Mortuary’s knack for mixing the two sub-genres with consummate ease.
Mortuary’s 5th album bordered on utter death/thrash perfection and if you missed it last year, check it the fuck out now!
– Rejected by Death… (Demo – 1989)
– Below the Marble (Demo – 1990)
– In Harmony with Brutality (Demo – 1992)
– The Mortified Faces (Demo – 1994)
– Hazards of Creation (Full Length – 1996)
– Eradicate (Full Length – 1998)
– Eradicate (Demo – 1998)
– Agony in Red (Full Length – 2003)
– Welcome to the Morgue (Compilation – 2004)
– Promo (Demo – 2005)
– G.O.D. (Glorify Our Destroyers) (Full Length – 2010)
– Nothingless than Nothingness (Full Length – 2016)
Jean Noël (Bass)
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