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Mortification (1990-present): a Death Metal band from Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia.


traddling between death metal and thrash metal, Mortification has become a prolific contributor to the christian metal movement, a rarity since they don't follow the normal pop metal leanings of their contemporaries.

Mortification started out in 1987 with the name Light Force performing a more standard power metal style. After a reformation, the act would be under the guidance of Steve Rowe (bass/vocals), Cameron Hall (guitar) and Jayson Sherlock (drums) to release Break the Curse demo. Their self-titled album followed the next year now with Michael Carlisle replacing Hall. On this album, the direction of the music had changed. Many of the songs were taken from the previous demo, but featuring down-tuned guitars, along with a general feeling of being heavy and doomy. This line-up would remain for Scrolls of the Megilloth (1992), one of their most successful releases; the album also touching on the humorous side of with the "On the Road" material in contrast with their serious message about spiritual warfare - a common theme among Christian extreme metal bands during the early 1990s when anti-Christian bands such as Deicide and Morbid Angel were gaining popularity.

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Post Momentary Affliction (1993) was an album that shifted into a more industrial metal feel. The live album, Live Planetarium (1993), would follow. Phil Curlis-Gibson would join on drums, replacing Sherlock.

Leaning more towards modern groove metal/thrash metal with classic metal and hardcore punk influences thrown in for good measure, Blood World (1994) would see Gibson and Carlisle leave; George Ochoa would join on guitars and keyboards.

1995's Primitive Rhythm Machine was an all out assault, throwing in everything - including the kitchen sink by adding tribal-percussion to the mix of all the styles Mortification had played in the past, including: death metal, thrash metal and groove metal.

But after the The Best of Five Years "Best of..." compilation in 1995, the line-up was changed again with Lincoln Bowen, and past roadie Keith Bannister (drums) joining.

EnVision EvAngelene (1996) mixed elements of classic metal, thrash metal and even added a punk rock feel; the first cut being an epic 18+ minute track about Christ's crucifixion from the angels' point of view.

Two live EP's, Live Without Fear EP (1996) and Noah Sat Down and Listened to the Mortification Live EP While Having a Coffee (1996), followed, ending their most commercially successful period.

In late 1996, Rowe was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia, and after 18 months he was in remission, despite a seemingly failed bone marrow transplant.

After Triumph of Mercy (1998), thrash metal and groove metal had all but replaced the death metal elements of the past for Hammer of God (1999).

10 Years Live not Dead (2000), recorded at Black Stump Festival in 1999, followed.

Also in 2000 the band went on its first world tour, and while many fans thought the follow-up album was their weakest effort of their career, The Silver Cord is Severed (2001) sold well nonetheless. Bannister then left the band; Adam Zaffarese would replace him.

The compilation-album Ten Years 1990 - 2000 Power, Pain, and Passion (2002) would be next.

A return to a more heavier tone was witnessed on the next release toward classic metal and thrash metal on Relentless (2002) featuring guitarists Jeff Lewis and Mick Jelinic. By the live tours, however, Lewis would not stick around.

2004 saw the arrival of Brain Cleaner, now featuring ex-Cybergrind drummer Mike Forsberg. This album would become the heaviest release from the band in 10 years, featuring fast thrash metal mixed with groove metal and death metal influences. This direction would continue for Erasing the Goblin (2006), The Evil Addiction Destroying Machine (2009) and Realm of the Skelataur (2015).

Back in 2006, Mortification's song Livin like a Zombie was played in the background of the BME Pain Olympics: Final Round. Ancient Prophecy/Overseer EP (2017) and The Intense Years - 30th Anniversary Box Set box set (2020) would follow.

Footnote: Many bootlegs have been released for this band in the form of: Australia Live (1992), Distarnished Priest (1995), Live Planetarium 2 (1995), Triumph of Mercy (1998), Conquer The Stump (2003) and Total Thrashing Death (2004).

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