A few months ago, when they'd been announced for the next Malta Doom Metal Fest, I discovered this swedish band through their promising debut album "Progress of Doom"; a sound - rich, heavy and melodic - that would totally fit to the tasty line-up composed by Albert Bell and his buddies...
With this new album "the Endtime Prophecy", which came out just one month ago on Metal on Metal rds, MORTALICUM doesn't only confirm but reveal themselves as a real force to count on, this is an album that place them among CANDLEMASS, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS and GRAND MAGUS in the tradition of the great swedish heavy melodic bands !!!
While the tempo remains mid-paced, the overall sounds more melodic and groovy in the 70's heavy rock vein but the songs are not really longer (around 4 minutes), generally keeping a straight and heavy tone that is more particular to the early 80's Heavy Metal.
The doomy elements are numerous musically, MORTALICUM is as crushing as many other actual Doom bands, but the tone is different, most are rawer, with a more sinister approach especially in the vocals. On this point, MORTALICUM has really a distinctive force in the name of Henrik Hogl, a true Metal voice, dramatic, melodic, of natural distinction; maybe to the taste of Traditional preachers they could affect sometimes the Doom edge of the band but in my opinion this is not a problem at all to feel it before all : METAL \m/
I love DOOM when it's mesmerizing, gloomy, blackened, but when it's constantly melodic with Metal singing (but no high pitched screams here...) and soloing, a slight dramatic and/or epic tone, that's fucking good too !
The average length of the songs maintain the interest constant, it's sometimes heady but not too repetitive and when there's a certain emphasis on warm and groovy solos, showing a certain affection for Blackmoorian vibes, this never supplant the rest of the song and goes in personal demonstration; collectively this is beautiful and melodic but also a very homogeneous affair and I'm convinced that on stage this band can blow away many crowds.
I would just reproach the fact to have placed, successively, "Ballad of a Sorrowful Man" and "Embracing our Doom", the two longest songs with the quieter moments (the first especially) then followed by "the End", a kind of soulful outro, nicely emotion-filled that close this killer album... All these 3 songs are great independantly but this ends the album with about 20 quieter minutes where the first 30 are so intense and hot as hell, but no problem this simply needs the use of my remote control !!!
I just hope that MORTALICUM will gain more attention now; this is a brilliant new album, released on an excellent dedicated label but unfortunately that doesn't mean assuredly success; YOUR support, some more gigs and a bit of luck should help though...