5 long years have passed since I last heard anything of MORTIFICATION and 14 years since their immortal masterpiece “Scrolls Of The Megilloth”. I wasn’t up-to-date with what was going on with the Australian White Metal-band lead by bassist/vocalist Steve Rowe, cause the quality of their records went straight down the hill since the release of “Post Momentary Afflication” in 1993. I only know “Hammer Of God” (1999) and “The Silver Cord Is Severed” (2001) and I was disappointed. I couldn’t believe this former Death Metal-institution became that – a below average Thrash Metal-act!
You can imagine how happy I was when I found out that I was picked to write the review on “Erasing The Goblin”. I couldn’t believe it! I never wanted to hear this record. Well, now I’m more or less forced to do it and I must say that I’m very positively surprised.
The opener “Razorback” is awesome! A Death Metal-banger in the style of good old MORTIFICATION! The music was written by guitarist Mick Jelinic, though and Steve finally sounds like he did on “Break The Curse”, “Mortification” and “Scrolls Of The Megilloth” again. “Razorback” is build on an simple, but very effective riff and ingenious solo and lots of double-bass. Why did you wait 14 years of dry spell to release such a killer-song!? Was it really necessary to change the line-up that often till finally that man came into the band?
Unfortunately, the entire album can’t hold up to the class of this song. Every song does have its ups and downs. Mick’s solos are above doubt, though. He’s really the best guitarist in MORTIFICATION since Michael Carlisle (he played the axe on “Mortification“, “Scrolls Of The Megilloth“, “Post Momentary Affliction“ and “Blood World“). The raw direction of the songs on “Erasing The Goblin” is a mixture of fast Death Metal-parts and depressed Doom Metal-pieces, which, of course, guarantees a lot of variety. I didn’t mean to divide it for an entire song, no, almost every song has those changes in it. It messes with the rhythm of a song (“Your Time”), but most of the time it works very well (“Escape From The Blasphemous Tabernacle“, “Forged In Stone“).
And even Steve sings mutablier. Take the fast, melodic “Short Circuit” (almost a Punk-song!) for example. You’ll need to double-check the vocals to make sure it’s really Steve singing on this one. I’m not, yet. By the way, this song was written by the new drummer Damien Percy! Listen to this. Glen Benton (DEICIDE) would never hire a guy named Christian and Steve plays with Satan’s son himself!
With “Way Truth Life” there’s even one of those short high-speed-numbers like “Turn” or “The Majestic Infiltration Of Order” on the record. Well, “Way Truth Life” is a lot longer than these two combined and it has more lyrics than these two combined as well, but it’s as fast as these two. An insider tip if you will.
One has to give respect to Steve. After all, even when he got sick with cancer in the mid-90’s he never stopped doing his thing with the band. And I’m really happy that apparently he found his musically roots again, too. He’ll never do as good as he did with “Scrolls Of The Megilloth”, I’m sure of that. But “Erasing The Goblin” is a good way to start-over, cause it’s a lot better than everything else he released between 1993 and 2005.
Welcome back, MORTIFICATION! (Online August 7, 2006)