Taking metal down a different path
Mortification
by: Adrian Bromley
Mortification's Steve Rowe is a man with a mission. You see, since his entrance into the world of fast guitars and powerfully dominating lyrics, Rowe has always been searching for the right sound for his Australian-based band's music to take form. With the band's latest effort, _Primitive Rhythm Machine_, Rowe has once again taken the band in a direction not scoped out by many of today's metal bands. Though his needs for expansion are still itching, for now, his band's latest LP will have to do.

The singer/bassist begins, "I think the danger with metal is that trends come and go. When I started in the music industry, I was playing classic metal (Light Force), but then when I formed Mortification, I wanted to play that European thrash metal like Kreator, and Rage, and bands like that. Ever since forming the band, I have always tried to bring in a hybrid of influences because I like all different types of metal," he says. "I just don't want to be trapped in a trend. I think the thing that has been good with Mortification is that with every album, we have had new ideas, and we combine traditional metal with modern metal, and it seems that no one is doing that, rather sticking with one kind of metal, which is boring."

The band, which has seen several line-up changes (latest line-up including drummer Keith Banister and guitarist Lincoln Brown), still manages to pump out albums, six in fact, including such shredders as _Post Momentary Affliction_ and _Scrolls Of The Megilloth_. Has the band been lucky to be able to release a vast amount of material in just five short years? Rowe explains that when Mortification formed, they signed to an album deal that enabled them to release an album every year, a good point in that it allowed the band to release frequently rather than once every three years.

"We tried to do things that haven't been done before and still continue to do so," explains Rowe about the risks that come with an album every year, seeing that the direction may click, or result in going back to the drawing board. And what makes the band continue on besides the strong Christian ties within their music and their messages in songs? Rowe responds that it is the whole flow of the music, its intensity and powerful assault keeping the fuel burning. "That is why I am doing what I am doing now," he says, "making the music unique. With _Primitive Rhythm Machine_, it has classic metal in it, thrash metal, death, and groove. It has everything. And what we do with the next album, won't be a suprise because people can't say 'you can't do that because you haven't done that before.' And the reason that I have mixed everything up (various styles) is so that people can't pinpoint on what Mortification is other than it being an extreme metal band."

The topic turns to the need for metal of any type to be commercial to sell and make a band popular. Rowe pauses and says, "Metal has always been commercial. You look at bands like Metallica, or Megadeth, and Queensryche, and there are certain bands that are huge and always will be. But I think bands like Paradise Lost and Sepultura are going to be going to that next level real soon, selling millions of records." He finishes, "I think metal has always been there and it has a huge underground following of bands that sell under a hundred thousand units as well." His own opinion? "Metal is a little bit harder, a more aggressive style of music which is more of an aqcuired taste. Good metal is needed to keep everybody on the edge nowadays."

Mortification keeps on believing in themselves and where they are headed, and so do thousands of others. Faith or luck, somehow, Mortification seems to be on the cutting edge where most bands in the metal genre want to be.

(article submitted 1/10/1995)


ALBUMS
10/25/2000 A Cantwell 6 Mortification - 10 Years Live Not Dead
10/12/1999 P Schwarz 2 Mortification - Hammer of God
8/12/1996 A Bromley 3 Mortification - Envision EvAngelene
10/1/1995 G Filicetti 1 Mortification - Primitive Rhythm Machine
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