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Triumph Of Mercy

Mortification - Triumph Of Mercy ©1998 Metal Blade
1. At War With War
2. Triumph Of Mercy
3. Welcome To The Palodrome
4. From Your Side
5. Influence
6. Drain Dweller
7. Raw Is The Stonewood Temple
8. Unified Truth
9. Visited By An Angel

Once upon a time, Australia's Mortification were one of the few Christian bands around putting out great heavy music. Their first three albums, especially 1992's Scrolls of the Megilloth, were great death/grind albums, regardless of the lyrical content. Those days are long gone.

Mortification have fallen in to the "Christian Metal" stereotype: a bunch of wimpy posers who put the message in their lyrics before the integrity of their music. Basically, they have become Stryper. Their last three albums have been vain attempts to grasp at the current trends in metal, from Pantera to Sepultura to Prong. Power metal is the genre in this new offering, but little else has changed.

Triumph of Mercy has all of the originality of a Spinal Tap cover band. The riffs are weak, the rhythms are tired, and the entire three piece seem like they would rather be quoting scripture instead of keeping up the facade of being a metal band. The lone guitar is very low in the mix, and singer/songwriter Steve Rowe's bass sounds too funky for this poor attempt at power metal. Combine this with monotonous double-bassing and artificial sounding drums and what is left is a very thin, weak sound that would be better suited for a folk music album. The vocals range from passable to laughable: Rowe's death growl is fair, but his power metal vocals sound like Crocodile Dundee trying to sound tough. And speaking of laughable, the Spice Girls would be ashamed of the album cover, a cheesy cartoon of Rowe lying on the wing of a comic book angel. Disgusting.

Maybe it is the numerous personnel changes that have caused this once great band to fall apart, but whatever the reason, their grace period has long since elapsed. Three good albums don't excuse four horrible ones. This was Mortification's last chance with this fan, and they have squandered it. Sadly, I will not be around when they release the eventual Limp Bizkit cover album.

Review by Scott Wilcox

Review date: 06/1999

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