Monday, 14 May 2012

MORTICIAN - Hacked Up For Barbecue (1996)

01  Bloodcraving
02  Embalmed Alive
03  Cremated
04  Three On A Meathook
05  Brutally Mutilated
06  Deranged Insanity
07  Cannibal Feast
08  Blown To Pieces
09  Fog Of Death
10  Brutal Disfigurement
11  Apocalyptic Devastation
12  Inquisition
13  Hacked Up For Barbeque
14  Abolition
15  Necrocannibal
16  Ripped In Half
17  Morbid Butchery
18  Decapitated
19  Drilling For Brains
20  Eaten Alive By Maggots
21  Witches' Coven
22  Worms
23  Annihilation
24  Mortician

'Hacked Up For Barbecue' is the first full-length studio album by the death metal band Mortician, released July 1996. The album has gone out of print, and has since been reissued as a two-on-one package with the band's Zombie Apocalypse EP. The band was formed in Yonkers, New York in 1989 under the name Casket by Will Rahmer (bass/vocals) and Roger Beaujard (guitar/drums). The band's name was later changed after writing their first song, titled "Mortician". They are somewhat derided within the metal world, for their use of drum machines and penchant for overusing samples from old slasher flicks.

The first bad thing about this album is the redundancy of good quality sound and lack of variety. Once you get past all the audio clips from various horror films, you will hear that the music can sound extremely redundant. Each time you switch the tracks, they seem to be very predictable and boring. It's constant blast beating (from the drum machines), mediocre riffs (both bass and guitar) with hardly any solos and the vocal growls are quite poor too. Growls is not even the term actually, it's just a lot of random grunts. I was listening to the album and I hear nothing but grunts behind all the very distorted guitars and "broken sound" bass and I thought "well this is groovy that the songs are composed of nothing but grunts," thinking that there are no proper lyrics on the album. To my surprise, there are lyrics! I understand that there are groups that have poularised the "grunt" style vocals like Cryptopsy, but at least there is range in their particular vocal style. Plus, you can actually follow along with the lyrics in the booklet; with Mortician, there is no range - the vocals are very monotonous. I can do growls like that... you can do growls like that... your grandmother can do vocal growls like that.

The second bad thing about 'Hacked Up For Barbecue' - look at the length of each track. Okay, now here's where you might need a calculator... unless you're a math wiz, then try this problem: Take each track length (most approximately 1:10, the longest could be 4:00), and subtract all the time lengths by 40 seconds (try the longest time, which is approximately 2:45 or even 3:30.) What you're subtracting from the music is the stuff that is NOT the music! You're subtracting audio that is stock footage; audio taken from horror movies and so on. Have you done the math yet? Well let’s see... the total play time of the album is about 49:00, and when you subtract all the non-music stuff, you get the total play time of approximately 34:00! More like an EP than an LP! Who said math can't be fun?

Please don't get me wrong about Mortician; they are one brutal-as-fuck band. They're considered one of the heaviest groups around, but that's debatable. Down tuning doesn't make a group heavy, but their riffs and bass work do make them sound incredibly beefy. This album is for the fans of the likes of Dying Fetus, Skinless, Exhumed, Devourement and of course, Cannibal Corpse. It's chocked full of splatter and grinding death metal, just don't expect any decent musicianship or originality...

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