Heavy Rotation: Mortuous Share Their Recent Listening


In terms of current death metal bands, few do it better than Mortuous. Not only are the California quartet killer musicians, they have a knack for writing songs that honor the genre’s roots without rehashing ideas you’ve heard on every Maggot Stomp tape of the last five years. We’re still jamming last year’s killer Upon Desolation, so we got with the band to find out what they’ve been spinning recently.

False Figure – “Plexus” 

Oakland’s very own goth death rock with a groovy depressive feel. Driving bass and catchy riffs, really amazing vocals. Their new album is on all formats released this year by Transylvania Recordings, and I would go as far to say my album of the year. If you like to dwell in goth clubs and need new tunes to dance to, I’d say this was made for you.—Colin Tarvin / Guitar, Vocals

Deadform- “Still at War”

Sounds that I can only describe as epitomizing Oakland’s heaviness, as sometimes this is the thought that comes to mind for bands from here, it’s punk, it’s slow, it’s fast, it’s abstract, it’s heavy as hell. Members of Dystopia and Stormcrow, you can’t go wrong.—Colin Tarvin / Guitar, Vocals

Maggus- “Shadow Cross”

Another band from Oakland, this is the title off their first single released this year. Maggus will fulfill any heavy itch you need scratched. They play their heaviness in the vein of 70’s rock n roll. The vocals are some of the best I’ve ever heard in such a genre being done today, and the riffs are heavy as fuck! I really expect big things from this band in the future so keep your eyes and ears out for them. They also cover Budgie on the B side of their single to give you more of an idea what they’re about.—Colin Tarvin / Guitar, Vocals

Lycia- “Quiet Moments”

The last band of my list are not from Oakland, and this song is not from this year. This couple produces some of the most dark atmospheric soundscapes I’ve ever heard. It’s very rare a band can write music for multiple decades of consistently amazing material, and this is one those projects. Lycia has definitely come to be one of my favorite bands, and I wish more bands out there were doing what they do, but it also makes it special that Lycia are one of a kind.—Colin Tarvin / Guitar, Vocals

Immolation – “Broken Prey”

I think it’s difficult not to listen to one of the best and longest running death metal band’s brand new album that is just as good as their last. You would probably have to go out of your way to do so even, with everyone talking about how great it is. Seriously, this album fucking rips! Some of the best musicianship of the year. The album twists and turns through one unrelenting passage to the next. Was able to see Immolation twice in 2022 and they crushed it both times. Always great hanging with them wherever we end up in the world together!—Chad Gailey / Drums

Grave Infestation – “Conquest of Pestilence”

Ripping metal / punk from Vancouver, BC. Such a great second album. To me this record is the epitome of Rotten Roll! It’s got those super chunky blasts leading into cavernous doom devastation. This record is fun to listen to, never a dull moment. Sick as fuck production! All the instruments sound like they’re breaking free from the turntable after each listen. Highly recommended!

Corpsessed – “Profane Phlegm”

I was really looking forward to this album from one of the best current Death Metal bands going. It exceeded expectations in every way. Really hard-hitting Finnish Death Metal. Love the artwork as well. Can’t wait to see this band live again!—Chad Gailey / Drums

Daeva – “Fragmenting in Ritual Splendor”

This album was a pleasant surprise when I was finally able to check out the entire thing. A classically-influenced black metal album that stands on its own among the many other bands trying to play the same style. There’s a nice balance of Bathory / Celtic Frost / Morbid Angel meets Darkthrone / Antaeus. Love the endless shredding guitar solos, fast blasts and otherworldly vocals. Great artwork that fits the atmosphere of the album too.—Chad Gailey / Drums

Hällas – “Elusion’s Gate”

It was extremely difficult for me to choose just one song off Isle of Wisdom, the 2022 release from Hällas, which is incredible from front to back and one of my favorite releases of the year, but this one is my favorite at the moment. This song will take you on a mythical adventure and is sure to satisfy any 70’s prog enthusiast.—Alex Miletich / Guitar, Vocals

Phobophilic – “Those Which Stare Back”

This song and the rest of their 2022 release, Enveloping Absurdity, are absolutely chock full of pummeling riffs. I really like how Phobophilic manages to incorporate rhythmically complex and intricate riffs without taking away from the violent, driving energy of the album. Topping that off with some really great lead work, this is a really well-rounded death metal release.—Clint Roach / Bass

Camel – “Rhayader Goes to Town”

This song was not released this year… or this decade for that matter. But, if I had to choose one song that pretty much sums up the vibe of my Fall of ’22, it would be this, alongside a bunch of other ’70s prog like Bo Hansson, Wishbone Ash and Nektar. I love listening to this album while I’m driving or walking because the rhythm kind of just keeps you moving while the wandering melodies take you on a little introspective journey.—Clint Roach / Bass

Blood Incantation – “Ea: Fourth Movement”

While a lot of people have their opinions on a death metal band releasing an ambient album, Timewave Zero was one of the albums of 2022 that I was anticipating most, and it didn’t disappoint. True to their word, Blood Incantation released an album reminiscent of the ’70s ambient I love, with a dark and ominous twist that you’d expect from a death metal band well versed in the genre. I chose the last song because you should really just listen to the whole thing and let the lush soundscapes take you on a sci-fi journey through space.—Clint Roach / Bass

Faceless Burial – “Redivivus Through Vaticination” 

You’d be pressed to find a trio in death metal quite as talented as Faceless Burial. Their latest album, At the Foothills of Deliration, is a phenomenally beautiful maelstrom of riffs from front to back. Their composition and songwriting is some of the most unique, and masterful blend of so many influences. A listen to my favorite track off the record “Redivivus Through Vaticination” will thrust you into a whirlwind of maniacal complexity, perfectly blended with soul, groove and a particular swagger. This was probably the most anticipated release for me of this year and I cannot wait to see what Faceless Burial has to bring to us in the future!—Clint Roach / Bass

Dream Unending – “Secret Grief/Murmur of Voices”

A lush soundscape of epic doom and death with impressive experimentation – the latest offering from Dream Unending, ‘Song of Salvation’ really leaves me taking away more and more every time. This album is masterfully composed with grace and elegance, with songs like “Secret Grief” followed with “Murmur of Voices” are like a breath of fresh air; reminiscent of a still, quiet morning on a foggy beach. This record will be in my rotation heavily for a while as I look forward to the next offering from Dream Unending!—Clint Roach / Bass

Phrenelith – “Awakening Titans”

This record from Denmark’s Phrenelith absolutely crushed me with its mammoth weight the first time I listened to it. I had so many jawdrop moments while listening and really have to refrain from headbanging if I’m blasting it. ‘Chimaera’ was already heavily anticipated in my world after the astonishing ‘Desolate Endscape’ but ended up being even one of the heaviest and most grim records that I’ve listened to come out in recent years. It offers a hone-chilling, dissonant, dark atmosphere and an incredibly crushing death metal experience.—Clint Roach / Bass

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