Review by Joe Sullivan, Photos by Joy Sullivan
What does the term brutal music mean to you? Gore / horror / sick fuck lyrics? Guttural vocals and downtuned guitars? Blast beats and grinding groove? Well, fucking Mortician checks all of these boxes and then some! Hailing from Yonkers, NY, Will Rahmer (bass, vocals), Roger Beaujard (guitar) and Sam Inzerra (drums) has been blasting out the most brutal death metal in existence for 25 years. Tonight is day 2 of Philthadelphia Infest and Dead Infection (Poland) had to drop out due to illness. Who ya gonna call? How about New York’s most brutal band ever! Originally I wasn’t planning on going to Infest, but once I heard Mortician was on the fucking bill, I was there! Also this was my birthday weekend, so what better way to celebrate my 43rd birthday than to mosh to one of my favorite death metal bands! Let’s now take a stroll to the house by the cemetery and be blown to pieces!
Tonight’s venue is the Voltage Lounge, this cool bar that is adjacent to the Electric Factory, a popular Philadelphia concert venue. People often kill time at the Voltage Lounge before the Electric Factory opens. Downstairs had a large bar and pit area, stage was maybe 4 feet off the ground. Upstairs was a standing room balcony where merch was being sold. Best feature of the place was the side stage, all metalheads had complete access to walk right up next to the stage, watch the show, take pictures, talk to the musicians etc. Sound quality was ok but not great, it was a little muddy at times. Place holds a few hundred people and turnout was good.
For anyone who is not familiar with Mortician’s brand of death metal, they are like a nasty no holds barred 70’s grindhouse horror flick set to music. Most songs are based on classic horror films and include intros from the films. It’s the best combo of horror and metal I’ve ever heard!
Mortician was the last band of the evening and around the stroke of midnight, the carnage started with a “Night of the Living Dead” intro (WHEN THERE’S NO ROOM LEFT IN HELL, THE DEAD WILL WALK THE EARTH) which bled into a sick rendition of “Zombie Apocalypse”. Roger was all over the stage cranking out lead heavy riffs, guns blazing while Will remained stoic delivering his ultra guttural low growls and powerful bass. Behind them Sam deftly handled the blast beats and fills, sounding far superior to the drum machine used on the albums. Mortician was administering a fierce beating on us, and we loved every fucking minute of it! The crowd immediately starting moshing with some circle pit action and general mayhem. THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!
Set highlights included “House by the Cemetery” (The smell of …BLOOD!), “Driller Killer” (What do you got problems with your old lady?), “Blown to Pieces” (short, fast, and BRUTAL!), “Defiler of the Dead” (Ezra? Ez is that you?), and “World Domination” (Cyborg intro – I LIKE THIS WORLD!). There were a few sound issues, Roger’s guitar cut out during “Blown to Pieces” and they had to go from wireless to wired. Sound was distorted at times but the crowd loved it anyway. I had a good old school mosh with some metal brothers, fun, no karate or cheap shots, no busted teeth or noses. Encore was my favorite Mortician song ever, “Bloodcraving” and I went apeshit one last time in the pit to the heavy groove of this tune!
Afterwards everyone was all smiles and comradery reigned. Mortician had put on a fucking brutality clinic, doing what they do best. Nowadays Mortician shows are few and far between, so I am very lucky to have caught them twice in the last 5 months. The Allentown show http://www.metal-rules.com/metalnews/2014/11/22/mortician-live-at-jabber-jaws-in-allentown-pa-november-8-2014/
had better sound, but I thoroughly enjoyed this show as well. I got to meet Roger and Sam in person for the first time and they were both great, down to earth, cool dudes. Hopefully I’ll get to hang out with these guys in the future. I also chatted a bit with Will after the set, he is a Death Metal legend and I have a lot of respect for him as a creator of this sick musical form that I love. Catch Mortician when they come to town if you can, nobody does horror / gore / death / brutality better!
Drilling for Brains
Reanimated Dead Flesh
Blown to Pieces
House by the Cemetery
The Hatchet Murders
Defiler of the Dead
Lord of the Dead