In 2018, the mighty California death metal group Mortuous broke out of the underground with Through Wilderness, one of the best metal albums of the year. Prior to that, the band released two demos, 2010’s Mors Immortalis and a demo in 2012 now referred to as Among the Lost. Both of these demos and their multiple reissues are long sold out, and have since ascended to cult status.
This Friday Carbonized Records, owned by Mortuous’ drummer Chad Gailey, will release a compilation CD of both Mortuous demos. With artwork by Joe “Ravager” Romero, and totally untouched audio, this 10-track compilation represents not only two incredible slabs of heavy death metal, but a mandatory piece of recent underground US death metal history. Check out the interview with the band’s founding member guitarist/vocalist Colin Tarvin for more context into these two modern classics.
Among the Lost / Mors Immortalis
Here we are, ten years later, and Mortuous has grown from a solo project, to a pillar of modern US death metal, one of the original bands of the New Wave of Californian Death Metal. How does it feel to re-release these first two demos?
First of all, it means a lot to hear you mention us in such high regard! It really feels great to see these two recordings together on one release. The first demo I don’t even have a copy of anymore, it’s been long out of print. The time before the next release (2012) was two to three years, and at that time it felt like an eternity. Now here we are eight years from then, and somehow that flew right by. So to see these two demos together feels like the next landmark for me, kind of displaying how much time really went by!
What are the juicy details of the product? What should collectors be excited about?
What the listener should know is that this is the most drastic change in the evolution of our sound in the shortest amount of time. Going from C to a lower (A) tuning, to having experienced Death Metal veterans involved, as well as experimentation with different distortion, my cousin Al Tarvin-Kibler from Bruxers taking on vocals along with Mike Beams… really just two completely different recordings, but I appreciate both in different ways. Collectors should be excited that this might be the only available physical media of these two releases at this point in time.
Was it Chad’s idea to re-issue them, or what brought on this Roadrunner ‘Two from the Vault’-esque double-header reissue?
Triumvirate of Evil originally wanted to repress the 2012 Demo on CD. Then Chad mentioned to me he had this idea to release both demos together through Carbonized Records and partner with Triumvirate of Evil to release it, and this proposal was met with a no-brainer “Fuck Yes!”
These records aren’t being touched are they? I mean, they sound great. Demo 2012/Among the Lost is quintessential Greg Wilkinson mastery. You’re not touching ’em are you?
I don’t believe the tracks were altered in any way, so it’s as close to the original as you can get! Neither release has been made available as a compact disc before until now.
Colin, Mortuous started out as a one-man band. What advice do you have for bedroom slayers out there sitting down to record their solo death metal demo?
I would say don’t consider yourself done until you’re completely satisfied. This took me one or two months of complete frustration until I tried everything I wanted to try. I trimmed the fat, and listened nonstop until there was nothing else I could think to add or take away, all this time later I still don’t have to think back and say what if I tried this or that. Also if your resources are limited, ask your friends for help. I remember I borrowed most of the cymbals from Chad at that time. Also, incorporating guests is something to consider as well, it’s what eventually led to having a full band!
What can fans expect both setlist- and merchwise from your upcoming Mexican appearance and European tour? When will you next be playing in the US, and/or touring the States?
We will be playing most of the album in its entirety along with a few old ones off of both first demos. As far as merch, we will have an exclusive shirt design for both Mexico and Europe as well as all our old stock including shirts, shorts, all different formats of the album, our latest split seven-inch with Deform, patches, pins, etc. The works! We hopefully will be doing both the East and West Coast of the US sometime within the next year or so. Until then we will probably set up a few one off local shows just to stay fresh.
Once you get back from Europe, what’s next for Mortuous?
Our main focus right now is working towards our second full length, it will feature a lot of songs by Mike Beams, as you may know he cannot play with us live anymore because of physical limitations, but has been writing songs like a madman, and we’re almost ready to start piecing together the last of what we need for a new album.
Can I send you both tapes in exchange for a LP?
We can take you up on that! Haha, I actually think we are lower on the amount of tapes we have than vinyl right now.
Upcoming Mortuous shows:
3/13/2020 Total Death Over Mexico III – Mexico City, MX
Eternal Evisceration Over Europe 2020 w/ Hyperdontia:
4/24/2020 Loppen – Copenhagen, DK
4/25/2020 Favela Cafe – Helsingborg, SE
4/26/2020 Jampbar – Szczecin, PL
4/27/2020 Drizzly Grizzly – Gdansk, PL
4/28/2020 Chmury – Warsaw, PL
4/29/2020 D.K. Luksus – Wroclaw, PL
4/30/2020 Chemiefabrik – Dresden, DE
5/01/2020 07 Strahov – Prague, CZ
5/02/2020 Kafe Piksla – Breclav, CZ
5/03/2020 Kulturak Klub – Bratislava, SK
5/04/2020 Durer Kert – Budapest, HU
5/05/2020 MPC – Postojna, SL
5/06/2020 Circolo Svolta – Milano, IT
5/07/2020 Les Caves du Manoir – Martigny, CH
5/08/2020 Goldgrube – Kassel, DE
5/09/2020 Graveland Fest – Hollandscheveld, NL