Full Album Premiere: Mortuous – ‘Upon Desolation’

photo by Chris Johnston

Every time San Jose’s Mortuous sneak a doom passage into their thunderous death metal assault, it feels like watching a closer known for his 100-mph heat suddenly throw a knuckleball. The band will be blasting away, full speed ahead, when a side door opens and a weepy My Dying Bride violin melody slinks out; or a suffocating vortex of sound will momentarily dissipate to let a plaintive, funereal riff slip through. It’s high-wire stuff, and Mortuous make it look easy.

Upon Desolation, the band’s second album, is thrillingly difficult to pin down. Incantation and Autopsy revolutionized death metal in its wild early days by cross-pollinating it with doom, but the former were mostly concerned with making it sound inhuman and evil, while the latter hitched it to a punkish groove. Mortuous are clear disciples of those bands when working in their death metal guise, but the way they incorporate doom elements into their sound has more in common with the elegance of the Peaceville Three, or early Katatonia. The combination of gracefulness, groove, and sheer heaviness that the band achieves on Upon Desolation is rare. It’s become their signature in a crowded death metal landscape, one they’re steadily rising to the top of.

Listen to Upon Desolation in its entirety a day early below, and order a copy now via Carbonized Records.

Mortuous are currently on tour with Full of Hell, Blood Incantation, Vermin Womb, God Is War:
9/13/2022 Gothic Theater – Denver, CO
9/14/2022 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT
9/15/2022 The Olympic – Boise, ID
9/16/2022 Dante’s – Portland, OR
9/17/2022 Substation – Seattle, WA
9/20/2022 Starline Social Club – Oakland, CA
9/21/2022 1720 – Los Angeles, CA
9/22/2022 The Constellation Room – Santa Ana, CA
9/23/2022 Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA
9/24/2022 Nile Underground – Mesa, AZ
9/25/2022 Sister Bar – Albuquerque, NM
9/26/2022 89th Street – Oklahoma City, OK
9/28/2022 Raccoon Motel – Davenport, IA
9/29/2022 Turf Club – St Paul, MN
9/30/2022 Reggies – Chicago, IL
10/01/2022 Legends – Cincinnati, OH
10/02/2022 Sanctuary – Detroit, MI
10/03/2022 Mohawk – Buffalo, NY
10/04/2022 State House – New Haven, CT
10/05/2022 The Middle East – Cambridge, MA
10/06/2022 Monarch – Brooklyn, NY
10/07/2022 Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA