Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review: Mortician - Chainsaw Dismemberment (Reissue)

Mortician, love 'em or hate 'em there is no denying that the two piece group are one of the most distinguishable acts in brutal death metal to this day; clearly definable by their endless onslaughts of brutality and bone crushingly heavy tuning all topped off by morbidly comical and chilling horror movie audio chunks. Recently Hell's Headbangers Records have gone Mortician reissue insane, having re-released a good slab of the New York/Pennsylvania based band's discography on vinyl; the two EPs Zombie Apocalypse and House by the Cemetery having preceded this recent pressing of Chainsaw Dismemberment, Mortician's second full-length album that was originally released in 1999. With a complete gatefold makeover that houses two LPs, one of which comes with sexy silk screened artwork, an A2 poster and an Obi Strip should you shell out your hard earned money for this reissue?  

Genre: Brutal Death Metal/Grindcore
Release Date: October, 2013
  1. Stab
  2. Fleshripper
  3. Drowned In Your Own Blood
  4. Mass Mutilation
  5. Mauled Beyond Recognition
  6. Rabid
  7. Bloodshed
  8. Decayed
  9. Final Bloodbath
  10. Island of the Dead
  11. Brutalized
  12. Slaughtered
  13. The Crazies
  14. Silent Night, Bloody Night
  15. Chainsaw Dismemberment
  16. Psychotic Rage
  17. Funeral Feast
  18. Wolfen
  19. Dark Sanity
  20. Camp Blood
  21. Tormented
  22. Slaughter House (Part II)
  23. Barbarian
  24. Rats
  25. Mater Tenebrarum
  26. Splattered
  27. Obliteration
  28. Lord of the Dead (Mortician Part II)                                              
Total Playtime: 49 minutes, 01 seconds      

Official Website              



Rating: 8.0/10






Mortician, love 'em or hate 'em there is no denying that the two piece group are one of the most distinguishable acts in brutal death metal to this day; clearly definable by their endless onslaughts of brutality and bone crushingly heavy tuning all topped off by morbidly comical and chilling horror movie audio chunks. Recently Hell's Headbangers Records have gone Mortician reissue insane, having re-released a good slab of the New York/Pennsylvania based band's discography on vinyl; the two EPs Zombie Apocalypse and House by the Cemetery having preceded this recent pressing of Chainsaw Dismemberment, Mortician's second full-length album that was originally released in 1999. With a complete gatefold makeover that houses two LPs, one of which comes with sexy silk screened artwork, an A2 poster and an Obi Strip, should you shell out your hard earned money for this reissue?

As the saying goes, opinions are like assholes and every asshole has their own opinion about Mortician. Due to the distinct nature and style of the band it's typically hard to grade one of their albums without personal input; a lot of their material can come off as more of the same and in general it's the persons love of horror that will be the ultimate decider for which record they perceive to be the greatest. For me, well it would have to be the 1999 EP Zombie Apocalypse, for you it may be their debut LP Hacked Up For Barbecue. Whatever you may think, two things remain certain; Mortician are a one of a kind ensemble and before the band formed in 1989 their sound was nowhere to be heard. Chainsaw Dismemberment has received its fair share of mixed reviews, most pointing out that the album is both more brutalized yet still stagnant in terms of musical progression when compared to the band's debut release; while this is true it does not completely take the enjoyability out of the material. If you've heard Mortician, you'll know where this is going.

Horror movie lovers rejoice, because Chainsaw Dismemberment is chocked full of vintage movie references in both song titles and snips of audio barbarism. Hell, part of the fun of listening to any Mortician album is trying to pinpoint what flick the audio infusions come from. Some of them are easy thanks to the song titles, such as "The Crazies", "Silent Night, Bloody Night", "Slaughterhouse (Part II)", that all have audio from their respectively titled movies. Title track "Chainsaw Dismemberment" comes from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, "Camp Blood" is from  Friday the 13th Part 2 and "Rabid" is from the more obscure I Drink Your Blood/I Eat Your Skin. Getting the references is a huge part of being able to truly appreciate a record from this band, as not only do they use a lot of these audio tie ins but the lyrics center around the events and themes of the movie. This feature is the one thing that constantly evolves and changes in each release, more-so than the actual instruments do.


The material found on this release is a lot more fierce and savage than what was heard in its predecessor, though not by much. Mortician also have tuned their instruments two entire steps lower in this content, which makes each track a gruesome blitz of eardrum shaking reverberation. Track by track the duo unleash a hellish fury of thick riffs and throbbing bass lines that contaminate the air with a choking atmosphere, leaving no room for breathing. The programmed deep blast beat drumming ensures that no listener escapes unscathed from the audible bloodbath. The guitar assaults utilize rough power chords laden in a cumbersome distortion and often reprocess some of the same riffs, most notably the ones that are found in the tracks "Slaughterhouse" and "Hell on Earth" from the Zombie Apocalypse EP. On occasion there are tremolo picking segments to be had, though due to immense distortion and down tuning this often comes across in a vague regard, the best examples being in "Tormented" and "The Crazies". However there are the odd songs that bring new guitar compositions to the cannibalistic table of Mortician, most notably "Island of the Dead", "Mauled Beyond Recognition" and "Camp Blood", which also contribute some sluggish content to the album. Dispensing more ferocity unto the recording is the drumming, this element is programmed in such a manner that it sounds mechanical while still being humanly possible to perform live. The typical drum arrangement is pummeling blast beats and a cymbal crash that ends most of the tracks, although there are other incorporations throughout the embodiment of various tracks but nothing that is worth writing home about.

If the guitar is the skull then the bass is most definitely the hammer, pounding away at such an abysmal depth that it's surprising that Satan himself hasn't been summoned from the frequencies it emits. The bass has an outstanding rhythm to it that picks up what the guitar can lack at times, and it endows the album with some of the best heard pulses; such as within "Tormented" and "Island of the Dead". The grunting guttural vocals are lifeless and sit just under the hacking instruments, barely making any difference to the content at all. The drums, guitar and bass all sit at the same levels, there is virtually zero to little layering between the three tracks and in using such a production method it causes the devices to be indistinguishable at times. This may be exactly what Mortician were aiming for, because it gave the content an undeniable hacking, slashing, chopping quality to it as the equipment grinds and pounds away with brute force.

Chainsaw Dismemberment might seem like the bastard second child of Mortician for some, however the album is a malicious force to be reckoned with. Not much changed since their debut release but the duo did step up the brutality a notch and drop their instruments by two. The audio tie ins are fun, morbid, cheesy and they give the album a deep cult/vintage/B grade feel to it as they pave the way for some of the goriest lyrics the band has written. The infinite hacking and pounding of the record will surely please any slasher fan out there, although the repetitiveness may be too much for some withstand. Existing fans of Mortician will find dropping $18.00 USD on this reissue a bargain, especially considering the high quality of the gatefold and silk screened artwork; not to mention the bonuses that come with it. You can pick your copy up today, along with a matching shirt and patch, at Hell's Headbangers Records!

Digital Download Provided by: Hell's Headbangers Records 

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