Released: 2003, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
One might wonder what ex-Morbid Angel / ex-Nocturnus / ex-Acheron fame Mike Browning has been up to lately? It´s probably been a while since most of us heard of him. Well, for those who don´t know yet, Mike Browning has a new band called After Death together with his wife Lisa Lombardo (also in Lisa the Wolf and Wolf & Hawk together with her talented husband) and just recently recruited new member Brian Hipp whose merits include playing in such known extreme metal acts as Brutality, Diabolic and Cradle of Filth.
This threesome, whose main interest is the Egyptian magic and mythology and naturally the well-known magician Aleister Crowley, recorded this brand-new 2-song offering very recently, including the following two new After Death songs “Consumed by Fire” and “Mercury-Sulphur-Salt”. Both are very lengthy tunes. “Consumed…” clocks in at over 12-minutes and “Mercury…” reaches the length of over 12-minutes as well.
When I was spinning the promo in my CD-player today a few times the first impression the two songs left me with is that they brought early Nocturnus back to my mind in some peculiar way. Back to those unholy times even before the classic SCIENCE OF HORROR demo was given a birth. Most of the time, the tempo of these two songs varies between both slow and mid tempo. Lisa´s keyboard parts and howling (yet occasionally somewhat ´haunting´) backing vocals basically dominates the songs most of the time. In the very same breath I want to point out that Mike´s vocal delivery has remained unchanged throughput these past years. He´s been capable of maintaining the very same tone in his well distinctive voice as we all may remember him from the times of Nocturnus – and that´s great in my opinion. Actually you could try to think of a more obscure and haunting version of some of the earliest Nocturnus material and you are quite close to figuring out how After Death sounds.
This limited promo (only 21 copies made, every copy including a special card; mine being card no. 20 -"The Aeon")" was recorded at Mike´s and Lisa´s house by using a Fostex 16-track recorder, so the sound quality isn´t as good as a real studio treatment would have given to the songs. Both drums and guitar sounds have been left way too low in the background in the final mix. However, I still was able to hear a great potential in them as far as their very original sounding music is concerned. I really hope they land a record deal with some label soon ´coz After Death are really good and impressive at what they do.
So, Mr. Browning… welcome back to the limelight again; we have been waiting for your return rather anxiously indeed…