Released: 2008, Temple of Darkness Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
What I personally find a great thing nowadays is the fact that many ´lost ´n´ forgotten gems´ are being re-released by many, mostly small and independent underground labels - and if possible at all, with some additional bonus material.
One of these somewhat totally ´lost and forgotten gems´ from the past Finnish death metal scene, is no less than Mordicus´ debut album titled DANCES FROM LEFT, which was originally released in 1993 by a French label Thrash Records; a label that also put out such classic stuff as Sentenced´s SHADOWS OF THE PAST, Convulse´s WORLD WITHOUT GOD, Megaslaughter´s CALLS FROM THE BEYOND and so on. Now this classic evidence of the Finnish death metal has been re-released again by a Spanish label named Temple of Darkness Records, with some additional bonus tracks taken from some of the band´s past releases prior to DANCES FROM LEFT.
Like it´s been the case with many other classic Finnish death metal releases that were basically released during the early 90´s (Demigod SLUMBER OF SULLEN EYES, Funebre CHILDREN OF THE SCORN, Disgrace GREY MISERY, Demilich NESPITHE, etc.), there´s always someone out there who wants to bring some of these ´rare-to-find-these-days´ gems back to the daylight again, after well over a decade when they were originally put out. A huge, big ´Thank You´ goes out to Jose from T.o.D. Records for understanding the importance of this particular Mordicus´ release in question, and finally getting it released after letting it rot in the graveyard of some other ´forgotten gems´ for some 15 long years.
Mordicus belonged to this 1st wave of Finnish death metal bands that got their albums released during 1991-94, and most of these Finnish death metal releases, became instant favorites among death metal fans all over the world. Since Mordicus´ DANCES FROM LEFT was a relatively limited edition-wise (just like so many other releases from Thrash Records unfortunately tended to be - only 1500 copies were ever printed), it soon became a true target for many hunters of rare death metal. Therefore this re-release of DANCES FROM LEFT is surely more than a welcomed thing to get to the hands of those you have become tired of hunting it down from places like eBay and paying ridiculous prices for a copy of it.
DANCES FROM LEFT contains 10 tracks: brutal, straight, crushing and highly explosive death metal with enough melodies thrown in to satisfy the ones who also demand more than an instant brutality and aggression from death metal of your likings. Mordicus made a truly pummelling and beautifully slaying death metal back in the day, and they should have deserved more recognition than they actually gained for themselves when they were unleashing all the little beasts of theirs out from their dark cellar during the early 90s. It could be said that Mordicus have adopted a thing or two from the early Swedish death metal scene (Dismember, Unleashed, Therion, etc.), but added their own melodious spices into it to make it sound more like from themselves, more than some band just copycatting the first wave of Swedish death metal acts. Songs like "I Bleed to See" and "Flames Beneath Me Sleep" were great examples for the band´s true abilities to produce killer, Swe-Fin type of death metal that sounded crisp, utterly heavy and simply captivating.
With a classic Tico Tico production - a famous Finnish metal producer of many many Finnish death metal Ahti Kortelinen being at the helm on this recording, the album slowly grew on the same highly valued pile with Sentenced´s SHADOWS OF THE PAST, Demigod´s SLUMBER OF SULLEN EYES, Xysma´s YEAH and Demilich´s NESPITHE albums - as one of the most noteworthy Finnish death metal releases back then.
As for the bonus tracks on DANCES FROM LEFT, only 3 songs from the band´s ´impossible-to-find-nowadays´ yet so excellent WRATHORN cassette-EP were included to this re-release, which is a shame because the cassette-EP represented the same style they had on their debut album, but with just a more primitive and rawer approach. WRATHORN would have deserved to be released fully, too. Maybe it´ll also be released as a mini-CD later on - who knows?
Gladly, Mordicus´ even more rare THREE WAY DISSECTION EP that was released in 1992 by Skin Drill Records (a sub-label of Seraphic Decay Records), has been included to this reissue. During the days of THREE WAY DISSECTION was released, Mordicus did sound a bit like the godfathers of the Finnish grindcore Xysma, having more grinding and vomiting growls in their own package for world domination. Good stuff all around, especially for those of you who have always loved the sounds of Finnish grind ála Xysma, Disgrace, Convulse and some other similar acts.
But here it is finally anyway for those of you who have still been missing Mordicus´ sort of underrated DANCES FROM LEFT for all of your collections for all these past, obviously somewhat frustrating years. Just make sure to get it this time around because they are still easily available, but no one knows for how long.