Released: 2017, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
One man band projects are like going on a Tinder date in Thailand’s red light district; you never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes they sound exactly like the guy in his bedroom recording his guitar into a 4-track, other times you get a Quorthon.
To be fair, Mordatorium is now a duo with the recent addition of an actual human drummer, though Andrew Oosterbaan is still pretty much the “it” guy for everything else musically. And Mordatorium’s latest release OBSESSED WITH DEATH isn’t the worst example of the solo band project you’ve heard, but it still leaves a lot to be desired. Reveling in the primitive, old school death metal stylings of yesteryear, the 10 new songs have a certain rough around the edges charm that at times is reminiscent of early Bolt Thrower and Massacre. But the lack of any real technical aptitude (either intentional or legitimately deficient) makes for a tough listening experience.
Though tracks like “The Culling” and “Murder Castle” are highlights, most of OBSESSED WITH DEATH is stuck in first gear and centered on a handful of choppy, rhythmic guitar chords. As such, there’s not much to differentiate one song from the next, and Oosterbaan’s lack of vocal inflection doesn’t help the cause. This sucks on a number of levels, but mostly because you can tell that there’s some raw creativity embedded in the tunes that’s not being allowed to reach its full potential.
Horns up to Mordatorium for keeping it DIY and doing their part to fly the flag of metal, but let’s hope that if there’s another album in their future that it has the substance to back up their style.