SKULL421

MORDAX, The Bitter End (1992, demo)

The skull:
Neverminding how ugly this cover is, think about how lazy it is. It’s one thing to cut a skull out of a book or an issue of National Geographic. It’s quite another to grab so uninteresting a skull from an anatomy textbook, with all the labeling numbers intact (and without the legend!) This is really the best skull they could steal? At least it’s huge – there’s barely any room for even the band’s shitty pixelated logo — and a huge bad skull is always preferred over a small badass skull. It says so right in the charter establishing The Council. Or at least, I think it does: my Latin is rusty.

The music:
Swedish death metal from 1992 that sounds like American death metal from 1990. Or something like that. The gurgly vocals are terrible, but there’s an undercurrent of weirdness here that I find strangely appealing. While the base influences are the likes of Death, Morbid Angel, and of course the bigger Swedish bands, the final product is odd in the way Demilich was odd, just not to the same extent. Unbelievably, this band and release are unknown to Metal Archives, although these is another Mordax (who ALSO have a BDS cover) listed. Quite a mystery! For all I know, this isn’t the cover the demo was released with originally, and really, this could just be some dumb-ass retro thing recorded in 2010 and doctored to look and sound old. Who knows, or cares? While this is not exactly my cup of tea, it is inexactly my cup of tea, and it’s fairly well done, especially for the time. Anyone with a serious love of early death metal should at least check this out. You’ll probably end up with the same warbly Nth generation dub that I found, but for something like this, that’s more than good enough.
— Friar Johnsen

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