RIGOR MORTIS, Decomposed (1987, demo)
Okay, it’s back to basics here: a supershitty evil skull drawn with a marker. What makes this cover is the landscape. I’m guessing this is some kind of fantasy scene, some Hyborean wasteland with perhaps a wizard’s castle in the distance. The skull of a lone warrior (who is well past the rigor mortis stage, but certainly decomposed) is staked out with his battle axe and some other kind of weapon thing. A spear maybe? Who knows? It’s a badass skull to keep you off the wizard’s lawn. Are you gonna do it? Are you gonna turn away? Damned straight you are! This guy looks like he was really mean, and he had an axe and some barbed pokey thing, and look what happened to him? You are totally out of here!
This is not another release by yesterday’s Rigor Mortis, but a whole ‘nother Rigor Mortis entirely. This band would eventually become Immolation, a band I have always hated and will always hate, although at this point, only the bald guitarist who does the funny headbanging is left from Rigor Mortis. But whatever. Immolation is death metal for assholes. And as crappy as I find them now, they were WAY crappier back in 1987. This is high school death metal at its worst. It makes the case for the theory that death metal was just thrash played by guys who weren’t good enough for the job. Even by the standards of mid 80s death metal demos, this is weak stuff, every bit as bad as the cover would suggest. Astoundingly, they band thought this was good enough to reissue on CD, so if you’re a real glutton for punishment, you can pick up a copy of Immolation’s eloquently titled Stepping on Angels… Before Dawn to enjoy Decomposed in all its remastered glory. You asshole.
— Friar Johnsen