Back in 1990, something dark and sinister was stirring in Australia. Out of the ashes of the classic metal band, Lightforce, was birthed Mortification. They unleashed the first Christian death metal album ‘Mortification’ in 1991. It was far more brutal than any other christian release at the time. They signed a deal with Nuclear Blast Records who specialised in death metal and released their 1992 follow-up ‘Scrolls Of The Megilloth’ which was a masterpiece of fast death metal with some doom influences. It was a mark of a great band that they were highly regarded in the whole of death metal scene at that time and ‘Scrolls’ is still considered to belong to the elite albums of that scene.
The following years saw their style change to modern groove, thrash metal and hardcore punk with shouted vocals. Their 15th studio album sees Steve Rowe (vocals & bass), Lincoln Bowen (lead & rhythm guitars), Andrew Esnouf (drums) and Troy Dixon (guitar) move back to thrash and death metal. The album title refers to the Pentateuch, which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
Lest you think they have calmed down, ‘Extradiefor’ is a thrusting thrash metal monstrosity with growled vocals. “Extradiefor, blood flowing through the veins / Extradiefor, free from the earth of pain / Plain to live for the promise of eternity / Extradiefor, live heavenly redeemed”. It also contains some molten shredding. Then ‘Scribe’ has chugging riffs interspersed with faster death metal sections, along with brief exerts of clean vocals. There are more clean vocals in the melodic parts of ‘In Garland Hall’, along with barked vocals and more guitar solos.
‘Weapons Of Mass Salvation’ gets back to the growling and clanging riffs, with plenty of time changes that sees them switch between slower doom and up-tempo death metal. “Out in the middle of the brutal war (war) / Shrapnel flying against the Holy Sword (Sword) / Seeing the victory that shall now be finished (accomplished) / Glory to the One and Holy Lord (Lord)”. Steve Rowe stated “Weapons Of Mass Salvation is about being out in the middle of the Spiritual War in this world fighting for Jesus name in the metal scene. Praying for strength and wisdom to be Good News, and killing the evil forces along the way with the power of The Word Of God. So we pray and read the Bible before we go into battle to hold up the name of Jesus in dark places.”
Continuing their uncompromising stance on the Christian faith ‘The White Death’ has “Follow Christ or death in Hades”. Steve said “The White Death is about the great inheritance we have as born again Christians when we die. I was given 2 hours to live twice and had an Angel Visitation in 1996. I know where I am going when I die. I have had a glimpse of Heaven. As Christians we leave this broken sinful vessel behind and enter heaven in our heavenly bodies. This song offers hope and insight to the only solution for salvation eternally to non-Christians.”
After this there are four bonus tracks “Best of the 00′s, which showcases ‘Priests of the Underground’, ‘Too Much Pain’, ‘Erasing the Goblin’, and ‘Elastisized Outrage’.
Reviewed by Peter John Willoughby
Scribe Of The Pentateuch
The Jaws Of Life
In Garland Hall
Weapons Of Mass Salvation
The White Death
Priests Of The Underground
Too Much Pain
Erasing The Goblin
Break the Curse (1990)
Scrolls of the Megilloth (1992)
Post Momentary Affliction (1993)
Blood World (1994)
Primitive Rhythm Machine (1995)
EnVision EvAngelene (1996)
Triumph of Mercy (1998)
Hammer of God (1999)
The Silver Cord is Severed (2001)
Brain Cleaner (2004)
Erasing the Goblin (2006)
The Evil Addiction Destroying Machine (2010)
Scribe of the Pentateuch (2012)
Steve Rowe – bass guitar/lead vocalist
Lincoln Bowen – guitar
Andrew Esnouf – drums
Record Label: Rowe Productions, April, 2012