Review: Mortal Torment – Cleaver Redemption

Greek brutal death metal band Mortal Torment hacks and slashes their way through you with their latest release called Cleaver Redemption. Mortal Torment has been going at it for 10 years and has seen several line-up changes. Despite all of that, they’ve played in plenty of metal festivals and have finally settled enough to release Cleaver Redemption. There are 10 tracks and 33 minutes of brutality to get through before they’re done with you. Check out Mortal Torment on Facebook then head over to check out their music on Bandcamp, iTunes,  Spotify, and their website!

Sick guttural vocals dominate Cleaver Redemption when crushing riffs aren’t. The vocals have a very inhuman sound that can’t possibly emanate from somebody without radiation exposure, yet somehow here it is. There is a nice balance of long riffs that will hold a few beats to sink in and pure speed on all corners. “Epileptic Defecation” has a brief spoken word introduction before knocking you down with a wall of metal. The drums have high intensity and the riffs are slam-esque before turning into speedy death metal riffs. There is pretty cool sounding build up half way into the song that doesn’t lead to disappointment, I promise. The whole song is pretty much like a shift between fast and slam riffs. Oh and there are some pig squeals at the end, enjoy.

“Tender/Dismember” is pretty straightforward with the hitting-you-in-the-face deal. It starts with a headbanger of a riff and pummeling drums and pretty much stays that way. Only at the very end does “Tender/Dismember” contrast much from the rest and that’s because it slows down. The vocals and guitars often work together and give each other distorted depth that fits so well with what’s going on. There is a nice guitar tone that isn’t muddy, but is thick enough for the low end. This applies to all of Cleaver Redemption.

“A Million Skulls to Bludgeon” is a pretty intense song. If you don’t break anything during this, you’re wrong. Everything in this song has a lot of power behind it and it all flows and unfolds so well. Even when the double-bass decides to come in to accent, it’s rough. There’s a pretty sick bass slide right before the end of this one section then it all gets to this one part that I really can’t describe, but man it’s pretty nice. “A Million Skulls to Bludgeon” is one of my favorites off of Cleaver Redemption.

“Cleaver Redemption” serves well as the title track and lives up to its expectations. It is probably the most grindcore sounding song on here too, so there’s that. There are pig squeals, more drum fills, and more intricate drumming in general. From gravity blasts to insanely fast double-bass, this song has it all. It is a fast song not to be tampered with.

“Sculpting the Dead” is the same vain as “Cleaver Redemption” but not quite as extreme, if you want to say that. There are plenty of sick moment on every song, but “Cleaver Redemption” just has more of an edge yaknow. “Sculpting the Dead” has plenty of pig squeals and synchronized drumming, a personal favorite trait of mine. There is a lot going on on this song, it’s hard to focus on specific favorites. The same applies to “Masturbating the Deranged” in the sense that there are more points of synchronization. There is a bit of spoken word in “Masturbating the Deranged” that separates the brutal death section and the not-as-brutal-but-still-brutal-section. Well placed china hits leave a lasting impression during the riffs that go along the lines of slam.

Changing the way every other songs starts is “Whorified.” It has a stoner metal kind of intro before bringing on the death metal. The riffs here are chord-heavy and the gutturals get real low here. That stoner metal riff peaks in at times to serve as a bridge along with accompanying ride bell hits. “Whorified” seems to be the breather we’re allowed to take in between beatings, not to say it isn’t a heavy song. I think you get what I’m saying.

Things get a bit more fun and groovy on “Fucked in the Eye Socket and Left to Die.” There is a lot of groove and slam here and it’s just a song that was put together right. With the different elements and song progression, you can’t get bored with this song. This is the kind of song you put on your gym playlist.

My final thoughts on Cleaver Redemption are positive, of course. It was a kick ass album with a lot of great moments. There are no solos by the way, in case you were wondering. With the song change ups and how things contrasted, I’d say Mortal Torment can get away clean. The production was solid, though I would have preferred to hear the bass outside of the nice bass slides. Either way, Cleaver Redemption is rad, so check it out!

Rate: 8.2/10

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