"If Tomorrow Comes" (Metalagen Records; 2000)

Reviewed by Brian Connelly

Hey people, are you ready for some metallic cheese as sweet on the ears as rust is on your tongue? Insert devil sign right about here ... Aw, hell with it. Send out Black Sabbath clone number two million and one and hope all the Camaro-driving, Edgar Allan Poe-loving metalhead masses aren't bored yet. It's Mortifer.

Mortifer sounds like a band that rolled over and let Ozzy take over.  They look like a bunch of leather-jacket wearing 30-somethings who decided to don black, turn hip listening to Slayer and take out their mid-life crises on 4/4 drum beats and a couple distorted guitars. Lyrically, these guys sound like daft fan boys hooked on "Master of Puppets" and Tales from the Crypt comics ("I'm Your Fear" is a chalkboard-scraping rip-off of "Sad But True" minus the subtlety or thunder).

However, promise prevails on tunes like "Fatality Insane," which showcase more riffs within its breadth than the entire album combined, and "Slave of Fate," which heralds rhythmic change-ups with more precision than a hairpin turn. Notes slide or even bend, a momentary relief from the static two or three-chord standard of the rest of the album. Metallic melodies and bridges course in and out, only subsiding long enough for some thankfully sparse vocal interludes. On tracks like this, Mortifer almost becomes a low-key Dream Theater. They are a far cry from opera-prog, but they step beyond their cookie-cutter stylings long enough to display some merit. 

One question: Whatever happened to track four, "Crematory's Yard"? 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:46 -0400.