Album Spotlight: Erasing The Goblin By Mortification

Much like Stryper, Mortification is a bold, in your face Christian metal band. Whereas Stryper opted for melodic metal, Mortification has predominately produced extreme metal. Primarily known as a death metal band, Mortification has also released thrash metal albums, as well as more traditional heavy metal albums. Regardless of the metal subgenre the one constant has been bold Christian lyrics.

Band leader Steve Rowe has been at the helm since 1990.  The band’s early period produced five albums that consisted predominately of death metal and thrash metal.  For a series of albums from 1996 to 2002 the band experimented with a more accessible metal sound. Albums such as EnVision EvAngelene (1996), The Silver Chord Is Severed (2001) and Relentless (2002) showcased thrash metal, traditional heavy metal and groove metal. The album Brain Cleaner (2004) was a welcome return to more extreme metal sounds. Erasing The Goblin (2006) continued this approach with stellar results.

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The band’s twelfth album, Erasing The Goblin mixed thrash metal and death metal. Throughout the album’s ten songs the sounds of doom metal and groove metal can be heard as well. Some fans may prefer the early death metal era of the band. I am a huge thrash metal fan, so the thrashier side of the band appeals greatly to me. Primitive Rhythm Machine, their 1995 thrash metal release, is my favorite by the band. Post Momentary Affliction (1993) is arguably their best death metal album. Erasing The Goblin delved into both genres successfully.

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Throughout the history of the band Mortification has gone through various line up changes. The band in place for Erasing The Goblin was definitely one of the best line ups in Mortification’s history. The line up was Steve Rowe on vocals and bass, Mike Jelinic on guitar and Damien Percy on drums. All three contributed to the songwriting.

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I count Erasing The Goblin amount my favorite Mortification albums. During the band’s nearly thirty years of existence Steve Rowe has been the one constant member. He has been the mainstay and primary songwriter for the band. That said, a great deal of the band’s success, musically, has come down to his choice of band mates. Jelinic and Percy were great additions to the band. Jelinic brought a fresh new perspective to the band. His nine year tenure showcased a revitalized band. His strong songwriting and thrash metal based guitar playing greatly refreshed the band.

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With Erasing The Goblin the band produced a fast, heavy album.  The power trio sounded huge on this album.  Each member performed quite well.  Steve Rowe’s extreme vocals proved to be a standout on the album. Rowe laid down some stellar bass lines.  As a bassist I do not believe that he has gotten enough credit.  Mike Jelinic excelled on both rhythm and lead guitar. There are plenty of excellent guitar riffs to be heard throughout. He goes down as one of the best guitarists in the band’s long history.  Damien Percy pounded the drums with fierceness and excellence.

Jelinic and Percy also made exceptional contributions from a songwriting standpoint.  Steve Rowe has always been the band’s main songwriter. He contributed he usual selection of Mortification songs. Jelinic and Percy wrote or cowrote five of the album’s ten songs. Having other songwriters in the band really helped to shake up the musical status quo. A nice variety of extreme metal stylings can be heard from song to song.

Erasing The Goblin continued the band’s return to heavier sounds that began with their prior album.  The band was able to successfully look to their musical past and yet still move forward.  The new members brought fresh energy, excellent musicianship and the added bonus of songwriting skills. All of these traits combined to make Erasing The Goblin one of Mortification’s better albums.

Troy T.

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