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Album Reviews : Mortification – 20 Years in the Underground

By on March 21, 2010

Mortification have played a major role in the Australian heavy metal scene for well over 20 years now. The band originally grew from the ashes of late 80’s white power metal band Lightforce.

Due to a major culture change in the early 90’s, the band quickly exchanged their soaring power metal melodies for a more stripped back and extreme death metal approach, which inevitability saw Mortification join the elite death metal movement at the time. This also saw the release of their highly successful “Scrolls of the Megilloth”.

What made Mortification’s success more astounding was lead singer and song writer Steve Rowe. Rowe has devoted his time and effort into his two favorite passions, music and religious faith. These two ideologies went hand in hand as Mortification soon become the most highly recognised and successful Christian heavy metal band in history, so far.

The band’s music may have evolved over time, yet their initial message is still quite clear to this day. I’m sure many will question the band’s belief system, yet I’ll leave that half open can of worms to discussion forum elitists.

So, what do you do with 20 years of heavy metal music under your belt with over 20 albums released, numerous live performances around the world and a legion of die hard fans? You release a “best of” album. Well, your fourth one in Mortification’s case.

’20 Years in the Underground’ is a pretty self explanatory ‘best of’ album. The album hosts 2 discs with 36 tracks from the band’s career so far, which include many re-recorded classics, live and unreleased acoustic performances. It’s a great overhaul of tracks which gives an excellent insight to the band’s trails and tribulations throughout the Australian heavy metal movement in the early 90’s til now..ish!.

The album is great fun to listen too, yet its essentially more a ‘best of’ live album with the main bulk of tracks representing the band’s tours throughout Europe and South America in the early to mid 2000’s. The band have also included on the album their entire set from “Live Planetarium”, which has been praised by many and is an excellent addition to the album, as the original is hard to come by these days.

There isn’t much that I can say more about this ‘best of’ album, yet it does a good job of representing Mortification’s’ evolution over the last 20 years in Australia, and around the world.  7/10

Band: Mortification
Album: 20 Years in the Underground
Year: 2010
Genre: Death Metal/Black Metal/Thrash Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast, Rowe Productions, Riot! Entertainment
Origin: Australia


Disc One:
01. Nocturnal (Re-Recorded)
02. Grind Planetarium (Re-Recorded)
03. Impulsation (Re-Recorded)
04. Hammer Of God (Re-Recorded)
05. The Majestic Infiltration Of Order (Re-Recorded)
06. Eyes Of Destruction (Live)
07. Searching (Live)
08. City Streets (Live)
09. Bloodworld (Live)
10. Scrolls Of The Megiloth (Live)
11. Spoken Word (Part 1)
12. New Beginnings (Live)
13. Spoken Word (Part 2)
14. Chapel Of Hope (Live)
15. Spoken Word (Part 3)
16. Too Much Pain (Live)
17. Spoken Word (Part 4)
18. 12 Men (Live)
19. I’m Not Your Commodity (Live)
20. Priests Of The Underground (Live)

Disc Two:
01. Grind Planetarium (Live)
02. Distarnish Priest (Live)
03. Brutal Warfare (Live)
04. The Destroyer Beholds (Live)
05. Inflamed (Live)
06. Scrolls Of The Megiloth (Live) <- Reviewer’s Choice
07. Symbiosis (Live)
08. Time Crusaders (Live)
09. From The Valley Of The Shadows (Live)
10. Human Condition (Live)
11. The Majestic Infiltration Of Order (Live)
12. This Momentary Affliction (Live)
13. Metal Blessing (Acoustic)
14. Standing At The Door Of Death (Acoustic)
15. Your Life (Acoustic)
16. Grind Planetarium (Acoustic)


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.