Review: Mortalicum – Tears From The Grave (Metal On Metal 2014 CD)

 What I know about this band from before is pretty much only that their bassplayer is Patrik Backlund, whose other band Quicksand Dream's only album I like very much, a very underrated piece of epic heavy metal. Nowadays though, focus seems to be on Mortalicum all the way.
 From the title and the album cover, what I expected was something very slow, dark and super depressive-ish. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that the opening tune of this album, The Endless Sacrifice, is an up-tempo rocker that I even wouldn't mind calling a bit cheerful. Sure there are some real slow and longer songs as well, but still in a very different way compared to my expectations. One of the bands that comes to mind while listening to this album is definitely Grand Magus, much because of the vocals of Henrik Högl reminding a lot of the ones of JB. Which is a very positive thing, since his voice is one of the more superb ones in the Swedish metal-scene of today. Musically though, Mortalicum are moving more towards a rock/doom territory, and the heavy metal is a bit more absent. 80's-era Pentagram would probably be an even better parallel to draw, heavy and a bit metallic, yet with the rock-feeling always present.

 Weaknesses are hard to find on this one actually, it's a very solid album. Some of the solos might be a bit long. The guitar-work is fantastic, but solos that are too long will get boring sooner or later, no matter how good the player is. The eleven minutes long title track could might have been cut a bit shorter as well. Otherwise, the rest of the +7 min-songs, Remember The Fallen, I Am Sin, and especially the incredibly majestic closer The Winding Stair, works very well. A very nice experience of an album, that reminds you to expect the unexpected, and not always judge the content for its cover. 7,5/10 /H

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