Music » Livewire


With Blood Coven. Monday, October 14, at Peabody's.


Back in the 1980s, director David Lynch created a cartoon revolving around "The Angriest Dog in the World," a chained-up, perpetually growling mutt who, according to its creator, was "bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis." Will Rahmer, Mortician's vocalist, makes a sound not unlike the growling of the Angriest Dog in the World. A low, constant rumble so thick, clotted, and incomprehensible that it's almost possible to mistake it for bass-amp distortion.

Needless to say, Mortician takes death metal to extremes in every way. Sometimes the band is a trio, but the nucleus of the group is bassist-vocalist Rahmer and guitarist-drum programmer Roger Beaujard. Yes, that's right: drum programmer. On record, at least, Mortician uses a drum machine to better achieve high-speed mechanistic destruction without the dropped beats that might result from the frailty of a mere human drummer. The group is, truly, a death machine. The guitars are as downtuned as Rahmer's vocals, and they rumble along with barely any frippery; guitar solos on a Mortician album are a relative rarity.

All Mortician's songs revolve around imagery of mayhem and horror, mostly derived from Rahmer's and Beaujard's vast collections of gore videos. This could be a risky strategy, turning them into jokesters, but the duo's stone-faced delivery puts the material over. They come off more as obsessives than geeky fanboys, and that's what makes all the difference. Mortician is an acquired taste, but its implacable, bass-heavy brand of punishment is one of the most honest -- and truly brutal -- sounds in the often overly image-conscious world of death metal.

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