Following the pattern "an album every 2 years" the Swedish doom rockers from MORTALICUM release their third and most doomy one, with longest and slowest songs, in the spring of 2014. Those who loved the band's more NWOBHM and hard rocking side need not worry though: it's still very much present on this album; the more upbeat songs have really infectious riffs and just call for headbanging. Henrik's vocals are flawless as ever - he delivers superb melodies with his clear and pretty unique voice and puts as much emotion into them as into his soulful solos. All the while the tight and heavy rhythm section provides a strong backbone to their songs, and the organic production gives enough room to breathe for every instrument. An album that will surely please fans of BLACK SABBATH, GRAND MAGUS, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, CANDLEMASS and TROUBLE, as well as bands like DEEP PURPLE, RAINBOW, THIN LIZZY or SAMSON.
MORTALICUM from the northern parts of Sweden (Sundsvall) was formed in early 2006 by Patrick Backlund, the mastermind behind QUICKSAND DREAM, an obscure epic heavy metal band that started out in late '80s. Initially MORTALICUM was more of a studio project of Patrick who wrote and recorded several songs during the first two years, songs on which he did all the instrumental tracks. During that time Robert Wiklander joined to handle the vocals for the demos, but he actually had done some drumming on the first few jam sessions too. Many different songs were recorded and tried out both during the jams and as demos. Those demos were never released, but since many songs were shared and welcomed on their MySpace page, they felt that they were on the right track towards creating their style of doomy heavy metal mixed with some classic hard rock.
At the end of 2007 things started to happen as two more members joined the band. Two guitarists, Henrik Högl (lead) and Mikael Engström (rhythm) joined Patrick and Robert, but Mikael had actually been in the background of MORTALICUM since the very beginning and was also around during the early jam sessions back in 2006. In the beginning of 2008 the final piece of the puzzle was put in place when the drummer Andreas Häggström joined. Later that year, in September, the band debuted live. This show was also recorded and bootlegged as the "Live and Heavy" - live at Pipeline.
In spring 2009 some changes occurred within the band and they parted ways with the vocalist Robert. Instead, Henrik was chosen to do the vocals, mainly because the band wanted to focus on the heavier and more melodic side of their style. After the line-up change MORTALICUM performed a couple of live shows during the summer and autumn. The last gig was the highlight when the band played together with GRAND MAGUS.
At the the end of 2009 MORTALICUM started the pre-production of their full-length debut "Progress of Doom". Well prepared, they entered the studio in November 2009 and recorded the album in just a few days. The band put one song off their forthcoming album ("Into the Night") on their MySpace page and that one song was enough to grab Metal On Metal Records' attention. Upon hearing the whole album, no doubts were left on the label's part and soon the record deal for the release of "Progress of Doom" in April 2010 was signed. The debut album, recorded practically in 2 days, live in the studio, offers infectious and groovy tunes rooted in '70s rock and '80s metal with fine, classy lead work, crushing doom riffs and warm, organic production.
In the beginning of 2011 MORTALICUM started writing new material and decided to record and offer one song, "Black Flame (The Sinister Priest)", exclusively for the "Compendium of Metal Vol. 4" compilation CD released by Metal On Metal in April.
In February 2011 the band did a small tour in UK together with IRON VOID, THE PROPHECY and label-mates NOMAD SON, including performance at the Doomsday IV festival in Wakefield on Feb. 12th.
During the second half of 2011 MORTALICUM spent a lot of time working in the studio with the pre-production and recording of their second album entitled "The Endtime Prophecy". The CD was released on April 27th 2012 through Metal On Metal Records.
In November 2012 MORTALICUM played at the Malta Doom Metal festival, where they shared the stage with THE BLACK, DAWN OF WINTER, FORSAKEN, HOODED PRIEST, CHILDREN OF DOOM, TETHRA and others, and they also did an extra club show on Malta the day after.
In December 2012 the band started writing for their third album. Things progressed quite well until February 2013, when Mikael Engström decided to leave the band for personal reasons. MORTALICUM however quickly decided to continue as a power-trio and after a few rehearsals they found themselves quite comfortable with the setup.
The writing process continued and they planned to start recording in May, but in April the drummer, Andreas Häggström, slipped on ice and broke his ankle. This forced the band to postpone all rehearsing and recording for almost three months. In late June they did the first rehearsal again.
September 2013 saw the long awaited start of recording the new album. In October the drum tracks were finished, in late November the rhythm guitar tracks were finished and in December most of the lead tracks were done. During January 2014 all remaining vocals, leads and bass tracks were recorded, and the album was mixed and mastered. "Tears from the Grave" will be released at the end of April (precisely on April 25th 2014), like the two previous albums, by Metal On Metal Records.
Meanwhile MORTALICUM appeared at 2 festivals: Doom over Scania on March 28th and 29th in Hässleholm and Malmö respectively, where they shared the stage with SORCERER, STONEGRIFF, VOID MOON, HANDS OF ORLAC and NYMF, and Springdoom Depression VI festival on April 5th in Vienna, where they played with ATLANTEAN KODEX, STONEGRIFF, EVANGELIST and COSMIC WASTELAND.
Mixed with good old heavy metal and some '70s hard rock, and often characterized by faster tempos, MORTALICUM's music is not doomed to be exclusively for the genre's purists and followers. Get ready for some really heavy and catchy doom metal made in the best Swedish tradition!
Doom/Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
Sweden (Sundsvall), 2006
Henrik Högl (vocals and guitars)
Patrick Backlund (bass)
Andreas Häggström (drums)
Two years after the debut album, MORTALICUM follow up with a new vintage heavy doom-rocking release. These Swedes play genuine, earthy doom metal combined with a healthy dose of early '80s heavy metal and '70s hard rock, with a really warm vibe. Imagine a blend of BLACK SABBATH, GRAND MAGUS, DIO, RAINBOW, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY, TROUBLE and SAMSON... MORTALICUM take it from there and add their own personal touch. What we have here are songs with dramatic arrangements, riffs heavier than lead and hotter than hell, doomy grooves, beautifully yet crushingly jamming bass lines, thundering drum patterns, interlaced with melodies that will enchant you and linger in your head, heartfelt guitar solos, emotion-filled, distinctive singing and passionate performance.
MORTALICUM proves the quality of Swedish traditional doom metal. Blended with good old heavy metal and '70s hard rock, and characterized by faster tempos, MORTALICUM's music is not doomed to be exclusively for the genre's purist followers. Based on tight rhythm section and crushing riffs, with distinct voice providing great melodic lines, organic and genuine sound, their debut will make many heads bang, especially those into BLACK SABBATH, GRAND MAGUS, RAINBOW, SPIRITUAL BEGGARS, ASTRAL DOORS, DEEP PURPLE, THIN LIZZY, IRON MAN... '70s and '80s warm vibe shines through this timeless doom-rocking music.
• "Live and Heavy" (2008)
Live album, self-released
• "Progress of Doom" (2010)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records
• "The Endtime Prophecy" (2012)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records
• "Tears from the Grave" (2014)
Full-length, Metal On Metal Records