Woes of Mortal Devotion

Prior to happening across their entry in this sites secret and fathomless vault of promo offerings, I hadn’t yet heard of Mefitic.  By light of my candle I glimpsed a familiar name upon the shelving racks, just at the point before they spiral so high as to disappear into the fog like dusty blackness above:  Nuclear War Now!  A label that defines quality and consistency within the metal world.  A label of which you know pretty well what type of music to expect yet each release is unique enough to stand on it’s own. Very often the bands they release have lead the pack rather than followed.  You could safely buy blind an NWN release and not be disappointed.  Exceptions may occur but, nevertheless, I believe my statements hold rather true for Nuclear War NowMefitic offer up a cavernous, and bellowing black/death metal record in Woes of Mortal Devotion and it holds to the quality of NWN’s catalog. 

Mefitic was previously signed to Drakkar Productions.  A label that is similarly as revered as NWN by underground metal junkies.  On Drakkar, Mefitic released a good quantity of demo/ep’s, and splits with Necrovomit and Goatreich666.  Having sampled some of those, you’ll find in them a more low-fi version of their sound.  They didn’t make any noticeable changes in writing for Woes of Mortal Devotion, just upped the production quality and gave their songs a proper stage from which to deliver greater impact on the listener.  Having used the adjective “cavernous” to describe their sound, I’m sure that’s all it took to tip off our well informed readership to conclude… “It’s Cavern Core!”.  A genre tag sure to elicit grumbles as well as interested “mmmm”’s eight years after Necros Christos dropped Triune Imperial Rites.  I make no apologies using this term cavern-core.  The metal media gatekeepers-at-large seemed to have settled on it and the term describes quickly and fairly accurately (Though the “core” part isn’t so apt) the style at hand.  However, I recognize that using such terms unfairly reduces a band’s efforts and could lead a potential listener to summarily dismiss any so tagged bands.  Mefitic probably would like to slap the teeth out of my mouth for associating them with the somewhat new and hyped sub-genre, but it’s certainly not inaccurate.  I’ve read comparisons to Grave Miasma, but I also find myself considering Nightbringer in the venn diagram for which to describe their sound.  Mefitic rides a line so balanced that the scales ever-so-slightly tip back and forth between black and death metal, never telling which is more dominant.

Woes of Mortal Devotion is a murky, nostril clogging, 2000 year old air stench-greeting sarcophagus.  In that sarcophagus is a stone tomb.  Once the record gets going, it’s like removing the tomb lid to reveal a red and black hued abyssal emptiness, then leaping in.  If you end up appearing in the middle of a surrounding ring of stone pillars and confounded druids…that is yooooour problem, I have no advice to give for that situation.  The death metal elements are covered by the overall heavier production and endless low vocals.  The black metal elements appear as the familiar guitar riffs, when tremolo picked, and blast beat pattern.  Guitarists KrN and AtroR quite seamlessly blend their death and blackened style riffs throughout the album.  The bass is present in the mix the way that darkness is within a closed tomb.  It is briefly isolated at the beginning of opening track “Grievous Subsidence” where you can get a sense of it’s pure rumble just enough to reveal it as being integral to their murky, smeared wet-ash sound.  A squealing but buried, quick lead solo get things roaring.  A thrashy addition I wouldn’t have minded hearing pop up elsewhere.  The first half of “The Tomb of Amaleq” shows off the death dirge part of their sound but the slight buzzy overtone of the guitar hints at the inevitable black metal part ahead.

The death-doom lurching of “The Swirling Columns of Staleness” winds the album down to a nice closing.  There isn’t really a hit single to point out and I would understand if other listeners griped that many of the black metal paced parts are rather similar but over 41 minutes and 8 songs Mefitic kept me engaged.  Having sampled some of the rougher, older output I declare that with Woes of Mortal Devotion Mefitic have nailed their formula.  It is a distillation of their sound with the perks of superb production and relatively wider presence via Nuclear War Now.  All said, the band should be aware that because they achieved so well here that the challenge lay in their next full length.  They could risk writing a Woes of Mortal Devotion 2 should they not retool some of their honed writing styles or introduce new dynamics.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mars Budziszewski
October 22nd, 2015


  1. Commented by: Brad

    Nice review. I’ll have to check this out.

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