Not a new release, fans of this Canadian black, death war machine have learnt to be patient as the band certainly do not work anywhere near as fast as they play. What we have here is a CD version of the 2013 release which originally came out on limited 7” vinyl via Dark Descent Records. It was the group’s first work since second album Parasignosis in 2011 and since it came out there has only been a split with Auroch with just one new track. It’s almost as hard work being a Mitochondrion fan as it is pronouncing their name (science thingy for anyone interested, look it up).
If you are new to this cult, it’s very easy to see why they are held in such high regard on the strength of this lovingly put together package via Krucyator Productions. It might not be the longest thing you will ever hear running at just over 12 minutes long but be assured it makes one hell of a crater sized dent. The first track ‘Insummation’ is the longest and took up the first side of the original vinyl, however going by the title of this release if you have the original you probably played the tracks out of order and the b) side first, right? It has a couple of faint notes before plunging you into a hate-filled vortex and suddenly slowing it down and mixing doom laden sloth with crushing, stygian metal ov death. This is nasty stuff be assured and the sound of pure nightmares, vocals are low gurgles and it is a cavernous dense sound. However the melodic cadence of the riff work hits a more than accessible point to fixate on before things go absolutely rabid and charge again into a stiflingly charged descent. The playing is fantastic, you can tell time has been put to use and this is carefully thought out and constructed. A solo peels from somewhere and under the layers I find myself listening carefully for hidden sounds that may or not be there, lurking in the underbelly of the beast, waiting to be summoned forth to bite. It’s left for the rough near funeral doom like vocals to speak tongues as the music spirals away leaving you wanting to hit play and listen all over again.
Before you can do that we have two shorter tracks ‘137 (Mors Formulae)’ takes form and crunches in, battery pulverising, instruments leaden, voices just about distinguishable from the fetid musical odour. This is violent and destructive music for warfare and torture but as ghastly as it is its short, fiery and compulsive listening. The title track slows down and churns away like its slowly grinding human bones, the riffs are highly addictive in their melody and hypnotise leaving you in thrall of something that you know is going to seep out the void and bite your head off. It’s hard to know whether to refer to this last stand as an instrumental or not but its dreadful aura speaks volumes and its atmospheres are pure horror.
This is terrifying stuff and genuinely frightening music, well worth experiencing whilst continuing to wait patiently for that next album. According to Profound Law studio time has been booked so hopefully that wait won’t be aeons.
(8/10 Pete Woods)