“Conquer The World” by Mortification

Artist: Mortification
Title: “Conquer The World”
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 5/13/2008
Genre: Christian Metal
Rating: 3/5

Thrash Metal riffs and Death Metal growling vocals are not always the first aspects that come to mind in a Christian Metal band but such was indeed the case when it came to the band Mortification from Australia. The DVD “Conquer The World” is a reissue of their original VHS release from 2002 that documented the bands first ever world tour and should be something that their most ardent of fans will eat up. The band was formed by bassist/singer Steve Rowe back in 1990 and over the years would release some twenty albums and become innovators in the Christian Metal genre based on the different manner in which they delivered their music and the message behind it. Clearly the band didn’t approach this in the same fashion as Stryper for where they would have high-pitched screams all over the place. Mortification instead chose a far darker and much more primal sound to their Metal style and as result was able to be considered the most Extreme Christian Metal band in music history. The video is good but not great as much of the footage is shot in an amateur fashion but then again based on its time of original release and when the clips actually originated that is to be expected. Sometimes the camera work is dizzying based on the sudden pans to the audience and then back to the band. When one watches this they realize just how far the medium has come in terms of documenting live music. For the most part the footage is live shots of the band in performance and while it’s nice to see we do not always get treated to the full songs.

There is also a ton of candid footage of the band members enjoying themselves in the different countries with their fans and the friends who were traveling along with them. In today’s DVD release world this kind of stuff would have probably been relegated to the bonus features but in 2002 this was not the case. Fans will definitely enjoy the presentation of the bands three original video clips for the songs “Metal Blessing”, “Access Denied” and “Standing At The Door Of Death” which are presented here but are not in sequence to each other but instead all around the video often placed between the commentary and live footage. Some of the live video clips find the band at radio stations performing acoustically in the studio or at outdoor festivals which in the end gives the viewer a pretty wide variety of stuff to sink their teeth into. Having never really followed the band in the past I found this an interesting couple of hours to spend catching up and learning about them but when it was finished I realized that this is primarily something that is geared to the hard core fan more than the casual listener or newcomer. The one thing I was left with was the knowledge that Extreme Metal can also have a Christian message to it and come out pretty good in the end. While it was weird hearing Death style vocals with this type of band it proved that not everything had to sound like Stryper and Holy Soldier to make its mark in the Christian Metal scene.

Bonus Features: The first part of the bonus features included with this DVD are the films captured from the “Live At The Blackstump Festival 2002”. This is bootleg footage so don’t expect anything more from it and yet despite this the fans of the band will be very happy to have it in some fashion. Four songs are featured in this segment and these are “Metal Blessing”, Brutal Warfare”, Grind Planetarium” and “3 Of A Kind”. There is also a photo gallery which is nice to enjoy of the different shows and members of the band.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Metal Blessing (video)
3. South Africa
4. Europe
5. USA
6. South/Latin America
7. Access Denied (video)
8. More Of South America
9. Standing At The Door Of Death (video)
10. Funny Stories And Bloopers
11. Outro & Credits

Official Website: http://www.soundmass.com/rowe/
Official Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortification_%28band%29

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