MORTÜÜS RËX - In The Cult Of The Mad God (Album)
Like the worm-ridden dead rising from their dirt beds to feast on the flesh of the living, MORTÜÜS RËX rises to feast on the souls of the living by ravishing their ears with melodic dark tones. Steve Waddell is the man behind MORTÜÜS RËX’s debut album ‘In the Cult of the Mad God’ which features seven songs. What’s interesting about this album is that Steve plays all the instruments on it, sort of like a Doom Metal Dave Grohl.
The music, although under the wide banner of ‘Doom Metal’, could nestle in beside other musical genres also. There’s a great deal of diversity and inspiration drawn from many areas. The tone and vibe from song to song changes slightly. It’s clear Steve has a wide musical pool to draw inspiration from. Steve cites Beastmaker, St Vitus, Trouble and Obsessed along with new wave of British metal-based sounds like Witchfinder General, Pagan Alter and early Judas Priest as being an influence and inspiration for his own original music.
So, let’s get down to the guts of the music itself. Track one ‘Echoes from the Edge of the Void’ would be right at home on Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ album which is the highest compliment I can give, but one that’s well deserved by Steve as he’s done an incredible job in writing, producing, recording and mixing not just this song, but the entire album. The vocals blend in nicely and the tone fits exactly in with the heavy and melodic guitar riffs and piercing solos.
Where does one genre end and another one start? The Doom element is dark and foreboding but lifted by the vocal. Again, I can make parallels with bands such as Odin or Clutch in terms of the arrangement, chord progressions and arrangements. Songs such as ‘Aftermath’, an instrumental, takes the listener on a different journey and although there is still an echo of Doom, this acoustic number could just as easily be from the film score to Cannibal Ferox. It’s timeless and pleasant, not the usual track you’d expect from a Doom metal artist…. but that’s what you should expect, the unexpected. MORTÜÜS RËX takes the Doom genre into new areas and expands the walls of what you might expect Doom to be all about!
The title track ‘In the Cult of The Mad God’ has a slow introduction with drums and synth building up to a steady Doom-ridden rhythm that you just can’t help nodding your head to. If this song was sped up, you could mistake it for a Megadeth riff. The vocals are piercing and force the listener to delve into the song’s heart. ‘Dead Will Rise’ has a Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple, guitar style that compliments the impending Doom, driving the song forward, meeting the shrill vocals head on and is one of my favourite tracks on the album.
I’m curious to know whether Steve will perform live as a one-man band or have musicians in to play the music. As a live music fan, I’d rather see music performed live as opposed to one man playing to a backing track. You can’t fault the music and I’d like to see MORTÜÜS RËX get a break on the scene, perhaps a slot on a tour of an established band would help secure nationwide fans as I believe the music is strong and it’s encouraging that the genre does not need to be one stereotypical copycat. It’s brave to try new things and I think Steve takes the best of his contemporaries and makes it his own.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this album and I’m keen to catch MORTÜÜS RËX live. Whether you’re a Doom Metal fan or not I’d strongly advise you to give ‘In the Cult of the Mad God’ a listen.
1. Echoes from the Edge of the Void
2. Forest of Corpses
3. Premature Burial
4. In the Cult of The Mad God
6. Dead Will Rise
7. Guilty as Sin