Location: Melbourne, Victoria Country: Australia Genre: Thrash/Death Metal/Grindcore
Bio: Mortification is an Australian Christian extreme metal band which was formed in 1987 as a heavy metal group, Lightforce, by mainstay Steve Rowe on bass guitar and vocals. By 1990, in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin, they were renamed as Mortification with the line-up of Rowe, Michael Carlisle on guitar and Jayson Sherlock on drums. Mortification has released over twenty albums and several videos on major record labels such as Nuclear Blast. As one of the earliest internationally successful Christian death metal bands from Australia, they served as an inspiration for later similar groups.
During the early 1990s Mortification played death metal, thrash, and grindcore, and "belonged to the elite of the death metal movement," especially with their 1992 album Scrolls of the Megilloth. After the departure of Sherlock, Mortification began experimenting with groove metal, hardcore punk and power metal. They achieved commercial success with Blood World in 1994 and received critically acclaim for 1996's EnVision EvAngelene. Despite the lack of subsequent commercial success or mainstream critical recognition, "the band, in spite of their extreme sound, are some kind of superstars in the 'White Metal' scene", and have been described as "a legend in the death metal scene." In late 1996, Rowe was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukaemia and took 18 months to recover. Mortification issued their tenth album, Triumph of Mercy in August 1998 and accompanied it with a tour of North America. By August 1999, the band had sold a total of a quarter of a million albums across Europe and the US. They returned to their death/thrash roots for the 2004 album, Brain Cleaner.
Mortification was described by Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane in his Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop in 1999: "During the early 1990s, Mortification became internationally known as Australia's foremost Christian-inspired death metal band. Christian death metal: surely a contradiction in terms; but only for the uninitiated. Mortification successfully infused the down-tuned, sledgehammer riffs and gruff vocal style usually associated with the death/thrash metal genre with positive and spiritually uplifting lyric themes."