"The members of MORTICIAN are like barbarians in a spaceship, lifting weights and loading guns with one arm while programming drum sequences and rewinding gore videos with the other...an unclean version of something faster and deeper than you can believe." -CMJ New Music Monthly
The early days... MORTICIAN was founded in 1989 by Will Rahmer (bass/vocals) and Matt Sicher (drums) under the name of Casket. The band named their first song MORTICIAN and, soon after, decided to use the ominous title as their own, resurfacing later that year under the moniker. A rehearsal tape was recorded in December 1989 for promotional purposes and in February of 1990 the songs were re-recorded for the band's first demo. John McEntee of INCANTATION played guitar on the recording and remained a member of MORTICIAN throughout most of 1990, a time period that coincided with Will singing for INCANTATION. The cult demo was later released by Seraphic Decay Records under the title, Brutally Mutilated.
In January 1991, Roger J. Beaujard joined MORTICIAN, replacing McEntee as permanent guitarist. MORTICIAN began playing shows all around the North Eastern U.S., generating a huge buzz within the metal community and catching the attention of the newly formed Relapse Records. MORTICIAN's debut for Relapse was the now-legendary Mortal Massacre 7" / CD EP. MORTICIAN continued to play shows and festivals while preparing to record their first full-length CD. At this point in the band's history, they were forced to make a critical decision. Drummer Matt Sicher was relieved of his duties as drummer due to various personal problems.
Enter Drum Machine... In early 1992, MORTICIAN began to experiment with drum machines. Unable to find a replacement who could play at the withering speeds that the band favored, Will and Roger chose to take the band's percussion to its ultimate extreme by integrating a drum machine--programmed to kill--into their arsenal. The deadly machine took MORTICIAN's sound to an even more sanity-defying extreme. Fifteen rehearsal tracks recorded for a full-length project were sent to Relapse and three of those tracks were featured on 1993's tounge-in-cheek Relapse label sampler Corporate Death. MORTICIAN was hailed as the band who took extreme death metal one step further into the abyss of barbaric sonic insanity...but they had only just begun.
In 1994 MORTICIAN contributed a song to the Death is Just the Beginning III compilation. The song, "Blown to Pieces," was recorded in August of 1994 and was heavier and faster than anything the band had recorded previously. A classic born in one night... In September of 1994, MORTICIAN recorded five songs for the House by the Cemetery 7". House... was released in early 1995 and received a great response resulting in Relapse asking the band to record bonus tracks for a CD EP release. Covers of NAPALM DEATH's "Scum" and CELTIC FROST's "Procreation Of The Wicked" rounded out an EP that some still consider the band's finest moment. Released in January 1996, the House by the Cemetery CD marked the beginning of a new era for MORTICIAN. Soon after, the band was asked to record an exclusive title track for the home video Traces of Death III. The rest of 1995 was spent playing various NYC shows with stand-in guitarists and Beaujard playing drums.
The first full length... In April 1996 Will and Roger began preparation of songs to be recorded for MORTICIAN's debut full length, Hacked Up For Barbecue. Desmond Tolhurst, then bassist for one of Beaujard's other projects, MALIGNANCY, offered to assist in the production and contribute equipment to the recording of the CD. Hacked Up... contained astonishingly powerful death metal that MORTICIAN's rabid cult following consumed with aplomb. Hacked... featured 24 cuts in all, with 16 unreleased songs taken from the 1990 to 1996 era and 8 songs that were re-recorded to the delight of long-time fans (three from the 1st demo, one from Mortal Massacre and four compilation tracks).
The first tour... MORTICIAN horrified death metal fans in the months following the album's release, touring America with ANAL CUNT and labelmates INCANTATION during October and November 1996. The tour exposed MORTICIAN to new audiences and allowed fans to experience MORTICIAN up close and personal. the tour quickly garnered the band the cult status they still enjoy today.
MORTICIAN records for New Line Cinema... At the beginning of 1997, MORTICIAN recorded a track titled "Skin Peeler" for summer 1997's New Line Cinema release Gummo. The movie was a continuation of the themes set in the film Kids and was critically-acclaimed upon its release. The film's controversial subject matter and bizarre script meshed perfectly with MORTICIAN's similarly likewise musical / lyrical stance, proving to be a perfect match for all involved. "Skin Peeler" remains exclusive to the Gummo soundtrack to this day.
The horror continues...With the release of 1997's eerily-titled Zombie Apocalypse and 1999's menacing Chainsaw Dismemberment, MORTICIAN solidified their claim to the title of "The Heaviest Band in the Universe." Response to both recordings was overwhelming as the band's loyal following increased by droves, in part due to several full U.S. tours in support of the recordings. International press soon followed suite, mesmerized by MORTICIAN's blinding musical ferocity and over-the-top look and aesthetic. In September of 98, MORTICIAN was invited to headline Germany's Fuck The Commerce festival, which they did to a rousing response. Apperances at every major U.S. festival since 1997 has cemented MORTICIAN's underground presence. Their performances have placed them among the most anticipated talked about bands in recent history.
Domain of Death... Leaving hapless blast victims in their bloodstained wake, MORTICIAN execute unrelentingly grim and gruesome death metal that fractures the speed of sound. 2001's Domain Of Death showed MORTICIAN continuing to morph both stylistically and conceptually, mangling and overwhelming all they encounter. MORTICIAN's initial trek in support of the album, the Domain Of Death tour, saw the band criss-cross the U.S. with support provided by GOATWHORE and MALIGNANCY. Performances in both Mexico and the Czech Republic immediately followed, furthering the band's global domination. The band accepted invitations to take part in both the Wacken Open Air Festival and the infamous No Mercy fests, where MORTICIAN they toured alongside MARDUK, VADER, GOD DETHRONED, AMON AMARTH, SINISTER and more. The new album... Heinous horror-lords MORTICIAN reanimate the golden age of low-budget splatter, hammering home gruesome anti-music. Darkest Day of Horror is pure sonic zombification as terror-filled atmospheres, hyperspeed rhythms, subterranean blower bass and neanderthal-like vocals annihilate with no concern for subtlety or musical nuance. You may as well dig your grave in anticipation as the heaviest death metal band on the planet delivers devastating digital damage at vicious, violent volumes. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
MORTICIAN: Will Rahmer (bass, vocals), Roger Beaujard (guitars, programming)