Rigor Mortis - Rigor Mortis

Production: Although obviously designed for more rock style bands, this production nevertheless manages to capture the guitar tones and the drum precision behind this highly underrated band. There seems to be an unintentional tape speed shift in the first twenty seconds of the album.

Review: Delicate and savage this music tears from above to grasp the listener in the claws of complexity and melody, becoming one of the first contributions to modern death metal as the genre attempted to move beyond the rock n roll paradigm to find new methods of composition and development. The drums are rooted in the speed metal tradition but thanks to the wizardry of guitairst Mike Scaccia, Rigor Mortis transcend that rhythm with a complexity of fast picking and tremelo patterns interlaced together in a melodic style of compositional unification more common to classical music than rock, despite the popularized touches often evident on different tracks of this album.

Probably the band that first produced the sense of wrist energy that later propelled bands such as Mayhem to the forefront with their emergent attack of rhythmic genesis and recursion, these musicians utilize the high-speed shred of fast strummed chords to produce a fluid motion against which the counterpoint of drum rhythm and phrase transition creates a jarring but lucid transferral of energy to a different degree of power. Sawing melodic patterns create ambient classical music from their accumulation of tension from interjection of black metal-style chaotic patterns within dominant patterns reflected in an overall stream of tonal relationships that builds the foundation for each context in the meta-context of the overall contrast of dominant riff to song structure as an entirety. Brilliantly lucid, overflowing energetic lead guitar spills through harmonic space in a silvery powerburst of articulations in chaotic modulation that approaches a post-scalar method of understanding note relationships and presages the atonal developments in death metal shared by Morbid Angel and Suffocation.


1. Welcome to Your Funeral (3:31)
2. Demons (4:04)
3. Bodily Dismemberment (5:18)
4. Condemned to Hell (3:41)
5. Wizard of Gore (3:56)
6. Shroud of Gloom (2:43)
7. Die in Pain (3:56)
8. Vampire (5:00)
9. Re-Animator (3:23)
10. Slow Death (5:33)

Length: 41:07

Rigor Mortis - Rigor Mortis: Speed Metal 1988 Rigor Mortis

Copyright © 1988 Capitol

No praise is too high for this band - they were relentless innovators who pioneered the future of black metal rhythm and death metal structure while emphasizing the underlying compositional differences between metal music and the more rock-based aesthetic alternatives in its history. Shouted vocals approximate a more enunciative version of the speed metal style and keep a link to the cruising bass and blasting percussion of the rhythm section. Highly recommended.