Sydney, Australia’s Mortal Sin was formed in 1985 featuring two former Judge members. A Dutch band with the same name had existed since 1984. The band initially lasted three albums and seven years. In that period, the band became Australia’s best-known thrash metal band largely through its 1987 debut album, Mayhemic Destruction. The debut was recorded at EMI 301 Studio in Sydney in 1986. Initially, it was to be a demo. The line-up was Mat Maurer (vocals), Paul Carwana and Keith Krstin (guitars), Andy Eftichiou (bass) and Wayne Campbell. Riot! Entertainment reissued the record in 2007 with live tracks recorded in Germany. Vertigo picked up the band for Europe and issued an EP, called Face of Despair, in the UK. Support from Metal Forced magazine abetted the act.
Mick Burke replaced Krstin for Face of Despair. The band’s single, unprophetically, was called I Am Immortal. A show was recorded in Sydney, which soon became a live video called Face Of Mayhem - Live. The group also supported Metallica. By now Wayne Campbell was supplanted by Steve Hughes. Every dog may have its day, but by 1991 Immortal Sin’s is done and gone and Steve Sly, Dave DeFrancesco, Tom Dostoupil, sole remaining original member Andy Eftichiou and Nash Hall are not having or imparting much fun. The departing members threatened Andy with a lawsuit - some might think for the grammatical mistake of the new line-up’s album! The album was called Rebellious Youth in Australia. The band broke up.
Naturally, the band reformed in 1996 and issued the Revolution Of The Mind demo in 1998. Maurer was on vocals, Anthony Hoffman and Troy Scerri were on guitars, Andy Eftichiou and Wayne Campbell constituted the rhythm section. Paul Carwana was initially part of this reformation as well. Andy left at this stage. 1998 was also the year the band again broke up.
A Demo 2005 heralds the return of Mortal Sin. The 2004 reformation included two Addictive guitarists, Joe Buttigieg and Mick Sultana. This is followed up another demo, Out Of The Darkness. Maurer is singing, Mick Sultana and Nathan Shea are on guitar, Andy is there and so is drummer Luke Cook. The band obtained a recording contract with Armageddon Music and issued An Absence Of Faith. Seizing the momentum the band also issued a live album, albeit independently, called Mortal Thrashing Mad - Official Live Bootleg. It was recorded in 2005 as the band supported Anthrax. The band played at Wacken in 2008. Earlier in that year the band opened for Overkill in Europe. Riot! Entertainment issued the band’s early album including bonus tracks, as well as 2009’s Into the Inferno (Live In Oslo). The material stemmed for 2008. In the summer of 2009, Kreator hit Australia for a tour whose support was provided by Mortal Sin.
Sultana was replaced by Ryan Huthnance for Psychology Of Death. Sultana had left in March of 2010 for the famous “personal reasons.” The album was issued in November of 2011 although it was initially announced for 2010 and then announced for September of 2011. It included the band’s early LP, Mayhemic Destruction, as a bonus disc in the early limited edition.
The group disbanded again six months later when Mat Maurer left due to “personal differences.” Dave Tinelt of Nekrofeist was indeed recruited, but that lasted for two months and it was over. The disbanded group was nonetheless contemplating a 2015 box set to commemorate its 30th anniversary.
MORTAL SIN - AN ABSENCE OF FAITH - ARMAGEDDON
Some 20 years after the surprising Mayhemic Destruction, the Aussies are back with An Absence Of Faith. Surely, one can confidently say that every single '80s band has reformed now. When such bands reappear sometimes one hopes for something more modern to come out of the speakers but in some other cases it is perhaps better if the band stick to what it knew.
Arguably Mortal Sin is better off doing the latter. Out Of The Darkness starts things off and is more reminiscent of the '90s, shades of Overkill and the 'groove oriented' here but the song manages to speed up enough times to leave a good impression by the time its over. Deadman Walking, with an intro similar to Susperia’s Chemistry, is next and is more like the Mortal Sin of the '80s complete with the distinctive Mat Maurer vocal style. Tears Of Redemption is Lebanon Part II and at nearly nine minutes captures all the catchiness and feel of the original song and as a bonus adds death metal sounding heaviness and speed towards its end. Before The Bough Breaks is a solid thrashy heavy metal song. Rise Or Fall is dated speed metal. My Nightmare features thick riffs and moves towards the Biohazard sound complete with typical screaming background vocals. The speedy Say Your Prayers is effective, and at times reminiscent of Slayer’s Mind Control, though perhaps it could do without the chunky riffs scattered throughout and stick to the high tempo. Lost Within is similar to My Nightmare with a bit of Suicidal Tendencies thrown in. Eye In The Sky is another politically tinted song. Broken Promises closes this release and provides another dose of the quintet. An Absence Of Faith is not a spectacular comeback release but has enough to justify the rating seen to the right of the album title above. Watch for live videos for Mayhemic Destruction and Blood Death Hatred included on the CD. - Anna Tergel