Incredible live album, equally incredible live video. Grind Planetarium captures Mortification live at the Blackstump Festival, Appin, N.S.W. Australia, October, 1 1993. The footage is captured from multiple camera angles and is one of the most professional live videos I have seen from a Christian metal band. Originally released in 1993 by Intense Records on VHS tape, this gem was finally re-released on DVD in 2006 by Soundmass.com in Australia. The reissue contains a ton of bonus footage, some of which is pretty amusing. The "Bathed in Blood" concept clip is a cool inclusion. The live stuff is cool as well, but I wish that the entire songs would have been included. Still, a worthwhile pickup just to have the original "Live Planetarium" on DVD.
Mortification - Grind Planets (Soundmass) 1994/2006
"Grind Planets" was originally released on VHS back in 1994 independently by the band. In 2006 Soundmass re-released this collection of early Mortification material on DVD, along with some additional bonus material and new, improved cover art.. This DVD is a blast to watch for several reason. First, the music is some of the best that Mortification have ever created. The eight videos here are from the band's self titled release and their follow-up, "Scroll of the Megilloth". Those early years of extreme thrash and death metal are untouched by anyone. Most fans would consider this to be the classic line-up of Mortification. The videos are professionally shot and feature multiple camera angles and are very high quality. However, the real joy here is the funny band stuff in between the videos. Steve Rowe and gang are just plain weird. If you enjoy their unusual sense of humor, as I do, you'll find yourself being amused or even laughing out loud. Even the opening moments, "Griiiiiiind Planets" introduces viewers to the band's sense of humor. While their message may be one of a serious nature, the band also knows how to be, quite frankly, silly. It's just too much fun. I mean, what's funnier than someone's underwear being ejected from a washing machine? Several times the band makes references to Stryper's classic "In the Beginning" video are made. Those not in the know may not get the humor of some of these things, such as lines like "there is no law about how fast you can get to 55" or "you'll have to watch your step otherwise there will be no documentary." On a more serious note, Steve shares his Christian faith in the section titled "Scripture Reflection". The bonus material, not included on the original VHS release is some raw, live footage of Mortification recorded at the Arthouse, Melbourne, Australia, in 1992.. This material is shot through a camera in the back of the club on a tripod. It's a cool bonus for the Mortification fanatic, like myself, but overall, I don't think this material is something most people would spend much time viewing due to the poor sound quality and video footage. The only other negative point about the "Grind Planets" DVD is that there is no scene selection menu, so you cannot navigate easily to the different videos. Also, the "Grind Planets on Tour" segments are at the end of the videos, so you either have to watch the video or fast forward through it to get to those bits. Otherwise, this is an absolutely essential DVD for fans of Mortification. It's also worth mentioning, that unlike their "Conquer the World" DVD, "Grind Planets" is a region free NTSC DVD and should play on any DVD player. It worked fine in my home DVD player and on my Macintosh computer.
Mortification - EnVidion (Rowe) 1996
Mortification - Conquer the World (Nuclear Blast) 2001
"Conquer the World" chronicles Mortification's "Silver Chord is Severed" World Tour. It features concept clips for three songs from "Silver Chord" and a bunch of candid footage from the tour. Each country the band toured in is chronicled in a chapter in this DVD. Unlike "Live Planetarium" and "Grind Planets", this DVD isn't packed full of music, but is heavy on the tour footage. Some of it is funny and rather amusing. I mean what is funnier than belches, fart noises, metalheads goofing off, nipple piercing and sprained ankles?. Much of the footage is shot with a camcorder and is not of professional quality. The footage from Europe starts out with some beautiful footage shot in Switzerland, a country I have visited myself and would love to go back to. Lots of mountains, snow, and, uhhh, goats. The acoustic footage in the studio in Switzerland was quite amusing. One thing that was abundantly clear from this video is that Africa and Europe love their metal, unlike the weaker U.S. crowds. My band has opened for Mortification several times on different tours in our home state. The biggest crowd we drew together here was a little less than 400. In the European, Brazil and African shows, Mortification alone was drawing a thousand, and in some cases several thousand for each show. Also, the crowds were going balistic and seemed to know every word to every song. My personal favorite footage featured Steve Rowe lounging around the Nuclear Blast band room wearing an Ultimatum t-shirt! For the most part, this DVD is probably only going to be interesting to the Mortification die-hard who are interested in every aspect of the band. (Someone like me.) Unfortunately this Nuclear Blast DVD is in PAL format so I can only watch it on my PC.