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MORTAL- Fathom (Vinyl)

I’m Alive, I’m Alive and Awake…

Fathom, the follow up to 1992’s ground-breaking Lusis, did not disappoint. Many fans feel it surpassed Lusis in its scope and creativity, but I would argue it perfectly complemented the debut. The songs on Fathom do have a more massive/lush sound (and maybe a bit more “pop” vibe), but with the exception of the heavy industrial “NePlusUltra,” the songs were a bit less abrasive and more “danceable,” (more accessible maybe) with fewer dialogue/spoken clips. The spiritually uplifting lyrics in songs like “Alive & Awake,” “Rift” and “Above & Beyond” coupled to the infectious melodies, continued to define the Mortal sound and definitely set them apart from other artists in the industrial/dance genre. The heavier tracks were balanced out this time with softer moments (“Jil Sent Me” and “Rainlight”) the fusion/funky “Bright Wings” and the more experimental/techno “Promulgate.” And then there was “Electrify,” a doom-fused song that perfectly spoke of the human crux – mortality. “All things dark and beautiful/steal my heart away/but every day and every night I wrestle/my decay.” In the liner notes (see below) DW Dunphy ( does a great job describing the music of Fathom and the impact it had and the controversy it created within the Christian scene circa 1993.

The Vinyl

Fathom comes with two black discs housed in a single, extra wide jacket. The single sheet insert with lyrics on one side and commentary by Dunphy is included and fits nicely alongside the discs. There are 3 tracks each on the first 3 sides and then the final 4 songs take up Side D. While I don’t know if these songs have been specifically remastered for vinyl (J.P. Steinhaus), they sound really darn good in this format. Whereas my copy of Lusis was quite clean, my pressing of Fathom has more surface noise. Fortunately, since most of the tracks are loud, it is mostly only noticeable between tracks. However, on the ballad “Jil Sent Me,” (and on the softer “Rainlight” as well) it does get to the point of being distracting in a few places. I’m not sure if something got sideways in the manufacturing process because I seem to remember hearing somewhere (probably from Matt Hunt) that Fathom was originally supposed to be pressed on a different color. In any case, since most of this record has loud songs, it doesn’t hurt the listening experience, and in fact, as is most often the case with vinyl, you can really crank these songs up without listener fatigue. These vinyl pressings (Lusis and Fathom) are a bit pricey, but I can tell you it is worth it to finally have these two classics (both important records in the history of Christian heavy music) in this format. [Retroactive]

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