Mortal (band)

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Mortal
Origin San Diego, California, US
Genres Industrial metal,[1] industrial dance, Christian rock
Years active 1992–1996
2002 (On hiatus)
Associated acts Fold Zandura
Past members Jerome Fontamillas
Jyro Xhan
Ed Benrock
Troy Yasuda

Mortal was a Christian industrial/dance band fronted by Jerome Fontamillas and Jyro Xhan. Both members went on to found the alternative rock group Fold Zandura, and for a time were members of both bands simultaneously. The band is known for its lyrical intelligence, incorporating advanced theology with what has been billed as "Industrial Praise and Worship."[2] According to CCM Magazine "Mortal has had a much greater influence... on industrial music than its modest output would suggest."[3]

Background[edit]

Led by the duo Jerome Fontamillas and Jyro Xhan, Mortal was one of the first Christian bands to play industrial metal.[4] While not actually the first to do so, Mortal enjoyed significant success, and, along with other early contemporaries such as Circle of Dust and Argyle Park, played a notable role in paving the way for future Christian industrial and industrial metal bands.

The group began in 1988 as Mortal Wish, and produced a six-song demo with additional members Ray Tongpo and Wilson Peralta.[5] They shortened their name, signed a record deal with Intense Records and released their first album Lusis in 1992, produced by Terry Scott Taylor[5] and Allan Aguirre of Scaterd Few.[citation needed] It was well received by the critics, with CCM Magazine dubbing Lusis the "strongest debut project to enter the Christian market in years."[6] The second album Fathom (1993) was Mortal's most guitar-driven, and became one of the band's most popular releases.[7] The song ”Rift” was rearranged later and a music video was shot for it in 1994. The video dealt with the horrors of child abuse.

Mortal later experimented with a live band,[3] and a grunge sound on 1994's Wake,[8] as well as with a dance-based meditational sound on their follow-up, Pura.[9]

During this time, the band became mired in legal issues involving their label, leading to on-again, off-again attempts to retire the name Mortal. As Gyro would report to True Tunes News in 1994: "I have peace with the fact that Mortal will permanently quit... There are legal things happening with our label that will end Mortal as a name."[10] The duo formed Fold Zandura partly to get around these issues, partly to carve out a more alternative rock sound. Fold Zandura released one album and three EPs.

The Mortal moniker was revived in order to release a self-titled album on 5 Minute Walk Records in 1996. According to the liner notes, three songs were originally Fold Zandura songs. In 1998 they released a best of called Godspeed. It featured 13 album songs and 2 non-album songs.

In 2000 Jerome joined Switchfoot as a session musician and later joined them full-time.

In 2002 Jyro and Jerome released a Mortal reunion album called Nu-En-Jin with Tooth & Nail Records, featuring an updated industrial sound, consisting mostly of heavily distorted looping electronics. Lyrically, the songs have a very sci-fi flare, with the liner notes detailing the various fictional alternative universes in which they are supposedly set.

Members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Charts[edit]

Year Album Chart Peak
1993 Fathom Top Contemporary Christian 32[16]
1994 Wake Top Contemporary Christian 21[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Pelt, Doug. "a new rock and blog: HM No. 55". HM Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-18.  "...we were covering more industrial metal (like Circle of Dust, Klank, Under Midnight, Mortal, etc)..."
  2. ^ Berman, Ed. "Review: Mortal by Mortal". The Lighthouse Electronic Magazine. Archived from the original on July 12, 2000. 
  3. ^ a b c Brown, Bruce A (January 1995). "Album Reviews / Wake". CCM Magazine 17 (7): 54. ISSN 1524-7848. 
  4. ^ Lahtonen, Jussi (2005-10-25). "White Metal". Sue Rock Punk Metal Zine (in Finnish). Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  5. ^ a b Bush, John. "allmusic ((( Mortal > Overview )))". Allmusic. 
  6. ^ a b Newcomb, Brian Quincy (March 1992). "Reviews / Lusis". CCM Magazine 14 (9): 23–33. ISSN 1524-7848. 
  7. ^ Figgis, Alex (1999-10-01). "Mortal". Cross Rhythms. Open Publishing. Retrieved 2007-10-13. Nothing rivals such true genre classics as 'Neplusultra", 'Rift' or the phenomenal 'Bright Wings'. Truly a musical milestone any industrial dance/rock/metal fan would appreciate. 
  8. ^ a b c Figgis, Alex (October 1999). "Mortal - Lusis/Fathom". Cross Rhythms (53). 
  9. ^ a b Jonathan, Evans (June 1996). "Mortal - Pura". Cross Rhythms (33). 
  10. ^ Thompson, John J. (Spring 1994). "Too Young To Die: An Interview With Mortal". True Tunes News 6 (11): 18. 
  11. ^ Arkley, Ian (October 1992). "Mortal - Lusis". Cross Rhythms (12). 
  12. ^ Brown, Bruce A. (April 1996). "Reviews / Mortal Mortal". CCM Magazine 18 (10): 71–72. ISSN 1524-7848. 
  13. ^ McGovern, Brian Vincent (January–February 1999). "Album Reviews: Mortal Godspeed". HM Magazine (75): 64. ISSN 1066-6923. 
  14. ^ Cummings, Tony (November 2003). "Mortal - Nu-En-Jin". Cross Rhythms (77). 
  15. ^ (The) Kern County Kid (September–October 2002). "Reviews: Nu-En-Jin". HM Magazine (97): 66. ISSN 1066-6923. 
  16. ^ "Fathom". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  17. ^ "Wake". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]