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Mortal Sin – Mayhemic Destruction + Face Of Despair (Reissue) Award winner

Mortal Sin
Mayhemic Destruction + Face Of Despair (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 05 August 2022, 11:48 PM


Other than being a fan of the renowned Bay Area Thrash Metal, or New York Thrash Metal scenes of the mid to late 80s, and of course there is the European counterpart, it took me a while to comprehend that there were beasts in the down under, Australia. One of these magnificent beasts, which I believe could have been the answer to many other acts from the US in particular that began to sour in the late 80s, were MORTAL SIN from Sydney.

MORTAL SIN's 80s career span, starting from their inception in 1984, as a spawn of a rejected singer that caught the eyes and ears of those who auditioned him, up to a wonderful collaboration with the producer Randy Burns (The one behind MEGADETH / KREATOR / DARK ANGEL / NUCLEAR ASSAULT and more), for the band's sophomore album, was quite eventful. A promise, a prodigy was born from an unexpected place in the world and it made its impact, even if it was short-lived, and that said with many regrets.

In order to properly celebrate the band's first two, iconic in nature, albums, "Mayhemic Destruction" and "Face Of Despair", the British label Dissonance Productions, which is part of Cherry Red Records, reissued and remastered the paramount Thrash Metal classics both in Digipack CD and Opaque Vinyl versions. The Thrash Metal bash begins with the enticing intro of "The Curse", starting the band's journey with "Mayhemic Destruction", and ends up in a bang with the final piece of the puzzle, with humoristic "Robbie Soles", the clincher of "Face Of Despair".

The Pros

One of the best things in those reissued albums, not necessarily only the classics, is the vast surge of information the comes through that tags you along with history, how everything started, progressed and ended abruptly without continuing the momentum. Both "Mayhemic Destruction" and "Face Of Despair" feature high quality written liner notes, and interview pieces, led by the legendary, and late, Metal expert, Malcolm Dome.

While producing aspects of the band that weren't really known, Dome also conducted a variety of conversations with the band members of MORTAL SIN's classic lineup of the 80s, in particular vocalist Mat Maurer. Through Dome's knowledge, and Maurer's and others' storytelling and insights, it was easy for me to connect with the success story that was MORTAL SIN, their huge prospect outside of Australia, and the impact of their albums. Now, that is a big plus for any kind of reissue. Being informative.

Tracing back to previous reissues I experienced, I believe it was a first time for me to read liner notes by a comrade of the band, a drummer of SLAUGHTER LORD, a band that toured quite a lot with MORTAL SIN, Steve Hughes. Hughes was actually recruited to replace the band's drummer, Wayne Campbell, right after the release of "Face Of Despair". As a close friend of the members of MORTAL SIN, Hughes provided an interesting input of how it was in the Australian scene back then, and his perception of MORTAL SIN and their joint ventures.

Along with liner notes, it is always a pleasure to experience the era of the golden years of MORTAL SIN with a few photos, some of them I bet are rare and were collected for showcasing on these reissues. There is even an actual track sheet from the "Mayhemic Destruction" recording period, which I found to be a high in value historical relic.

The inclusion of the songs' lyrics, as always, was crucial in order to make the reissues whole. Nothing was a miss, and everything appeared in detail in precise. Other than the lyrics, the general design of the booklet, which its order began with the lyrics and crossed to the credits and then lineup notes, was maintained on both albums.

Making a comparison between the original recordings, and the remastered, there was nothing on either of the tracks that sounded different. Of course, the volume was normalized for today's standards, which is a great advantage, because it wouldn't have been a remastered copy, wouldn't it?

The Cons

In contrast to the previous reissue versions, for example the 20th anniversary of both albums, dating back to 2007, the Dissonance Productions' reissue carried no bonus tracks. I am positive that it would have been an even more enticing experience to let listeners have a go at old demos, rehearsal tapes, or even the "The Hot Metal Hell EP 2" from 1988. Sadly, any further evidence of that magnificence of an era wasn't part of this reissue round.


No doubt that MORTAL SIN will be remembered always as the Thrash Metal phenomena of the mid to late 80s. Both "Mayhemic Destruction" and "Face Of Despair" proved that there was a strong Metal hold outside of the known continents of the genre, and also signified that a quite substantial Metal scene has been growing in the down under. The Dissonance Productions reissues of MORTAL SIN are a must for every Metalhead that respects heritage, history and the genre.

4 Star Rating

Mayhemic Destruction
1. The Curse
2. Women In Leather
3. Lebanon
4. Liar
5. Blood, Death, Hatred
6. Mortal Slaughter
7. Into the Fire
8. Mayhemic Destruction

Face Of Despair
1. I Am Immortal
2. Voyage of the Disturbed
3. The Infantry Corps
4. For Richer For Poorer
5. Martyrs of Eternity
6. Innocent Torture
7. Suspended Animation
8. H
9. Terminal Reward
10. Robbie Soles
Mat Maurer – Vocals
Paul Carwana – Guitars
Keith Krstin ("Mayhemic Destruction") – Guitars
Mick Burke (R.I.P.) ("Face Of Despair") – Guitars
Andy Eftichiou – Bass
Wayne Campbell - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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