Twenty-Three years after their last record, and nineteen months after the tragic loss of guitarist Mike Scaccia, DFW TX Speed/Thrash Metal pioneers,RIGOR MORTIS, announce the long awaited release of their fourth and final studio album – Slaves to the Grave (Due October 7th via Rigor Mortis Records). This marks the bands first studio album in 23 years, and the first with the classic original line up (Mike Scaccia – guitar, Casey Orr – Bass, Bruce Corbitt – Vocals, and Harden Harrison on drums), since their 1988 eponymous debut album. Recorded less than a year before Mike’s passing,STTG was to going to herald the bands long overdue comeback. In February 2012, RIGOR MORTIS entered Ministry’s 13th Planet Studios in El Paso, and recorded the 10 tracks that would become Slaves to the Grave. Today the track listing and cover artwork have been revealed. The artwork was done Michael Broom.
When no labels were willing to release the record (after all there would be no touring to support it, or follow up record), they decided to release it themselves. With no money, they started a fundraising campaign onIndieGoGo. They called in favors from their friends to get the record mixed and mastered just right and get the cover art just the way they envisioned it. They decided to add a behind the scenes “making of” DVD to the initial pressing, and to release it on vinyl. They are all very proud of this record and the history that surrounds it. They have endeavored every step of the way to do justice to the RIGOR MORTIS legacy, and bring honor to Mike Scacciaʼs last recorded testament. We think he’d be proud.
The subject matter hasn’t strayed much. Twisted tales of horror and woe, monsters and madmen, warfare and plague abound! The tracks are fast and heavy as one would expect, but there is also a maturity and growth that only comes with age and experience. Musically, STTG draws from a legacy of brutal influence. The Speed and Thrash Metal that RIGOR MORTIS cut their teeth on is evident throughout the record in the intensity and velocity of tracks like “Flesh For Flies”, but also, one could argue, are influences such as Italian horror soundtracks by Goblin, as heard on the outro solo of “Poltergeist”. While STTG was very much a group effort, and all four came together like a fist to crush all doubt, It has to be said, of course, that the highlight of this record, and indeed RIGOR MORTIS as a whole musically, is Mike Scacciaʼs incredible guitar playing. His freakish speed picking and beautiful sense of melody is mesmerizing. His solos are stupefying. Mikes style was much closer to Paganini, than to say, Mustaine or Dimebag. He was unique.
Without question, this record contains some of Mike’s finest work. In his zone and with no restraints, he delivered some absolutely stellar performances. His solo at the end of “Blood Bath”, for instance, is absolutely breathtaking, exposing more heart and soul than precious few of his contemporaries possess. RIGOR MORTIS dedicates this record to Mike Scaccia 1965-2012.
Slaves to the Grave Track Listing:
1. Poltergeist 6:05
2. Rain of Ruin 4:21
3. Flesh for Flies 3:39
4. The Infected 3:51
5. Blood Bath 6:36
6. Ancient Horro 3:27
7. Fragrance of Corpse 3:13
8. Curse of the Draugr 3:34
9. Sacramentum Gladiatorum /
10. Lududs Magnus 13:56
Total running time: 49:00
Produced by Mike Scaccia and RIGOR MORTIS
RIGOR MORTIS first hit the national scene in 1987 by becoming, arguably, the first underground Heavy Metal band to ever be signed by a major label. Though the relationship with Capitol Records didnʼt last long (the label simply didnʼt know what to do with such an intense group), the band managed to make a stir and indelibly leave their mark. Their 1988 debut record, RIGOR MORTIS (Capitol), has since become legendary in the thrash/speed metal community, influencing not only bands like Toxic Holocaust and Goatwhore, but also motivating Ministry to leave the disco for the Metal arena. Ministry would then, of course, influence everything from NIN to Marilyn Manson and Slipknot.
The members of RIGOR would remain friends through thick and thin throughout the years, but it wasn’t until 2005 that talk of reuniting started becoming serious. There were still other commitments, but they did manage to play quite a few shows, including Ozzfest 2008, and Germany’s Keep It True Festival in 2009. In Feb. 2012 all the pieces finally came together andRIGOR MORTIS entered the studio to record what was to be their comeback record. Older and wiser, and all in a good place with their personal lives, there was an excitement in the air not felt since 1987.RIGOR MORTIS had finally come full circle.
Then, on December 22nd, 2012, it all came to a halt. The band was playing their home town club in Ft Worth, in celebration of Bruce’s 50th birthday, when midway through the set, Mike Scaccia suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed on stage. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. RIGOR MORTIS was over. Though it was never discussed, they all knew there could be no RM without Mike. But the album was recorded and almost finished. And as fate would have it, just days before he died, Mike went into the studio and put the finishing touches on all of his parts, effectively enabling the guys to complete the record, knowing that Mike was happy with it. But it’s been a hard record to finish, mostly because it’s simply hard to let it go. It’s become such a labor of love for all involved.