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Review of the Album "Face of Despair" by Australia’s Mortal Sin

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

This homeless man in the corner in Sydney, Australia is symbolic of the album's title because when you are homeless it is easy to get into a feeling of despair.

This homeless man in the corner in Sydney, Australia is symbolic of the album's title because when you are homeless it is easy to get into a feeling of despair.

Release date: 1989

Genre: thrash metal

Length: 43 minutes and 5 seconds

About Face of Despair, Lyrical Themes, and Description of the Cover Art

Australia’s Mortal Sin which was expected to be the next big thing in their home country followed up their debut album with their second studio album Face of Despair in 1989. This one sounds very much like the Bay Area thrash metal scene as well as a little bit of that Acid Reign feel as well. Lyrically, the album focuses on such themes as mortality, the negative effects of warfare, and poverty among other themes. The album’s cover is an appropriate one for the title as a young man is seen sitting in a corner, his face full of fear and despair as he is surrounded by a few people that are pursuing him with the intent to target him.

"Martyrs of Eternity"

Initial Analysis of the Songs in Face of Despair

“For Richer for Poorer” addresses just this theme that we mentioned now. That theme is the fact that there is so much income inequality in developed countries as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It seems that the rich desire even more money as the song questions why they even call this a democracy. It is in the song “Martyrs of Eternity” that you can hear vocalist Mat Maurer’s Australian accent. You can hear that in the chorus of the song. “Innocent Torture” is a very good song about a man that is trying to do whatever he can to prove his innocence even though he is found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The song lyrically is basically trying to show the various injustices that are committed in the legal system particularly in the United States. The song however begins with some narration of a judge instructing that there be order in the court. He then asks the jury if they have reached a verdict and the verdict is announced. Listening to this album’s lyrical themes, many of you will come to the conclusion that life is somehow stacked against most of us. The old cliché of “life isn’t fair” may run through our minds as it sure seems that way. Even though Face of Despair addresses many of the same lyrical themes that have been discussed in so many other albums that does not detract in any way from the quality of the songs. The only real con for this album if there is any is the somewhat humorous song “Robbie Soles.”

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"I Am Immortal"

Even if the finish to this album is not an excellent one, all the other songs are stellar especially the first one called “I Am Immortal.” The bass line gives this one a very good start as it sounds like early 1990s Testament. The chorus is powerful as well because of the vocals. This album is definitely one of those that you should never judge it by the look of the cover. The album is better than the cover art and knowing that is a great thing.

"Voyage of the Disturbed"

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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