Recently, the Dallas/Fort Worth area band Rigor Mortis has been tucked away at 13th Planet Studios in El Paso, TX, slaving away at their as yet untitled new album with Sammy D’Ambruoso and Al Jourgensen (Ministry) at the production helm. This will be the first new Rigor Mortis album since 1991’s “Rigor Mortis vs. the Earth” and certainly promises to be an absolutely killer album, judging from the performance I saw them put on here in Houston, TX back in September. “We are a much more experienced and wiser band than we were back in the 80s,” says singer Bruce Corbitt. “We all have known each other for well over 25 years. We all know each other so well now that we work together as a team better than we ever have.”
Forming in 1983 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Rigor Mortis brought forth a unique blend of death thrash that is just purely intoxicating to metal fans. Comprised of singer Bruce Corbitt, bassist, Casey Orr (ex-Gwar), drummer Harden Harrison, and guitarist Mike Scaccia (Ministry), Rigor Mortis were signed to Capital Records for 1988’s self-titled masterpiece and regarded as the first death metal band to sign to a major label. “Rigor Mortis” would be followed by the “Freaks” EP and eventually 1991’s “Rigor Mortis vs. the Earth” (both with Doyle Bright on vocals) before disbanding. However, in 2005, the original lineup reunited and has been performing ever since, including a spot on 2008’s Ozzfest one day event in Dallas. “It always felt like we picked up where we left off after we reunited for the first time back in 2005. But we treated this album with a fresh approach and we wanted to use our full arsenal and continue to evolve as a band,” Corbitt continues.
So far, 2012 has been a busy year for the band, and looks to be even busier in the future. Before heading to El Paso to start production on the new record, Rigor Mortis met up with Obituary and Pathology in Mexico City, and according to Corbitt “it was extreme insanity! They got so crazy they ended up knocking the power out 3 times during our set. The fans in Mexico don’t hold back anything.” Immediately following the show, the band set out for El Paso to start work on the new album. When I asked Corbitt when we can expect the new album, he answered “Man, I wish I could answer that for you right now… but that info should be coming soon.” European fans however should rejoice! “We are also concentrating on Europe as far as our new release and touring too.”
The two times I’ve witnessed Rigor Mortis live in the last few years (and the several times I’ve seen Corbitt’s other band, Warbeast) Corbitt and crew are taking no prisoners and coming back with an undying fury. For an explanation on the rabidity and furor of metal fans over the years, Corbitt replied “I just know if you are a metalhead for life, you are always going to love your favorite metal bands and albums. No matter how many years go by, they always bring back great memories. It’s almost like eternal youth listening to the metal bands you are devoted to.” So with this new album and the passion that Rigor Mortis projects, this album proves to be a solid work of art. “We still sound like Rigor ‘fucking’ Mortis! But just like all of the previous Rigor releases… each one is so unique. I’m proud of this new album; it definitely captures a moment in time for this band. It’s another chapter for Rigor Mortis and I predict our fans will be listening to this album for decades into the future; just like they have with the other Rigor Mortis albums. Which is why we were motivated to make a new album in the first place. It was for our loyal fans that’s kept the band’s spirit alive all of these years.”
In addition to Rigor Mortis, Corbitt certainly is a busy man these days as he also fronts Warbeast, the thrash band currently signed to Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records who released “Krush the Enemy” in 2010. During 2011, Warbeast opened for Anselmo’s Down on a few occasions and toured with Destruction and Gwar. So all of this forward momentum is being channeled and divided into both bands, and can only have a positive outcome. “We do plan to take Rigor Mortis to the level that we always expected with this band,” says Corbitt. “So yes we plan on doing tours after the album is released. There are times when I am rehearsing with both bands on alternate nights during the week. Then there are times where I have to put more time into one of the bands for a while, like when one of the bands is recording or touring, etc.”
Fans can expect to hear quite a bit from both Rigor Mortis and Warbeast in the near future. “Warbeast is also preparing to record our next full-length for Housecore Records. It’s looking like it will be May or June when we enter the studio. Both bands are in talks with professional management and top quality booking agencies right now. So there should be more good news for both bands coming soon.”
Clearly though, Corbitt is in it for the music and the fans, “I’ve said it a million times; a band is only as good as their fans and I feel we have the best fans in the world! Cheers to all of them!!”
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