Monday, March 25, 2013

Mortillery (Band Review)

Mortillery (Canada)- Thrash Metal

Mortillery (demo)
Murder Death Kill
Origin of Extinction

A ripe old band formed way back in 2009, Mortillery's still got lots to offer. Female-fronted, (Cara McCutchen. She also sings for Minax, worth checking out for some Thrash with even more traditional Heavy Metal overtones if that sounds appealing and you like her voice) with a female bassist, I am already interested! I love it when the gals show the guys that they are just as (or more!) tough. On that topic, Cara's vocals are probably my favorite part of this band. What a scream! Great raspy near-talking singing drops for some near-growls and screams. She's no King Diamond, nor is she trying to be, just damn good raspy vocals with a respectable range and good control. The guitars have some nice hooks and the drumming has a fair bit of punk tinge (as I think it should). You won't find the most ripping tracks ever here (at least not all the time!) but the albums are definitely worth a listen if you like Thrash and the idea of a 2/5 female band sounds exciting. I have ordered from the band directly for a shirt and the demo, they were super-appreciative and shipped my stuff quickly. So order with confidence. There are several colored vinyl versions of the 2 full-lengths, so check out their site if you want them (they look awesome, I am envious as I have the CD versions of all releases).

Favorite songs:
"Nuclear Disaster" from Mortillery demo. Decent hooks and speed, sticks in my head somehow more than the other tracks from the release. Sound quality more than acceptable, almost as good as the full-lengths except that the bass is barely audible in the mix.

"Murder Death Kill" title track from 1st full-length, the first Mortillery song I heard. Opening riff is nice and dirty then adds some Speed Metal elements over a gurgling bass, we get a break then the song takes off with a scream and some decent riffage throughout with good tempo changes. "Fritz's Cellar" also off Murder Death Kill, DEFINITELY has thick Speed Metal sound, catchy as hell. On the selfsame album, "Countless Suicide" has a great main riff but the song doesn't vary enough to make it a major stand-out track but I like it anyway. "Without Weapons" has an interesting opening riff that feels distinctly to me like early Metallica and with a little patience we get some nice vocal work here that makes me really like this track.

Now for the 'Origin of Extinction' album! "Battle March" is a great instrumental intro with an interesting time signature, followed by some melodic guitar work on "No Way Out" that breaks into some good mid-paced Thrash with NWOBHM touches. Nice. Next is "Cease to Exist" with a tough riff notable, but otherwise not stand-out for me. The next two tracks continue on in enjoyable Mortillery-style but again don't stand-out. "Feed the Fire" gives us a slow but short chunky guitar intro followed by some fast riffage that keeps fairly interesting but I think this song would be even better if shorter to keep its power up, but that's just me. "The Hunter's Lair" is tough and fast, really like this one. Vocals again dance with NWOBHM along with the very Bathory-esque delivery and high screams. SOLID. "F.O.A.D." also super-solid with fast drum intro and in-your-face delivery of all instruments with great hooks. "Maniac" has a good chorus and bridge but a tiny let-down after the last 2 tracks. "Sunday Morning Slasher" has a solid bass intro and catchy tough riffage that is an acceptable album closer that speeds up nicely to cervical strain levels for you headbangers out there.

In short, Mortillery has a fantastic vocalist and bassist with exciting guitar hooks and tight punk-tinged drumming with song structures that are at their best when the band plays with tempo and lets their Speed and Heavy Metal influences shine alongside their thrash and punk ones.

NOTE: digipack version of 'Origin of Extinction' has 3 cover songs (Razor, Anthrax, and Angelwitch). The Angelwitch is my favorite (probably because out of the original versions it is also my favorite, ha!), Cara makes the chorus even catchier than it was before, I think. So I have been in an Angelwitch mood now, thanks Mortillery!

*Review copyright The Samnambulist, 2013*

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