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Mortillery are a thrash metal band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada who formed in 2009. The five-piece act released their debut self-titled EP in 2010. Following up a year later, the female- fronted group unleashed their assaulting first full-length album, Murder Death Kill, in 2011. What do these newbies have to offer the overpopulated thrash genre?
Thrash metal has been touched on in every thought-of aspect imaginable, leaving little leeway for newcomers to find any original attributes to make them stand out among the abundance of hair-trigger riffs, blast beats, and warfare lyrics that conjure up the basic outline of most thrash albums. Mortillery are no exception to the rule, providing very little in the way of creating anything new or exciting musically, but the band as a whole have infused uninhibited energy into the content on their debut full-length release. Female vocalists are almost unheard of in thrash, but Mortillery is fronted by female vocalist Cara McCutchen, who mans the front lines of Murder Death Kill with impressively harsh thrash vocals and heavy metal-inspired clean harmonics.
The musical compositions found within this full-length are of the standard thrash recipe; fast, linear guitar progressions, a few solos strewn throughout, and one-two blast beat drumming with cymbal crashes and hi-hat hits thrown in for good measure. However, where most thrash leaves the bass to be practically unheard, Mortillery have an incredibly prominent bass line that rivals the mixing levels of the two guitars throughout the majority of the tracks.
Comprehensively, nearly each song is made up of standard power chord thrash riffs that sometimes gallop along with the drums, such as what is heard in "Fritzl's Cellar", while the lead guitar chimes in from time to time with a furious, untamed solo. There are also a variety of palm-muted power riffs with one string bridges between them. The drums are lively with an intense, ensnaring frenzy that lines the background of the material with an onslaught of blast beats and rolls that gun the listener down like an assault rifle. The content occasionally slows down to make way for groovier segments. "Outbreak" is a good example of the more melodic elements incorporated sparingly into the song structures. "Voracious Dead" is one of the strongest tracks present here which comes coupled with the only real thrashy chant that is about wanting to devour your brains; a nice touch that steps away from the standard warfare and political themes that laden thrash metal.
Mortillery have by no means created anything groundbreaking, but Murder Death Kill is far from boring or uninteresting. In fact, it's a fun, besieging adventure into thrash metal that doesn't attempt to be old school revival, unlike many modern records of the genre. The female vocals are a definitive breath of fresh air in a genre that is largely dominated by both male talent and male audiences, however the clean sections fail to fit into the mix smoothly and listeners may find themselves greatly favoring the harsh thrash vocals instead.
Recommended for diehard thrash enthusiasts, fans of Havok and Municipal Waste, and those who enjoy female vocals.
- Villi Thorne