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Edmonton, Alberta thrashers, Mortillery, grounded themselves by gaining a large fan base with their destructive debut full-length album, Murder Death Kill (reviewed here), in 2011. The album boasted the band's raw energy so well that they ended up signing a record deal with the prestigious Napalm Records in 2012. Now the act have unleashed their follow-up LP, Origin of Extinction, upon the masses. How well does this album follow up to the last, and have the band taken any new directions?
This time around, Mortillery have opted to take a different path with their thrashy endeavors. Where Murder Death Kill was an energetic, in-your-face, aggressive piece of work, Origin of Extinction verges on the brink of being considered melodic thrash metal. The album takes elements of punk, classic rock and thrash metal and shoves them into a blender, spinning the blades until a perfect smooth blend of all three ingredients pour from every track of the material at hand. The listener will be greeted at first with "Battle March", an instrumental introduction track that is lined with memorable grooving rhythms and laid back solos.
The next track, "No Way Out", begins with a deep bass line backing clean, tame guitar picking that gradually grows into one of the greatest solos on the album, which actually turns out to sound somewhat Pink Floyd inspired as it melodically takes over for a good forty seconds before the track heats up into the first real thrash anthem of the content. Audiences are then confronted head-on with Cara McCutchen's characteristic vocals, which are just as melodious as they are harsh; she continually switches up the two styles so that the vocal track never becomes tedious or dull. Her enthralling clean segments nearly breach the boundaries of operatic tones at times, while her rough growls rival that of the very best that the thrash genre has to offer. Origin of Extinction makes more use of her snarls, which was something their previous effort lacked in lieu of more clean vocal support. The guitars are of the typical thrash metal variety, in that they generally sit on palm muted one-two-three-four up and down riffs with some seldom clear strummed structures, but throughout the album a bombardment of catchy rhythms grab the listener by the ear and refuse to let go; the most memorable being found in "No Way Out", "Cease to Exist", "Creature Possessor", "Feed the Fire", "The Hunters' Lair" and "F.O.A.D.". From start to finish, the lead guitar in particular makes a huge impact on the material with incredibly creative solos that can either be mild and slow or quick and scorching. The drums are just as gunning this time around as they were in the band's debut album, taking on some military inspired beats as well as making use of more obscure tribal styled rhythms. There are still an abundance of hi-hat crashes that accent the rhythm guitar, and quite often they are found galloping along with the guitars with quick blast beats.
Two of the more stand-out drum sections are located within "F.O.A.D." which exploits a fluid, tom-heavy drum roll at the beginning and "Manic", which has a very prominent tribal drum-heavy section at the beginning that sits behind a casually strummed ring out rhythm guitar. The drumming in this content is really top of the line, it's a style untouched in thrash metal and really gives Origin of Extinction a strong edge over any competition. "Sunday Morning Slasher" comes equipped with a deep, foreboding walking bass line solo, the only one of the content, sadly the bass mostly sits too low within the mix to make a huge impact on the casual listener. "Battle March", "No Way Out" and "Cease to Exist" all have amazing guitar solos that are fresh and visionary; listeners will find themselves coming back time and time again for not only the brain-sticking drum and guitar rhythms, but these innovative solos as well. The vocals provide infectiously sung choruses and verses that are the real driving point which impale the listener in the skull, more notably in songs such as "Cease to Exist", "Seen in Death" and "F.O.A.D.".
Mortillery have incorporated a lot of slower tempos and melodic compositions in Origin of Extinction, which sets it apart from their debut album by a landslide. The switch-up is a welcomed change of pace, too often bands find themselves reproducing content repeatedly but Mortillery seem to welcome change and experimentation. In this case, audiences and fans of the band certainly will as well.
Digital Download Provided by: The Metal-Observer
Review Originally Written for: The Metal-Observer
- Villi Thorne