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An attempt at Fools Game with extra nineties FaithNoMore vibe - 40%

morbert, August 2nd, 2021

Finally! A new Mordred album. And one with Scott Holderby on vocals. Holderby, who gave "Fool's Game" and "In This Life" that specific vibe with his higher than usual vocals. And boy, I still love those 2 albums!

At one point I was afraid a new Holderby fronted album would never happen because online a few rumours and stories began to emerge regarding a reunion with their first singer from the demo era, Stephen Shaw Scates. Yeah, that guy, from when the band still tried to be some sort of Sabbat version from the US. Fortunately that turned out to be for one gig back in 2007.

So fast forward to 2015, Mordred performed in a small venue here and they sounded rejuvenated! They even played 3 or 4 songs which were to be one a next album. So I have been waiting since 2015 for that to happen.

And here it is, 6 years after they told us a new album was in the works, 'The Dark Parade' finally arrives. And since I deny the existence of 'The Next Room', for me this is the third Mordred album. The 3rd Holderby album anyway. And what can I say, "Fool's Game" and "In This Life" were quite different from eachother. The first one being a thrash metal album with some hints of funk & rap and the second album the other way around. This third Holderby album is again an album with a face of its own. No subgenre takes the upper hand on it for starters. Although all subgenres they do play are by now pretty old school or even ancient.

Just like any once renewing band, they have become old school. Funkmetal, rapmetal, thrash metal, they're all 'old'. And so are Holderby's vocals to my dismay. His tone is lower on average and he tries much more to give the songs a Mike Patton kinda vibe. As a result Mordred now sound like a middle aged thrash metal band paying tribute to Faith No More. 'Dragging for Bodies' being the best example of this. Even though being a huge fan of the first 4 Faith No More albums, I quite dislike this song

Also worth mentioning, the opening of the title track is quite an obvious tribute to the British 2Tone sound of the early eighties. And I love this. The song itself however is quite meandering.

All in all, musically, the album balances firmly between "Fool's Game" and "In This Life" with an extra dose of Faith No More thrown in and this will entertain a few fans from the old days (like me) for a while but probably won't attract many new younger fans.

However it must be said, Mordred in 2021 sound at their best on the most 'metal' orientated songs and most of its energy remains on the A-side of the album. Actually, after the first 3 songs, the album kinda fades out and becomes okay-ish background metal. A shame really. Although closer 'Smash Goes the Bottle' does have a nice melodramatic touch to it and the vocals really add something.

Standouts:
- Demonic #7
- I Am Charlie
- Smash Goes the Bottle