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Sometimes attitude alone will suffice. - 79%

hells_unicorn, August 8th, 2012

It is often stipulated that thrash metal has been played out as a genre. Every little crevice of the supposedly limited paradigm at play has been explored, and every trick has been exploited to its fullest potential. Assuming that this true, one has to wonder what it would take to get the pit going if all that can be expected is more of the same. The answer to this question can be seen in just about every underground punk show where bands still make it work while taking ideas from Discharge and Black Flag, it’s all a matter of just casting caution to the wind and playing it as fast and as nasty as you can, damning the critics to an eternity of sonic mayhem in the process.

There isn’t really anything to the Canadian outfit Mortillery that can be qualified as original, save perhaps the level of intensity they inject into a mode of thrash that can be considered about as green as Nuclear Assault (save the lack of environmental/political tinged lyrics) and as equally punk oriented. The riff work at play here is pretty standard and formulaic, occasionally breaking out into a flash of Vio-Lence inspired chaos, but largely following a linear chord progression approach that is dangerously close to the style’s hardcore roots. Take, for instance, the raw simplicity of “Fritzl’s Cellar” or “Voracious Undead”, which follows a somewhat slower pace of chord that reeks of the conventional approach normally heard out of the early speed metal oriented thrashers of the early Bay Area explosion (think the first Death Angel album with a load of Suicidal Tendencies trappings to go on the side).

But perhaps the biggest ace in this band’s deck is vocalist Cara McCutchen, who essentially plays the sole role in separating this album from simply being a slightly busier version of what Lich King has been up to. When singing, this mad Canadian sounds like a maniacal cross between Mark Osegueda and Sean Killian, but when this guy screams he literally sounds like a maddened Nazgul. Taking the particularly neurotic scream fest that is “Countless Suicide”, it’s a wonder that this guy has any voice left to speak of after a single recording session. Better still, when the occasional Anthrax inspired gang choruses pipe in, the punch of the voice parts come dangerously close to supplanting the guitars as the prime source of power in the arrangement.

To say that albums like this one have been done before would be an obvious understatement, and with a fairly generic title like “Murder Death Kill” (thrash bands love their violent triads) and an over-the-top comic cartoon album art, this band is definitely forthcoming about their influences and how little distance they plan on going from them. Still, the energy and the attitude carry this album beyond being a mere generic copy, so much so that the band seems to function completely on those 2 elements. Anyone who failed to resist the urge to bang one’s head violently at the demand of albums such as “The Ultra-Violence” or “Survive” will find a worthy acolyte here, not to mention a vocalist who may arguably supplant the two related front men in the intensity department.

Originally submitted to (www.metal-observer.com) on August 8, 2012.