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Mortal Thrall – A Path to Fire

Mortal Thrall
A Path to Fire
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 28 May 2022, 8:26 AM

Atmospheric Black Metal due MORTAL THRALL were formed in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. No information was sent in their EPK, and since this is their first album, The Metal Archives had very little information as well. The album contains eight tracks.

“Flames (Interpolation)” leads off the album. A brief introduction, it contains acoustical guitars and a fun-loving, almost jovial sound. “A Path to Fire” begins with thick rhythm guitars and some notable bass work. Drums roll in, and the sounds here is a cross between traditional Black Metal and some melodic elements. The vocals are horrid offerings, but the music keeps a steady, melodic pace, with cycles of hope throughout. “Take the Cold” begins with pretty keyboard notes and a bit of surprise. Is this Black Metal? The melodies here are both intricate and sublime. Rough rhythms come along, and the melody disappears for a spell, but fear not, they return at the end, reminding you of their impact.

“The Calling” begins with a heavier dose of dissonance and hopelessness in the guitar and vocals. A quieter passage occupies the middle section of the song, but those powerful notes return, with hellfire in their hand. “Passion Made a Weapon” begins with a more traditional Black Metal sound. But the vocals also carry just a snippet of melody with them. Another clean guitar interlude breaks up the chaos. Take it in and lose yourself in the delicate melodies for a while. “Twelve Long Years” opens with clean guitar melodies and solemn tones. Heavy rhythms roll in but the melodies are still there, darting in and out next to the main riff.

“One Soul, One Life” begins with more traditional sounds. Some melody slips in, but it’s quite depressing. Drums roll in double and quadruple time, augmenting the horrid and despondent sound. A clean passage enters for just a few bars before the chaos ensues once again. This song has a really emotionally impactful sound. “Flames Filled the Sky” closes the album. It opens with some nifty drum fills and Jack shows his skills on the kit. Heavy elements roll in while the guitars hold onto some melody with their dear life. The clean passage that follows is tense, indicating the rise in sonority that comes after. Try to catch the subtle symphonic elements also. They are lovely.

Overall, the trio set themselves apart from their peers with intelligent songwriting, which you often don’t associate with this genre of music. Their compositions are elaborate and sophisticated. There is plenty of punch, all that you would expect, but they also know how to tease the listener with beautiful melodies amidst the heavy traditions of Black Metal.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Flames (Interpolation)
2. A Path to Fire
3. Take the Cold
4. The Calling
5. Passion Made a Weapon
6. Twelve Long Years
7. One Soul, One Life
8. Flames Filled the Sky
Todd Harris – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Composition
Christopher Scott Davis – Synth/Keyboards
Jack Blackburn – Session Drums
Record Label: Trepanation Recordings


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