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Mortillery - Shapeshifter

by VR at 13 October 2016, 9:42 PM

Tearing in from the badlands of Edmonton, Canada is MORTILLERY. One of the few thrash bands fronted by a female vocalist; the band draws inspirations from varied artists like JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and early METALLICA, among others. The band got together in the year 2008 and in the year 2011 they went about recording their debut full-length album called “Murder Death Kill”. In the year 2012, they signed up with Napalm Records that count ALTER BRIDGE, ALESTORM, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SKINDRED etc. as part of their roost. 2013 saw them release “Origin of Extinction” and was well received in the metal community. The year 2014 was a seminal one for these Canadian metallers as they toured with FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, LEGION OF THE DAMNED and SEPULTURA for a host of sold out dates on their European tour. “Shapeshifter”, released in 2016, pays homage to the Bay Area thrash scene of the 80s whilst retaining a hardcore/punk edge. The band conjures up a sound that is a direct nod to bands like SOD, MUNICIPAL WASTE and HOLY MOSES, to name a few.

“Radiation Sickness”, the first track on the album begins with the sound of jack boots marching into a riff from holocaust hell! Cara McCutchen’s IRON MAIDEN-esque vocals surges and rips into the song with the fervor of an angry mutant! Intense vocals backed by crunchy riffs and a compact lead makes this song my firm favorite of the album. It’s a brilliant track and a brilliant beginning to the album. “Bullet”, the third track on the album, begins with a slow riffs to lead up to a furious scream that would make most death metal growlers glow with admiration. A track with frantic verses set to double bass drums and loopy guitar solos make this song a real pleasure to listen to. There are parts in the song with clean singing that seems out of place which is such a shame because this is a killer track to headbang to. “Torture” begins with a bit of bass doodle that leads up to the main riff. This song is a frenzied onslaught of riffs and ferocious bellows. The lead solo of this song falls a little flat and I felt does no justice to this track. “Shapeshifter”, the title track of the album, is a fitting last track to this well produced album contains riffs that are very much steeped in 80 s old school thrash. This track has some clean singing infused with violent screams and set to galloping riffs.

Cara McCutchen pulls out all her angst in the vocals and she does impress with her vocal prowess. She employs a wide range in her vocals from shrieks to clean singing to high pitched vocal passages. When it comes to speed and riffs, MORTILLERY impresses with this album. However, one does get the feeling that in some places, the melody falls flat on its face. There are boring uninspired bits in between that can be quite a dampener on proceedings. Technically the album is right up there with the best of thrash/crossover bands. One does get the feeling that there is not too much variation among the songs themselves that can work against the band. The band has a killer image and are technically competent. I can only foresee a bright future for this talented band and I eagerly await their next outing.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Radiation Sickness
2. Age Of Stone
3. Bullet
4. Mantis
5. Black Friday
6. Wendigo
7. At The Gates
8. Torture
9. Shapeshifter
10. Patient Zero
11. Neckbreaker
12. Shine
Cara McCutchen - Lead Vocals
Alex Gutierrez - Guitar
Kevin Gaudet - Drums
Miranda Wolfe - Bass
Kent Quinlan - Lead Guitar
Record Label: Napalm Records


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