I don’t know about you but I always have a little space in my life for just a bit more thrash metal. I mean, what’s not to like? Loud guitars, louder drums, howling vocals. Yes please: on all fronts. Canada’s Mortillery (daft as a brush name, by the way) are retro thrash, straight out of the late 1980s but plying their trade in the here and now. Their album, the charmingly titled “Murder Death Kill” does exactly what it says on the tin. “Murder Death Kill” will win no prizes for originality, will not stretch our understanding of what music is capable of, either artistically or emotionally, but it will have you banging your head and grinning like a loon.
Mortillery‘s key selling points are twofold. Firstly, they are rare for a thrash band in that they have a female vocalist, the throaty Cara McCutchen. Her howls dominate the record; she has a formidable range that the band use to full effect across the whole album- from the more mid tempo thrash they deliver effectively through to the punk influenced speed metal where the band seem to have the most fun. Second, their two guitar players clearly have listened to a LOT of Death Angel and Nuclear Assault. So far, so good then. What you get across the album are fairly standard, fairly cookie cutter thrash tunes with plenty of energy if not much creative imagination. This scarcely matters though as the entire album is done with more than a certain glint in the eye and tongue in the cheek.
“Murder Death Kill” has lots of songs about- yes, you’ve guessed it- murders, death and killing. Throw in a pile of zombies seeking to ravish your flesh and some guitar shredding that wouldn’t look out of place on Brian Slagel‘s Metal Massacre compilation cassette from 1982 and you have yourself a fairly tasty brew of old school (and I mean genuinely old school, not just last Wednesday) entertainment. Those of you with keener ears and bigger record collections will spot the influences of early Misfits and DRI, especially on ‘Evil Remains’ or ‘Fritzl’s Cellar’.
And that’s about it really. Plenty of fizz, a little bit of sparkle but nothing to set the world on fire. If you like your retro thrash then this is worth a listen. Although they get full marks for effort, Mortillery are not quite in the same league as Havok but certainly they could go for a few rounds with Bonded by Blood. File under: promising.