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Review : Mortillery ­- 'Shapeshifter'

Mortillery were formed in 2008 in Edmonton, Canada, the country that gave the world Annihilator, Slaughter and Viovoid, released 2 albums “Murder Death Kill” (2011) and “Origin of Extinction” (2013) and now are preparing to unleash their eagerly awaited third album “Shapeshifter” on the 27th May 2016. The band are led by Cara McCutchen (Lead Vocals), Alex Gutierrez ­(Guitar), Kevin Gaudet ­(Drums), Miranda Wolfe (Bass), and Kent Quinlan ­(Lead Guitar).

One of the best things about about thrash/power metal is there are no rules to say that it must be all male, or a clichéd female vocalist with an all male backing musicians. No. Here we have two women and three men, all combined for the love of heavy metal and boy does it deliver. Before I get to describing the album, I have to say, Cara has a great set of lungs on her. In my mind, at times she sings in the style of Rob Halford, Angela Gossow, Sy Keeler, even and a touch of Dio… quite simply a superb vocalist. Of course, a vocalist doesn’t make a band, it helps that there are four other members who make Mortillery the force they are.

“Shapeshifter” kicks off with ‘Radiation Sickness’. A great guitar intro leads to a superb blood-curdling roar, and then you hear the Halford influence, with the power wails. This track simply kicks you in the nuts. ‘Age Of Stone’ will make you bang that head. The guitar playing is reminiscent of K.K Downing and Glenn Tipton. Again, Cara displays a superb range and vocal ability. The pace doesn’t let up, and ‘Bullet’ and ‘Mantis’ keep the momentum going. It’s noticeable that each song has a variation, it doesn’t sound repetitive. I’ve heard some thrash metal albums where my enjoyment started to wane after 20 minutes, and it’s testament to the songwriting ability here, that isn’t the case with Mortillery.

Mortillery showcase all that is good about thrash metal, and they have captured the feel of the 80s, when thrash exploded into people’s consciousness. ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Wendigo’ maintain the high standards that have continued straight from the opening track. By this point, my jaw was simply hitting the floor, I kept forgetting that I am supposed to type up this review instead of stopping and playing air guitar! It’s a great excuse to play the tracks again, as I enjoyed ‘Shapeshifter” so much, but of course, I stop to play air guitar again!

So we get to the final 3 tracks of the album. ‘At The Gates’ starts with an infectious groove and a mini solo, then all hell breaks loose. ‘Torture’ is the penultimate track on the album which you can judge for yourself by watching the video above. The title track finishes things off, a 5 minute 37 seconds beast of great quality thrash metal. Mortillery can be proud of this album. It has blown me away, and I am of the opinion that this will gain them an even bigger fan base.

For those that already know of Mortillery, you will be pleased to hear that these Canadians have delivered, quite simply, one of the albums of 2016. For those that haven’t…..GET YOUR HANDS ON IT, it will blow you away. You will forget for 45 minutes that there are two girls and three guys in this band. All you will hear is a rip-roaring, all out, face-melting thrash metal album… exactly as a thrash metal album should be.

I really hope that Mortillery will announce a full UK tour, as I am certain that there will be plenty of people wanting to see them live, me included. So how about it folks?

Review: Craig Travers

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