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Mortillery - "Murder Death Kill" (CD)

Mortillery - "Murder Death Kill" CD cover image

"Murder Death Kill" track listing:

1. Murder Death Kill (5:44)
2. Sacrifice (4:18)
3. Evil Remains (2:38)
4. Fritzls Cellar (3:36)
5. Outbreak (4:43)
6. Despised By Blood (3:47)
7. Countless Suicide (3:55)
8. Voracious Undead (5:39)
9. Without Weapons (3:52)
10. Mortal Artillery (4:00)

Reviewed by on July 27, 2012

"Having female vocals is about as far-reaching as Mortillery gets, as the music and lyrics are all themes that have been implanted in the genre since the early ‘80."

Up-and-coming thrash bands have been looking to the past for inspiration in their music, and Mortillery is no different with their debut “Murder Death Kill.” This retro thrash shilled out by Mortillery doesn’t resonate with the same level of craftsmanship and sloppy energy of the classic thrash artists, though the band does put its best impression forward. Attention will be given to the female vocalist fronting the band as something fresh and exciting, but the vocals are supported by standard riffs and a few nifty solos.

Yes, there is a female singing on this album. Better to get this out of the way first, as most reading the previous paragraph will probably want more details. Cara McCutchen is apt at forceful barking and screaming her lungs into bloody messes, but the biggest shocker is how decent her clean vocals are. They don’t come often, but when they do, she proves that carrying a tune is not an issue. Her vocals are as innovative as “Murder Death Kill” gets.

If the title of the album wasn’t enough of an indication of what to expect, you haven’t been listening to thrash for very long. There’s some murdering going on, a little death by various weapons, and killing with malice, all performed by the gleeful sickos in Mortillery. To satisfy their violent tendencies, the band relies on the safe havens of crunchy riffs and too-fast-for-comfort tempos. They don’t mess around too much with anything outside of the thrash standards set decades ago, which may satisfy those who gag at the mention of “melody” or “clean guitars.”

“Murder Death Kill” does have a lot going for it, at least on the initial listen. The 10 songs are weighed upon the very ideals thrash has been known for; mainly, ransacking and bludgeoning anything that could be construed as appealing to the masses. The title track is a bitch-slap of nails to the groin in its ferocity, and serves as a treat for those who initially doubt Mortillery based on the whole “female vocalist” mantra. The band knows how to dish out the thrash with the top new bands coming out of Canada, like Untimely Demise.

Mortillery’s songwriting is infectious to a degree, whether the listener wants to be sucked into it or not. “Sacrifice” and “Evil Remains” have those sing-along choruses that shouldn’t be sung to, but after a dozen listens, it’s hard to avoid. What’s also difficult to not notice is the barrage of guitar solos that dominate the album, which are in the same vein as most thrash solos; lots of shredding and the occasional crafty pieces. No one particular solo stands out, which is pretty much how “Murder Death Kill” conducts its business.

Unless you are a newbie to thrash metal, “Murder Death Kill” is interchangeable with the rest of the thrash pack. Having female vocals is about as far-reaching as Mortillery gets, as the music and lyrics are all themes that have been implanted in the genre since the early ‘80s. Every song has a similar style, which makes the second half of the album not as eventful as the first few songs. “Murder Death Kill” is not a throwaway debut, but it’s also not something that will scorch the genre in a way that bands like Metallica and Kreator did with their first albums.

Highs: Female vocals are something different from most thrash bands, killer solos, strong first half

Lows: Album sputters in the second half, not many stand-out songs, standard fare for the genre

Bottom line: "Murder Death Kill" isn't a complete wash, but their thrash sound has been dished out for decades now, and Mortillery does little to break from the pack.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)