MORTILLERY - Shapeshifter

Mortillery - Shapeshifter

9 songs
42:52 minutes
***** ****
Napalm Records


Some may have noticed that I really like timeless thrash metal a lot. Which is why I was really happy to get a copy of Shapeshifter, the third album by Canadian thrashers Mortillery. The three men and two ladies offer on their newest record once again exactly what fans of the genre have expected.

Mortillery seem to be a band that is constantly in a hurry. The nine songs are whipped fast over the course of three quarters of an hour, making you wonder if the quintet never needs a breathing pause. The instruments are played never to complexly, but their lack of subtlety is made up by their incredible speed and power. This tempo works well for vocalist Cara McCutchen who screams her soul out throughout the album, and only on the title track she takes some time to show that she can also sing cleanly. I rather like her hectic screams that remind me of John Connelly (Nuclear Assault) and Bobby Blitz (Overkill).

Shapeshifter offers, apart from the quieter title track, eight rather abrasive songs that donít take prisoners. I want to point out the overloaded Mantis on which the band sounds even more aggressive than usual. Ms McCutchen also masters the higher registers, with her performance on Black Friday reminding of Helstarís James Rivera. Despite my comparisons to male vocalists, she still sounds more feminine than many other female thrash vocalists.

Once again Mortillery have manages to create a very strong thrash metal album. Production and performance are top notch, although without necessarily setting new accents. Their songwriting is also taking influence from classic thrash, but all of this is done with such a passion that the final result is just impressive. Add to this the powerful frontwoman that never gives less than a hundred percent, and you will have with Shapeshifter a perfect lesson about how thrash metal should ideally sound.

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