Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mortician-Shout for Heavy Metal

Pure Underground Records

Vorarlberg, Austria-based four-piece Mortician (who are not to be confused with the horror-obsessed U.S. death metal/grindcore band of the same name!) are a N.W.O.B.H.M-infused classic heavy metal act whose roots can be traced back to 1983. Early on the band's influences were said to be the likes of Kiss, AC/DC and Judas Priest and in 1987 the group released a demo entitled "Street Warrior" and a EP known as "No War". An additional demo followed in 1989 by the name of "Break The Rules" before the band call it quits in 1990. After taking a "few" years off (19 to be exact!) Mortician was reformed in 2009 with guitarist Thomas "Tommy Lee" Metzler (ex-Art of Fear, ex-Tyran Virgin, ex-Psycho Holiday) and bass player Patrick Lerchertook serving as the sole original members of the band. Since then the group has released a compilation album entitled "No War & More", a 2011 self-titled full-length release and now this (fittingly-titled) recording, "Shout for Heavy Metal". Rounding out Mortician these days we have lead vocalist Daniel Khan (formerly of power metal band Art of Fear) with a drummer by the name of Alex credited in the promo material's notes. It's actually the title track that opens this album and drummer Alex slips right into the fold with "Shout for Heavy Metal" finding this Austria act merging N.W.O.B.H.M. greats such as Saxon, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with the likes of Accept! With the throaty vocal delivery of Daniel Khan giving Mortician a gritty exterior the band takes a number like "Eagle Spy" to soaring heights (no pun intended!) and it's rather cool to hear how everyone from Saxon to Guns N' Roses (and even the one and only Motörhead!) is worked into the program! While Mortician's early career might have been influenced by Kiss, AC/DC and Judas Priest here we find a reshuffled heavy metal band where Judas Priest is just the beginning with the end of the adventure (ie: "The Devil You Know", "Black Eyes" and "Inner Self") pointing towards the likes of Slayer, Exodus and Megadeth! The "string" section here makes those sort of links work with "Shout for Heavy Metal" certainly living up to it's title in more ways then one! Then again so do songs like "Rock Power" (where this well-rounded band had me envisioning a mash-up of Accept and Manowar!) and the album's darkest moment, the slow descent in madness that is "Hate". Meanwhile the Judas Priest/Megadeth vehicle "Wrong Way" is the perfect way to wrap this LP up as it ends things on a high note! With a run-time over 40 minutes Mortician's latest effort is a wet dream come true for fans of pure metal and one that I hope to add to my physical music collection in the very near future!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this review :-)

Daniel Khan

3:29 AM  
Blogger Todd Ford said...

I dont understand, this is not the same band I am looking for, though they are both on the same Spotify overview, one is the sickest ultra heavy deathmetal, the other is power metal/thrash.....not the same guys, I cant find anyone talking about this anywhere !!!!!!!

11:56 AM  

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