Mordred – “Volition”

Mordred – “Volition” EP (
Battle Helm Rating
Back in the 80s, before Anthrax collaborated with Public Enemy, before Rage Against The Machine tore up the DNC convention, and before Limp Bizkit shredded Woodstock, there was a band called Mordred from San Francisco! If you remember albums like “Fool’s Game” and “In This Life”, then this 4 track EP is very much in that original style, fusing old school Bay Area thrash with funk that took the band to fame and across the world back in the day with American / European tour supports to big metal bands and heavy rotation on MTV. Splitting during the mid 90s, Mordred came back to life in 2013 with a line up including five of the original “In This Life” members minus drummer Gannon Hall who was replaced by Jeff Gomes of Fungo Mungo. Since then there have been reunion tours but more importantly, the impetus to compose really took a boost when guitarist Danny White moved back to California, resulting in so much material that both an EP and new album “The Dark Parade” are scheduled for this year. “Volition” is the first offering and its 4 tracks take it right back to those crossover days in funktastic fusion style, from the authentic Bay Area thrash guitar sound of White and James Sanguinetti to Art Liboon’s swanky slapping bass and the absolutely irresistible beats and turntable spins of Aaron (Pause) Vaughn – wow! Matched by some of the best rhyming lyrics reflecting today’s societal struggles, Mordred’s return has never been more crucial in raising consciousness to new generations. Shredding in with ‘Not For You’, the harsh guitars and heavy drums mix catchily with Vaughn’s spins while those rhyming lyrics just go to work in possessing you as the fusion of music and mind take utter control. Simple, but even more poignant are the lyrics to ‘What Are We Coming To’ with its tik tock beat, somber church bells and sinister synth melodies providing the dark backdrop to lines like ‘..what are we coming to, f–k are we gonna do…hearing the truth is a lie, right in front of you..’ rapped by vocalist Scott Holderby and Vaughn. Funking in on ‘Love Of Money’, there’s something of a Faith No More tinge to Holderby’s singing along with the groovy guitar work, although Liboon’s bass slappings and Gomes’ smashing drums definitely make it way heavier in building up to the huge, shouted out chorus. Ending in no less of a high with the chugging thrash funk of ‘The Baroness’, Holderby’s superb rapping complemented by the incredible main groove laced stylishly by Vaughn’s spins and even some jazzy guitar really brings the wonder of this band back for a second time. And far from being retro, Mordred’s music is made for our (hard) times.
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