Mortillery – “Shapeshifter” (Napalm Records)
Screaming out’ve the Canadian tundra comes Mortillery, an OTT unstoppable force bringing together Iron Maiden played at incredible speed – and with two women in the band, unsurprisingly Detente and Holy Moses! With two full length releases already under their (bullet) belts, not to mention a recent Euro tour with Sepultura, Legion Of The Damned and Flotsam & Jetsam, it’s easy to see why Mortillery (an amalgamation of ‘mortal’ and ‘artillery’) are fast racing up the league of thrashers for their neck breaking freneticity. Propelled by the twin axe attack of Alex Gutierrez and Kent Quinlan, who skillfully match their Formula 1 speed with plenty of warbling melodies, abundant breaks and solos, comes the steroided, screaming vocals of Cara McCutchen who is like a volatile mix of Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth, Paul Baloff and Sabine Classen!! Completed by the heavily plucked bass of Miranda Wolfe and Kevin Gaudet’s hammering drums, Mortillery’s sound is a tasteful mix of thrash and catchy heavy metal with just the right hint of hardcore punk to make any listener see what all the fuss is about on tracks like ‘Torture’ and ‘Black Friday’. That said, the slower (well, that’s slower compared to the rest of the album!) title track ‘Shapeshifter’ also shows the band capable of delivering commendable epics, skillfully handled by McCutchen’s powerful but this time clean singing and Gutierrez and Quinlan providing lashings of passionate guitar work, so I really hope they do more this in the future. There’s clearly plenty of energy on this 3rd album that also goes a long way to reveal some real class and hidden talents behind this fast ascending band!