Offering the year another rather tasty split, Broken Limbs Recordings have brought together Brooklyn’s Mortals and Philadelphia’s Repellers for a four track explosion of fresh breathed metal. It is an encounter with reinforces the potent stature of one band and inflames the emerging presence of the other, both beginning what potentially can be a massive year for them in fine style.
The first offering comes from Mortals, a band formed in 2009 but with its seeds possibly growing well before then when drummer Caryn Havlik and bassist/vocalist Lesley Wolf met and played together in all-female Slayer cover band Slaywhore. At the same time Havlik and guitarist Elizabeth Cline were playing in a math-rock project. After the eventual demise of both bands, the three musicians regrouped as Mortals and by late 2010 had set about making a potent mark on the local metal scene and further afield. A tour with Mutilation Rites was the prelude to the band sharing stages with the likes of Eyehategod, The Body, False, Samothrace, Black Anvil, Toxic Holocaust, Howl and Lord Dying over the years, whilst the release of their Death Ritual EP in 2012 led the band to signing with Relapse Records and the release of their acclaimed Cursed to See the Future album last year. Ahead of a European tour with Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore, Mortals now fire up the imagination and EP with their lone but thrilling track 10 Years of Filth.
Possibly a statement on their stirring musical career to date, the song swiftly brews and smoulders with the intensive and darkly seductive blackened sludgy sound which Mortals are already marked for. Within as many seconds, the bass is roaming ears and psyche like an apocalypse gracing charger, striding with predatory intent as grooves and riffs combine for a nest of viperish intent. Similarly lively rhythms from the drums prowl and stroll across this already bewitching landscape, the seductive and melodically dynamic adventure one scene in a rich drama clad tapestry of dark intent and compelling intimidation. For all its predacious craft and hunger, there is an infectious charm to the track too, light and dark challenging each other whilst colluding in the creation of even more provocative hues in the tempestuous narrative. The dark side is driven by the guttural scowls and gothic animosity of the vocals whilst the guitar’s enterprise escorts lighter defiant elements which persist in their persistence until the ferociously boiling and venomous climax of the song. It is an enthralling and ruggedly enjoyable nine minutes easily confirming the impressive qualities and sound of Mortals.
Repellers bring three tracks from their creative arsenal of punk and crust infused metal, swiftly showing why there is a growing broader interest in the 2012 forming band. The two years or so since their arrival has seen the trio release The Coming Storm EP, partake in a split 7” with Georgia-based Dead Hand, and the drawing of multitudes of new fans through tours along the east coast and a constant source of impressive energetic shows. They are a growing force it seems and on the evidence of this release an exciting one.
Descend is their first offering, a track which from a melancholic and darkly lit melodic embrace erupts in a predatory and thunderous stalking of the senses. The intensive rhythms of drummer Tony Secreto are vindictive in nature whilst the equally primal basslines of Rob Petraitis growl and leer intimidatingly within the doom drenched atmosphere of the imposing encounter. The guitar of Jon Rifenburg brings various shades of intimidation and temptation to the volatile but controlled tempest too, his enterprise equally sculpting a web of magnetic lures around the malevolently toned vocals. It is a captivating proposition which awakens intrigue and interest in the band before their second song From Jerico to Ai lays a more fascinating and thrilling invitation down. Bass hooks are aligned to acidic guitar grooves, it a mesh of enticement which continues to spear the increasingly ravenous atmosphere and character of the track. Heading only to a turbulent and hostile climax, the track is a riveting persuasion showing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s song writing and sound.
False Solace is the same, its heavy melodic lures an initial tantalising coaxing which only seeds a subsequent hellacious hardcore bred brawl with the senses. The blackened, almost insidious tones of the vocals unleashes the dark heart of the song whilst the sonic grooves and bass predation provides infectious bait which seduces ears as the track’s lyrical and vocal trespass avail their toxicity.
The two bands make for a pleasing and exciting union with their quartet of thickly satisfying propositions, each confirming their impressive potency and potential. Both have only enhanced their reputation and relative statures whilst already sparking 2015 into being an attention grabbing year for them.
The Mortals/ Repellers Split is available through Broken Limbs Recordings and limited to 500 10″ copies (300 black and 200 red with black smoke).
Mortals’ Upcoming tour dates:
April 4 – May 2 European tour w/ Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore
04.04.15 Sweden Motala @ Kulturakademin
06.04.15 Denmark Copenhagen @ Pumpehuset
07.04.15 Germany Hamburg @ Hafenklang
08.04.15 Germany Osnabrück @ Bastard Club
09.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn
10.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn
11.04.15 UK Manchester @ Sound Control
12.04.15 Ireland Dublin @ Voodoo Lounge
13.04.15 UK Glasgow @ Ivory Blacks
14.04.15 UK Birmingham @ The Oobleck
15.04.15 UK Sheffield @ Corporation
16.04.15 UK London @ Underworld
17.04.15 Belgium Brussels @ Magasin 4
18.04.15 Germany Köln @ Underground
19.04.15 France Eragny/Paris @ Covent Garden
20.04.15 France Angouleme @ La Nef
21.04.15 Spain Madrid @ Sala Lemon
22.04.15 Spain Barcelona @ Sala Razz 3
23.04.15 France Lyon @ MJC O Totem
24.04.15 Switzerland Zürich @ Dynamo / Werk 21
25.04.15 Italy Milan @ Lo Fi
26.04.15 Italy Rome @ Traffic Live
27.04.15 Austria Innsbruck @ p.m.k.
28.04.15 Germany München @ Backstage
29.04.15 Germany Leipzig @ Conne Island
30.04.15 Germany Berlin @ Magnet
01.05.15 Austria Wien @ Arena
02.05.15 Czech Rep Prague @ Exit-us