Mortals – Death Ritual EP by orlandooom407

I am regularly taken aback by the sheer amount / volume of brilliant music coming from NY, specifically Brooklyn. Whether it be doom sludge mavericks Hull, or electrifying black metal trios such as Mortals, or even the highly divisive Liturgy, there is obviously a vibrant and diverse environment in Brooklyn, and we in ‘The City Beautiful’ are grateful whenever they take the time to shimmy their way on down the east coast to pay us a visit. Such was the case when I was lucky enough to see Mortals here in Orlando, and was so floored to the point of being inspired to vomit up the very review your eyes are currently drinking in. Death Ritual is a thousand pound two track assault, of which those two tracks complement each other in pristine accord. Not so much in a yin and yang kind of way (they are not what I would consider opposites), more like two dual frenzied sprinters tunneling forth to the same finish line with a maniacal intent at rapid pace. There really is not let up to the constant assault in both of these tracks, while at the same time it never seems to be too busy or lose any of its momentum, a hard balance to strike, and one Mortals achieves with finesse employing a combination of riffs that are both dark in their scathing harmonies as well as some that are just catchy and fun as hell to listen to.

The title track opens as something of cataclysmic tidal wave. That wave crashes upon you without a moments reprieve, and you are ever the grateful for it. The thick sludged out bass wrapping itself homogeneously around the relentless percussion and melodic and methodical cries and riffs. Their ability to transition from something so grooved out and catchy and down tempo as the aforementioned riff and then move into a blistering and hypnotic dark sea of torrid landscapes, is something we (those musicians among us at least) could and should all learn from.  The logo for Mortals features a blade assuming the role of the letter “T” in the bands’ moniker, and it is almost as if you can feel that very blade being jammed into your third eye, in the most enjoyable of ways of course.

I won’t lie; Final hour is easily my favorite track of the two, which is evident in how many times I destroyed the replay button before purchasing it from their Bndcamp. The second track moves along at a crushing clip, with anthemic motifs chewing away at you instantly like a buzz saw. The riffs are eloquent and memorable, especially the opener that makes its distinct appearance at 0:04 and is probably my favorite singular riff in this whole EP. The 4 minute mark introduces another example of one of those riffs Mortals weaves into their writing that is just fun as all shit. The range that is covered is impressive, and the pacing (evident in the serpentine crescendo that starts to build up at 2:21 and ultimately explodes at 2:40 in this track) is phenomenal. Mortals command such impressive compositional control over their pacing throughout each moment of the song it really is hard not to be impressed with them.

Regarding their live performance, Mortals easily exceeds what you hear on the EP, an impressive feat, and a compliment to both their EP and their killer performance. There was not a moment during their live performance where I didn’t see Caryn (drums) without a sinister grin on her face, and that’s how they will forever be remembered by me, until the next time I’m fortunate enough to catch them.

Methodical, maniacal, bliss.

Mortals on Facebook!

– Kenneth Reda


taperecorder – Philadelphia Collins EP by orlandooom407

“Three tracks for three burgers that’s my final offer Randy”

What’s this about Jimmy and the liquor now? I’ll admit I’m still a newbie in regard to electronic compositions. Right now my limited justification for musicians and groups I enjoy relies strictly on impulsive snagging. These impulses brought me to Marc Francis, known by the moniker taperecorder (Galactique Recordings). To ease with context his label has this to say about this gluttonous EP:

“Philadelphia Collins was born from a few remix efforts that went a little too far. Being the musical tinker that he is, Taperecorder deconstructed and rebuilt the source material to the point where the results had transcended the context of “remix”. Indeed, each track on this EP is its own animal; entirely new songs informed, but not defined, by their original identities.”

The first track, Lushabye, bumps a minimal beat tethered to a synthesizer powered by a meager bit rate. It’s joined by chopped up female vocal harmonies by who I presume to be Drunkwife. Track 2 features vocals from Zebra Katz constantly reassuring that he’s going to school that bitch; presumably for a college education. This song carries more of a disco feel relying less on spreading out little snippets and more so on a hefty bass line. Closing out this ballgame features vocals from Fair Lion. At the risk of sounding ignorant I’ll admit her inflection and range sound similar to Oceanlab vocalist Justine Suissa. This one had no problem keeping my attention further diversifying this dirty burger homage with an undeniable late 80’s flavor. Say no to Friday and snag this freebie.

Like taperecorder on Facebook.

Like Galactique Recordings on Facebook.

– Jared Oates

New Tombs Record Defines Totality! by orlandooom407

I had the pleasure of hosting these three gentleman for pizza and lodging following their incredible show in support of Wormrot this last March. I commend Mike, Andrew and Carson on their professionalism, astounding musical chemistry and words of encouragement they shared with me.

That being said, Path of Totality hadn’t dropped yet when we all were together that one night. Having now heard the record in it’s entirety I will name it as my favorite record of 2011 thus far. Its rare that I see such a pristine execution of blending elements of black metal, sludge and atmospheric wrapping it all together beneath Mike Hill’s haunting growls and proclamations. Path of Totality was recorded by John Congleton, who is most recently recognized in heavy music as the engineer behind 2009’s Blue Record by Baroness. With such impressive production combed with delicately assembled movements, that, at times, smell familiarly of Joy Division, Tombs pulverizes the listener only stopping briefly to swell into the next torturous passage of blistered black misery.

I took this brief description from their bandcamp page:

“TOMBS tap into the infinite well of emotion and expression on their astounding new full-length Path of Totality. Recorded by John Congleton (Baroness, Explosions in the Sky), Path of Totality is a massive step forward in songwriting and scope for the trio. Path of Totality finds TOMBS achieving what their previous recordings had always hinted at – an ultimately heavy and nuanced fusion of their disparate influences. “Bloodletters” and “Constellations” see the band flex its prodigious muscle; “Vermillion” and “Cold Dark Eyes” wrap arms of blackened misery around the listener, while the profound sadness of “Silent World” and “Passageways” further explores the trio’s UK post-punk influences. With Path of Totality, TOMBS has come into their own as one of the finest heavy bands in the world.”

Check out this marvelous release in full stream at their bandcamp page – tombsbklyn.bandcamp.com

If Tombs stops in your town, don’t be a dingus, go watch the chaos as it assaults your ear drums.

-Jared Oates Haggard