Canadian \M/etal Melters, MORTILLERY are whooping some asses with Shapeshifter, out now on Napalm Records. The first time I heard this band (Cara McCutchen – vocals, Alex Gutierrez – guitar, Kevin Gaudet – drums, Miranda Wolfe – bass, Kent Quinlan – lead guitar) was about two years ago when I was turned on to them by an acquaintance from Sweden. They had released their first album Murder Death Kill about two years prior. When I heard record No. 2, Origin of Extinction, it became my favorite of theirs. I liked these guys right away.
From Edmonton, Alberta, MORTILLERY is already a nuclear juggernaut to be reckoned with. These guys don’t fuck around. They just don’t let up, intensity upon intensity. This ain’t no elevator music. Your grandmother probably won’t like this.
The very unique and very distinct voice of Cara McCutchen is one of the focal points of every song they put out. She is really one key to the band’s sound. How she has anything left after every track is beyond me. “Radiation Sickness” heads the tunes, and Cara pulls your eyeballs from their sockets. “Age of Stone”, has some super fast drum tracks,12 billion bpm I think I timed it. McCutchen has several very long vocal extension screams that are easily 10 – 15 seconds long and sometimes more than one in a single tune. I had to wipe off a little blood dripping from my ears after a few of the tracks.
Gaudet, in “Bullet” has some of the fastest double kick drums I’ve heard in a long time. It really stands out, is very clean, just excellent. “Mantis” and “Torture” have some of those long stretched out vocals and are very fast-paced and are a couple of skin peelers. “Black Friday” gets your headbanging on right away. Great sync guitars. Don’t be close to the stage when this one starts or you will knock yourself the fuck out. An automatic mosh pit tune. “Wendigo” provides some real stompin’ metal pounding. This is just a damn good rock n roll song. “At the Gates” has some nice triads, short pauses and fist pounding moments.
The title track “Shapeshifter” finishes the album, is a bit more melodic and is good but not as strong, but a good one anyway. The Canadians have really picked up the pace with this one. McCutchen can scream the ghost right out of you. One thing I think the album lacked was more of her melodic singing. MORTILLERY’S earlier stuff alternated the metal screamery with singing, which I really like. There was not much discernible vocals on this LP, which I sort of missed.
While I think the songs are better constructed and the third is a progressively better album, I would have liked to have heard more of McCutchen’s range as in previous works. Guitars seem to overshadow the vocals too much. I also would have liked to have heard another instrumental like “Battle March” from numero dos as well. But overall a really good Edmonton punch in the face.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Black Friday”, “Bullet”, “Wendigo”