Mortal Chains are a new Death Metal band hailing from the North East of England, and whose debut self-titled EP is a rough slice of gritty northern, riff heavy Death Metal with some old school Punk sensibilities thrown into the mixture for good measure. Anyone expecting a polished Death Metal release will be disappointed by this EP, for its charm comes from its low-key production, the generous amount of guitar solos wielded throughout, and in places for its bass heavy interludes and its overall raw atmosphere.
A fair chunk of this EP doesn’t feel like a Death Metal release at all, more an exercise in widdly guitar shredding and if truth be told, it feels like a jam session in places. Oddly enough though that quality adds to EP’s appeal as it just isn’t something you hear overly much in these modern times of super clean production and slick grooves. That being said, when the Death Metal licks kick in the growled vocals, fast paced Punk style drumming and thrumming bass do combine well. Not only that, but by the last track ‘These Mortal Chains’, you can hear the confidence level within the band has increased and this makes for a far more powerful and enjoyable finale.
Moving forward, Mortal Chains need to work on their cohesiveness as at times each element can feel a little disjointed from each other. Likewise, the production quality could be vastly improved. Overall though, it’s great to hear a band trying to be different and not merely bathing themselves within the waters of overused genre tropes. In short, a band with potential and talent who need to expand on said potential. (Luke Hayhurst)