Crucified Mortals – “Crucified Mortals”, Hell’s Headbangers, 2011

After ten years, Crucified Mortals have finally unleashed their first album. Like their past repertoire, this is meaty, underground thrash that stays true to a love of old school horror, murder and raw, angry riffs to match the words. While the underground scene’s ability to keep musical traditions alive and well cannot be refuted; it stands that the test of time means that new directions are expected to be crossed by many bands. Crucified Mortals may not exactly meet the latter, though from meeting the former one can easily overlook the band’s sticking to tradition in favour of just how well they do it. 

Good musicianship typically comes from passion – the group don’t merely tell their audience of their love for horror and murder stories, they play it. Opening track ‘The Seance‘ begins with a slowed, dissonant guitar lead which climbs along, before a heavier, riff rips in – not only ending the suspenseful build-up that introduces the rest of the album, but channeling the nostalgic vibes of horror films past. The songs that follow are tracks of fierce, pummeling thrash; each keeping up Crucified Mortals‘ enthusiasm for their chosen genres by drawing on one for the other. Frontman Craig Horval’s rough-ended shouts blast with unrelenting, graveled menace as he spits out verse after verse of revenge, twisted priests and undying evil; over sharp-edged riffs and speedy guitar solos that swarm a wall of terror about the audience. Even the bass is used to add to this menacing atmosphere, when its heavy steps creep in behind the rhythm.

It’s only fair to point out that Crucified Mortals aren’t offering anything relatively new as a band – like their musical heroes, underground metal acts often cite a love of old horror and dark fantasy tales as an inspiration for their craft. Yet the fact of their obvious interest and desire for this kind of music (and that type of fiction) means that as a self-titled, debut release, ‘Crucified Mortals‘ remains a strong effort that comes from ten years in the making.

7/10

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