After more than 20 years of existence, including 10 of silence since “Revolution of the Mind”, Mortal Sin
is back with a new line-up, a new album named “An Absence of Faith
” and a big desire to prove the world that even musicians originated from the kangaroo’s country knows how to have fans headbanging!
It has been already twenty years since the release of “Mayhemic Destruction
”, the band’s first opus. Since then, many bands have received an international renown and so have become legends in the world of speed/trash: Metallica
and others such as Overkill
, to name only a few, come to my mind. Mortal Sin
has already shared the poster with some of them but it has never received the same success.
Nevertheless, they are still there, motivated, full of rage and offering what they do best: good old-school trash metal directly resurrected out of the 80’s. If the two guitarists and the drummer have been replaced, Mortal Sin
’s soul remains the same thanks to Andy Eftichiou, original bassist, and Mat Maurer, mastermind and front man since the beginning. Mat, by the way, keeps improving his skills. He is like a chameleon which voice can audaciously mix the tone of James Hetfield (Metallica
), Chuck Billy (Testament
) and Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth (Overkill
). As one can imagine, the result sounds very loud and in perfect adequacy with the musical style of the band. “An Absence of Faith
” is a return to roots. The recipe used is classical and already-known: heavy rhythmic chained at different tempo, unforeseeable breaks, some fast soli while others are melodic, implacable refrains with supporting ‘power chorus’… I guess you see what I mean. The result navigates between Metallica
, with a multitude of consonances which remind a little Annihilator
-like bands. Mat’s voice sounds very similar to the voices of his influential singers and when the rhythmic, the soli or the sonorities start sounding like these bands too, it’s difficult to decide if the result should be classified as a tribute or a plagiary!
But, the result is really nice and, after several listening sessions, the tracks become very catchy. The guitar duo works perfectly, the rhythmic are strong and powerful and all the soli are melodic. I would even go as far as saying that, for once, some extra speed and show would have been useful: but at least this proves that the band is not here to make the show but to use its skills to create its music. Luke Cook is one of those who let me speechless: how can he redo all of this on stage? How can he stand such a cadence? I see only one solution: as so many others, he must be the result of alien experimentations on genetic manipulation.
Let’s talk now about the annoying aspect of the album… Even if tracks such as ‘Out
of the Darkness
Walking’, ‘Before the Bough Breaks’ or the epic ‘Tears of Redemption
’ (nearly 9 minutes long) are catchy, the fact they keep remembering us of other bands tends to be slightly boring: ‘Deadman
Walking’ seems to come out from the “And Justice
for All…”-era of Metallica
, its break also mimic the “Set the World on Fire
”-era of Annihilator
. ‘Tears of Redemption
’ is the next track: how one cannot think of the “South of Heaven
”-era of Slayer
when listening to it. And
this problem keeps repeating itself over and over. Hopefully, the whole is done with talent, perfectly conducted and furthermore, “An Absence of Faith
” benefits from an excellent production which adds even more strength and sharpness to the whole.
committed the sin to let its influences lead its work too much, Even if the band offer us appealing and professional tracks here, the lack of originality and the impression of déjà vu penalize the album. Nevertheless, it’s well known some dishes are better warmed over. That
one is digested with pleasure and it deserves at least the attention from fans of old-school trash “made in the 80’s”. Let’s hope that the next opus will be more personal. The potential is there, it’s only a question of transforming it into a great album!
Translated by Heavyboy