Australia is well known for their thrash, death and of late, black metal acts. When I think Australian thrash metal, I think Slaughter Lord and their 86’ demo releases compiled into one album in 98’ titled “Thrash Till Death” which is one of the classics in my opinion. Next up we have Mortal Sin, also from Sydney, New South Wales. They started off in 1985 and released their first album in 86’ titled “Mayhemic Destruction” which had a very Metallica influence to it. Since that, the band has pressed on with some good releases totalling 4 studio albums up until the end of 2007. Finally, they’re back again with their new release titled “Psychology of Death”.
I asked myself, what could we expect from the legendary thrashers? Well, definitely not anything different. The album kicks off with the track titled ‘Psychology of Death‘ which roars into a classic thrash riff and some good drumming to compliment it. The start is nothing special, by any means. The song then picks up pace as some groovy riffs gets you in the mood to party. This is classic thrash with a modern touch, whilst maintaining that old school thrash production, which in my opinion is vital. The tempo is medium paced and one can really bang the head to this one. It does speed up towards the 3rd minute and the vocals are superb. The track has a really good solo just after the 3rd minute. The solo itself is not fast at all and fits perfectly, but it is nice and lengthy, a real showcase of their musical talents and one of the best solos I have heard on a thrash record in a while (in terms of post 80’s/90’s thrash metal releases). The solo saves this track from being a bit repetitive in terms of riffs, however, it does tend to chemically imbalance your brain, and that in its own is an achievement. After the solo it breaks down, into another classic riff. At times, it does get a bit banal and one-dimensional. This is by far not the best track of the album but still pretty amazing.
Moving on, the second track is titled ‘Blood of My Enemies’. This track has a more up beat tempo to it, which is more suitable to their style. Razor sharp riffs with some good bass lines and very consistent drumming, which gives it that tightness. Once again we are treated to a very epic solo about half way through after a constant build up. The solo work, is immaculate, truly sublime and it’s not just a flash in the pan as with many bands, it really has body and just keeps going. This track has a bit more variety in the riff department accompanied with some power slides along the fretboard. It the breaks into a frenzy of mini solo’s if you can call it that, which is my favourite part of the song. The vocal work is more aggressive and you can sense a bit more purpose and passion to it, which really does round off the track.
Another track that really got my thrash-sense tingling is titled ‘Doomed to Annihilation’ which has a really old school sound to it and starts off with some drumming before the riff kicks in, which is a trend for most songs on the album. Our mate, Mat Maurer has one of the best vocal styles in the thrash metal world along side that of John Connelly of Nuclear Assault. This track has good variety and will get you banging your head doing the horns up salute for the entire track. The solo, as you should now know by now, is a masterpiece, and this is the case in every track on this album. Other songs that could definitely rally thrashers to get the pit going can be found in the form of ‘Down In the Pit’, ‘Hatred’ and ‘Deny’.
It is really hard to pick a favourite track off this album as they are all brilliant in their own right and it’s just so consistent, one can really appreciate the effort of the Australian thrash icons. After a slow start, it’s as if it just gets better and better track for track. A superb release and I would highly recommend this to anyone who like bands in the vein of Nuclear Assault, Over Kill, Acid Reign, Exodus and Razor. So if you like to get dirty, sweaty and aggressive with some thrash, definitely pick up this record.