Brooklyn’s Mortals are a three-piece metal band who have just released their debut album through Relapse Records, and judging by the reactions to it so far, this could be a band who could have quite an impact. Caryn Havlik (drums) and Lesley Wolf (bass, vocals) first met nearly ten years ago whilst they were both members of all female Slayer covers band Slaywhore, but after meeting Elizabeth Cline (guitars) they regrouped as mortals in 2009. This album follows a demo and an EP and is a great introduction to their intense sound.
Right from the start of album opener ‘View From A Tower’ they set their stall out, and Mortals’ own take on black metal will both impress and unease. ‘Epochryphal Gloom’ gives a much more holistic view of their sound, building up from Wolf’s bass intro and slowly gathering pace for nearly two minutes before the chaos begins. A similar route is taken on ‘Series Of Decay’ mixing up long instrumental passages with the full on high tempo black metal that accompanies Wolf‘s barked vocals. Just six songs long and nearly fifty minutes in length, with three songs clocking in at over nine minutes, there is a lot to get through on here, and repeated listenings only give up more of the albums secrets and hidden layers.
Mortals combine the bleak claustrophobic black metal vibe with a more expansive melodic sections, which makes the band stand out from a lot of current black metal, who either go for atmosphere or extremity, but rarely do the two meet and even rarer still do the combine so well. The mixture give the songs a whole new sound, and give them epic feel in terms of content as well as song length. They obviously have a very definite idea of their core sound and are willing to experiment with different elements to accompany that. Such confidence to try something so big on a debut album has to be admired, and the results at times are excellent. With Relapse Records behind them, Mortals are in a great position and with an album like “Cursed To See The Future”, they have a fine base to build on in the future.