In India, there are a not a lot of metal bands that play old school Thrash Metal. Mortar is a four piece from Kolkatta, India. They play no nonsense, straight forward Thrash Metal. Their debut EP, titled ‘Ground Zero’ was released on 9th February, 2013 through Incanned Productions.
The band get down to business right from the first beat of the first track, ‘Napalm Messiah’. The distortion goes up and the thrash comes galloping through the speakers. Right from the beginning, the old school factor can be felt.
The guitar riffs are simple, yet they grab hold of the listener and demand attention. The entire album is fast and the adrenaline flow is huge. High marks to the vocalist Nilabja for his banshee like screams. His performance gives off a very strong Tom Araya vibe. These vocals sets this band apart from the hordes of re-thrash bands popping up everywhere.
The guitar solos are well executed. The only adjective that can be use to describe the solos are – chaotic. The drums and the bass guitar do a good job in establishing a fast and heavy atmosphere over the proceedings. This EP is a total riff monster filled with simple catchy guitar riffs. The influence of Kreator is so obvious in their sound. This is not to say that this band is just another clone. Rather, they have created a sound for themselves.
There is also a cover song of Judas Priest in this EP. The band has covered ‘Hell Bent For Leather’. This cover is perfect. Instead of imitating the song to every last note, these guys are able to make this song their own, by adding a lot of their own touches to the original. They even manage to bring in the riffs of another classic Judas Priest song at the end.
The best aspect about this EP is, that with each repeated listen, I am able to enjoy to a greater extent than the previous time. The best track on this album has to be ‘The Human Plague’. The production could have been better. In an effort to bring out the old school sound, they have made it a bit too muddy for comfort.
This debut EP is a short and sweet lesson in old school thrash metal. This band deserves way more attention than what they have at present, for they have the required talent.