Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mortal Sin - Psychology Of Death

Mortal Sin
Psychology Of Death
Independent Release/Riot! Entertainment

It took a few years, and several line-up changes within that time, but two years after reforming, Sydney (New South Wales, Australia) based thrash metal act Mortal Sin finally delivered their long awaited comeback album ‘An Absence Of Faith’ in 2007. And while the album wasn’t the absolute classic many had hoped would rival their critically acclaimed debut effort ‘Mayhemic Destruction’ (1986), it was at least better than anything the band had produced since the release of their sophomore effort ‘Face Of Despair’ in 1989.
It’s been four years since the release of their last album, and after some extensive touring across the globe to announce their long overdue return to the scene (Which was documented on their live D.V.D. ‘Out Of The Darkness’ in 2007, and their live album ‘Into The Inferno - Live In Oslo’ in 2009), Mortal Sin (Who now comprise of vocalist Mat Maurer, guitarist Nathan Shae, new guitarist Ryan Huthnance of The Seer/Indisperse, bassist Andy Eftichiou and ex-Vaticide/The Seer/Killrazor drummer Luke Cook) are back with their highly anticipated fifth full-length effort ‘Psychology Of Death’.
If there were any doubts amongst fans as to whether or not Mortal Sin could ever return to their glory days of pure unadulterated thrash, then ‘Psychology Of Death’ will settle the matter once and for all. ‘Psychology Of Death’ is without a doubt the comeback album Mortal Sin promised they would deliver, and then some.
After a minute long build-up, the band gets right down to business with the opening title track ‘Psychology Of Death’, and what a track it is! The guitar team of Shae and Huthnance is a powerful one to say the least, with the pair delivering some truly crushing riffs and an assortment of solo fills that well and truly announce the band’s return to their classic ‘80’s thrash roots. Cook’s proficient drumming helps add an edge that was somewhat lacking on their last release, while Maurer’s distinctive monotone vocals sound stronger than ever. In simple terms, this is a completely rejuvenated Mortal Sin from the one we heard four years ago.
From here, the band rarely let up their full-on thrash assault, with the fast paced ‘Blood of My Enemies’ taking no prisoners with its added aggression and venom over the opener (Especially on the vocal front), the catchy (And perhaps a little repetitive) ‘Paralysed By Fear’, the anthem-like ‘Burned Into Your Soul’ and the powerful ‘Deny’ all delivered in the classic thrash metal vein of old Mortal Sin.
It isn’t until ‘Doomed To Annihilation’ and ‘Kingdom Of Pain’ that the band deviates from the breakneck speed of the early part of the album. But despite the lack of speed, both tracks still manage to deliver some solid thrash grooves with its tight knit and diverse array of riffs, Cook’s incredible drumming throughout and Maurer’s distinctive aggressive vocal snarls.
Towards the tail end, the band once again ramps up the speed with the classic Overkill sounding ‘Down In The Pit’, before closing the album with the full-on blitzkrieg of ‘Hatred’.
Mortal Sin may have marked their return to the metal scene with ‘An Absence Of Faith’, but their real comeback comes in the form of ‘Psychology Of Death’. This album is a relentless thrash assault from start to finish, and just the kind of release that lives up to the reputation Mortal Sin initially built way back in 1986.
Where Mortal Sin go from here remains to be seen (Especially since Maurer announced his resignation from the band just months after the release of this album), but as it stands now, Mortal Sin is seriously back in true thrashing form on ‘Psychology Of Death’.

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© Justin Donnelly