Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mortal Wrath: Overview and Suggested Listening.

Post # 180 [Poll Winner: Independent Band Of The Year 2011]
After Mortal Wrath won this year's annual competition of independent bands, I welcomed them to the blog, and posted their main website as a link in the 'Honorary Vice President' side-bar. Now it's time to take a few minutes and focus on their music, the reason they're on this blog to begin with.

Since they do not yet have a hard-copy CD release at this point, I'll be reviewing the music they have available to stream online through their website: If you follow the link, you'll be greeted with a sample of their music, and follow the tab labeled 'music', and you'll have 10 tracks available for previewing. The heading will tell you 'Progressive/Power Metal', and that's what you're going to get with Mortal Wrath!

Listening to their music, I hear a lot of influence from mid-2000's power metal (like Blind Guardian, and Hammerfall), but also some more classic influences (like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and especially early Queensryche). They use the tone of power metal, and add to it some elements of progressive-metal for song structure. The result is usually some speedy and intricate major-key riffs, plenty of melodic-yet-heavy virtuoso guitar solos, and soaring vocals that recall some of progressive metal's finest singers. Case-in-point: the first time I ever heard Mortal Wrath, their vocalist, Tommy Fields, reminded me so much of Queensryche's Geoff Tate, that I went back and played their debut, self-titled EP for about a week.

These 4 guys from Romney, WV, have a good thing going for heavy metal, if you ask me. I've heard they plan  on recording some of their songs for an official release in the coming year, so mark their website for future reference, and follow their facebook page so you won't miss out.

The Happy Headbanger's top picks:
-Law Under Grace (My top pick for Mortal Wrath. Up-lifting speed-metal. It would almost fit in with DragonForce on you ipod... download it & try it out!)
-Lest Thine Eyes be Single (Straight forward progressive-power metal, just like they claim. Great guitar soloing on this track...)
-The Single Projection (A thrashy, heavy tune with melodic chorus)
-The Absence of Mystery (A slower, somber song. Here's a different side of Mortal Wrath, and an exhibit of their versatility.)
-Morningstar Crusade (This song has a bit of everything, as it balances slow, melodic passages with faster heavier ones.)
-Carnivorous Aspect (Here is a song that sees Mortal Wrath pushing for a heavier sound. Riffs on this one are almost bone-crushing. The vocals are delivered a little harsher too, but still within the power-metal style...)

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