Crucified Mortals: Crucified Mortals

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Crucified Mortals: Crucified Mortals
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Crucified Mortals: Crucified Mortals
Thrash Metal
Hell’s Headbangers
March 15th, 2011
Release length: 37:17
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Crucified Mortals is a Thrash act from Cleveland, Ohio that formed back in 2001. The band features Craig “Reaper” Horval and Zack Rose, both of Nunslaughter fame, a band well established and known in the underground worlds of Death Metal, as well as Sebatian Dzialuk on drums to fill out the line-up of this originally a one-man project. While the band doesn’t quite share the same lengthy discography, the band still retains a strong amount of Death Metal influence to the recording, giving this band’s Thrash sound a darker and more sinister feeling to match the bludgeoning music being played. Right off the bat, all that makes this release sound like a phenomenal underground release, and one that fans of Nunslaughter will undoubtedly buy right away, but for the rest, does it live up to be a must have purchase?

The album starts out with a familiar tone, though I can’t quite seem to place where the opening chiming ambience is from, other then in various Horror movies, and a scene from the animated series Courage the Cowardly dog with the hunchback who plays the balls on top of the Eustace’s barn in the rain. That little clip of nostalgia dies quickly as the haunting guitars and bass set in with a typical sounding introduction that matches the atmosphere the start of this track set up in it’s very brief time, and does a nice job preparing the listener for some early Thrash with Death Metal influences throughout. The production quality holds a rawness to it that still retains a clear quality, but feels muddied and heavy, greatly working in the albums favor as “Sordid Treachery” slams away at the listener with deep guitars and a loud, heavy driving bass backing them up, though typically just playing the same riffs as the guitar and not offering much else to the recording except a nice bite to the chugging Thrash, though stands on it’s own during the solo that will immediately rip your face off.

This is the general tone for the rest of the release. The material here is heavy, and takes a clearly early Thrash sound that will bring up memories of earlier Slayer material, and it’s actually pretty obvious throughout the album. The songs even seem to have that same kind of heavy, intimidating attitude to them. “Resurrected Fiend” in particular has a slower chugging pace that feels very intimidating, as if the song is going to magically come out of your speakers with a closed fist and just punch you square in the face. That attitude works perfectly with the vocal approach for this release, not quite being gutteral, but more of a deeper, rhaspier style, as well as a slightly cleaner version, but still as deep and commanding. “Figurer in Black” has that cleaner feel to the vocals throughout the entire song, whereas many other tracks like “Sordid Treachery” and “Desecrating the Dead” seem to have a little more of a rhasp to it, which just makes the song feel like there’s more energy behind it. “Perpetrator” is proof of that whent he vocals do ultimately hit a deeper gutteral, as well as a higher pitched shriek, with faster, pounding metal with a deep rhaspy voice. Out of all the tracks, this is the one that has the most energy behind it, and is also the most impressive, though it’s very short in actuality, taking it’s length primarily from the longer slow pace introduction.

Again, Crucified Mortals isn’t really anything new, as inspirations from Slayer and similar early Thrash acts can be picked up throughout the album, as well as some inescapable Nunslaughter elements. But, even with that, this is far from a bad album. All the tracks on here take the simpler Thrash approach, rarely being very fast and coming off more as a mid-tempo, maybe slightly faster depending the track, with chugging riffs that pack a good amount of attitude. But, there’s the only problem. This essentially sums up the entire CD. It would have been nice to have a good mixture of faster and slower tracks, but the amount that’s here is good enough. After a while, the mid-tempo track do start to feel a bit repetitive, as there’s nothing really much outside a general pattern for some of these songs, such as “Ghastly Affliction” sounding like the exact same composition and approach to “Sordid Treachery” and a couple others. The atmospheric introductions that the band uses on some songs really helps out too, though the band does let it get a bit out of hand with “Perpetrator” with how long the introduction for that track is, which takes up a good chunk of the song’s time, and leaves the listener wishing they expanded on it a little more. “Fatal Scheme” winds up being a bit of a problem too, as the song just sounds really hollow when it’s slower. The chords are the general chugging pace, but because of how slow and simple they are, it sound vacant until the song picks up about half way through.

What it all comes down to is whether earlier Thrash with a somewhat brutal attitude is your thing. The music here simply isn’t bad, though there’s some moments that could have been bettert, such as “Fatal Scheme” and it’s empty sounding slower start. A little more variety, even complexity here and there would definitely have gone a long way for the band too, and hopefully future releases will see the band expanding on that a bit. Other then that, it’s a solid nod to the glory days when Thrash had a attitude, and wanted to kick your ass, or at least sounded like it was going to. Crucified Mortals have done an excellent job of capturing that spirit, and all but one track on here is completely enjoyable thanks to the solid performance and varying levels of energy behind them. If you’re a Thrash fan, it’s well worth exploring for that fact alone, and though it isn’t anything new or unique, Crucified Mortals packs enough material to kick you right in the ass.

01. The Seance – 1:33
02. Sordid Treachery – 2:47
03. Hidden Tomb – 4:33
04. Resurrected Fiend – 3:05
05. Figure in Black – 3:59
06. Desecrating the Dead – 1:51
07. Perpetrator – 2:26
08. Ghastly Affliction – 3:44
09. Fatal Scheme – 4:18
10. Masked Murder – 3:05
11. Doom – 5:56
12. Sordid
Overall Score: 8/10
Crucified Mortals (band)
Crucified Mortals (logo)Digital review copy of this release provided by Hell’s Headbangers.