With female fronted metal bands seemingly on the increase, the so called ‘novelty’ is beginning to wear a bit thin. For the most part, this can only be a good thing, as the music is judged more on it merits than by the image of the outfit. Yet, of course, the comparisons with the heavy hitters such as Arch Enemy remain as common as ever, which is a slight issue for Mortad, as the impression we get from them is that they’re remarkably similar to the Swedish extreme metallers (albeit with nowhere near their songwriting aptitude).
It’s perhaps because of this rather hackneyed sound that there’s very little to be excited about on ‘Pandemic Paranoia’. Although tracks such as ‘Waste Of My Rage’ rattle along at an energizing pace, the riffs and vocal hooks throughout are unfortunatley far too bland and recycled to have any sort of impact. The musicianship is on occasion impressive, with some particularly aggressive drum work driving ‘Discipline And Distortion’, and a pleasingly melodic guitar break during the title-track. Yet, with the gratingly rasping vocal delivery a constant irritant and the uninspired instrumental backdrop rarely straying out of a tired, metal by numbers formula, the EP becomes a laborious listen all too quickly.
Although with a fair amount of hype surrounding them and some laudable accolades under their belt, Mortad have a vast amount of work to do to secure themselves any future prestige. With ‘Pandemic Paranoia’ relying too much on second rate ‘Heartwork’-era Carcass-isms and tepid, unforgivably cliched lyrical themes, a serious upping of the game is required here.
Written by Tony Bliss
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989. |