Thrash is a style distinct from others due to its aggression, speed and accuracy. The very name Mortar is reminiscent of those 80′s thrash metal bands that took the scene by a storm. Hailing from Kolkata, Mortar is a new and much needed breed. The band was formed in late 2011 and after numerous line-up changes; they finally released their debut EP, “Ground Zero”. Currently Mortar has Nilabja on vocals, Samrat and Soham on guitars and Sayak on drums. While citing influences ranging from Exodus, Razor, Kreator, Sodom, and Overkill and not to mention Judas Priest and Iron maiden, the EP is a well-crafted homage to the legends.
1. Napalm Messiah
2. The Human Plague
3. Ground Reality
4. Hell Bent For Leather (Judas Priest Cover)
‘Napalm Messiah’, the first track, is typical old school thrash. And it’s nice to listen to some pure nerve wrecking thrash from an Indian band, ‘coz that rarely happens. The song oozes rawness that you would expect from any thrash metal song with solid riffs, sweet progressions, and not to mention the energy level. The solos and the vocals need some time to mature, but overall, it’s an impressive track.
The Human Plague
‘The Human Plague’ is clearly distinct due to its unique riffs & progression. The track has two solos, perfectly timed and beautiful. At a personal level the song dragged me to the middle of a pit. Sayak is definitely the man, with some serious skills.
The third track, titled ‘Ground Reality’ is my favorite from the EP and will definitely go down into my playlist. Bang the head that will not bang! What a rush! The song is an achievement for Mortar, both lyrically and in the musical sense. The intensity of drumming, blastbeats, the tempo, the vocals, and not to forget the simplistic yet crazy-ass solo, sets this song apart.
Hell Bent For Leather
“All await, engine’s ticking over. Hear the roar as they sense the fear.” Yes, you have got it right. Mortar’s EP ends with a cover of “Hell Bent for Leather” by Judas Priest. One can just imagine a motorcycle emerging from the midst. With fair vocals & decent tapping, the cover is slick and lively.
The album is immense and remarkable, though Mortar tries to stick to its raw-underground-thrash sound, in an overall manner, it will time and practice before they take the forefront of the thrash scene in India. The vocals, solos and the recording need a decent amount of work and maturity. And considering the fact that the band is new, there is not an iota of doubt that their future releases will be a mastery of their tradecraft. Even without a bassist, they managed a fucking sweet EP. So sky’s the limit for this blood thirsty horde. Do show your support by purchasing the EP and cherish the local scene that we have.