DECEMBER 14th 2012
Review by Anka

Released in September 2012, ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’ is the second album for the Ottawa/Gatineau based band Mortör.  I haven’ t had the chance to hear the first album so I won’t be able to identify how things have evolved since their previous release but  I am hoping to catch up on that at a later time.

Formed in 2008, this is a relatively new band in the already thriving Canadian metal scene, a band that wasted no time and quickly grew from one man project to a full-lineup, completing two albums within the last two years. The band lists bands like Sepultura, Kreator, Morbid Angel, Slayer or Carcass among their influences, and certainly you can hear a bit of each in their music.  Most likely, if you like the bands above, you won’t be disappointed with ‘Shoot ‘Em Up’.

From the ‘Intro’ song we can sense the generic vibe of this release:  the almost 1 minute piece sets the tone for the entire album to a blistering, raw-sounding death-thrash that will satisfy your need of ‘extreme’ metal for the duration of exactly 14 songs. Just reading through the song titles like ‘Locked and Loaded’  and ‘Days of our Knives’ will give you an idea about the not-for-the-weak heavy madness that’s about to follow.  There’s no timeout, so hold tight and prepare for a marathon of loud, fast and intense metal.

Mortör bring out the ‘heavy artillery’ of riffing, there’s no slowing down although we do get changes of pace and interesting breaks from time to time.  Catchy riffs come unexpectedly and delightfully and it’s hard to resist not tapping the rhythm on your leg, on the desk, or even slightly banging your head while walking down the street. There are few classic heavy metal or even some technical twists at times. Don’t expect great diversity or harmonic surprises or anything out of the ordinary of the genre, though there surely is some degree of variety to enjoy on every track and a great deal of head-banging potential. For those who prefer the rather mellow types of metal, this might sound like a sonic bombardment that gets too overwhelming after a few tracks. However the band did a great job at creating this beastly, sharp sound and tenaciously sustaining it until the end of the album.  Altogether, good drum and bass execution, in tandem with the pounding guitar riffs. Melodic leads take over more prominently after the first few songs so there’s definitely more to look forward to - in case you are tempted to abandon before hearing it all. The deep, menacing growls couldn’t be more suitable and contribute heavily to the death metal load.  

Songs to remember: Shoot ‘Em Up, Locked and Loaded, Let’s Deflagrate, Infidels, Point Blank

After this riff-ridden ‘punch in the face’ I cannot help trying to find some comparison in the local metal scene. Actually this is the first album of this kind I hear from an upcoming Canadian band – great to see potential out there and great to see a band exploring the diversity of death metal sonorities.