Metal can sometimes be a strange beast when it comes to recording. In a way, the reduced expense of recording equipment and ease of publishing and publicizing your art has made for an explosion of creativity. However, not every single new record available is really worth your time. Hip hop was one of the first genres to take advantage of the new low cost home production, but not every person claiming to be a rapper has the talent to show for it. Metal has exploded since this advent, and there are similar experiences for the genre.
Mortal Infinity falls into a similar category. The five-piece thrash band from Zeilarn, Germany, have been chugging along since 2009. In that time, they’ve put out a few records that more or less fit in these lines. They have their ups and downs, as all bands do, but they haven’t quite broken through yet with a huge record. Their latest, In Cold Blood, doesn’t fit that bill. It once again has its ups and downs, showing the band excelling at some parts and lacking in others.
Let’s start with the good. The guitars are pretty fun! They can write a mean riff with a good hook. These riffs are really sharp and can carry a track through to its end. They combine really well with the drums, making an excellent rhythmic trio. There is also a pretty clear Coroner influence here as the band goes fairly progressive with their songwriting. While the riffs are fun, it’s also nice to mix them up as much as you can just to keep things interesting.
Unfortunately, that’s where most of the positives end. This band tries to do a lot of things they’re really not capable of. A noble effort to be sure, but it’s pretty detrimental to your overall sound if it doesn’t work and you leave it be. Mortal Infinity does that pretty frequently on In Cold Blood. It’s an album that’s really marred by failed experiments and lack of good editing. What this record could really use a third-party producer and someone who can lend an objective ear and really help out.
For starters, the songwriting needs improvement. There was an attempt to go progressive with these songs. The vast majority of the time, that attempt is unsuccessful. It often feels like multiple song ideas were just mashed together. It doesn’t feel organic at all. There is rarely a natural progression from one riff to the next. It just happens as if you hit the skip button, and it almost seems like the songs were just jammed together as if they had multiple two minutes long songs they didn’t like. The songs simply don’t feel right as a result.
The elephant in the room is the vocals and lyrics. While the whole record is in English, it becomes apparent quickly that whoever wrote the lyrics is not a native speaker. The word choice is at best odd and often cringeworthy. Words are intentionally pronounced incorrectly to make them fit into a rhythm instead of rewriting a passage to make it work better. Presentation is also lacking. The vocal style meanders from old school thrash shouting to death-inspired grunts. Much like the songwriting, it changes at random and without much explanation. There’s room for editing and reworking on this record, but none of that seemed to have happened.
The long and short of this record is that it just feels odd. It feels like someone had a vision for what this should sound like, but the product doesn’t achieve it. While there are definitely some feathers in their cap, they aren’t relying on those things. They try to do a lot on this record that doesn’t quite work right, and there was no one in the room trying to fix it. Some listeners might be able to make it past the lyrics and vocals and purely enjoy the riffs as a collection of sounds. More power to you.
In Cold Blood is available Sept. 6.