Album Review: Mortar ”“ Ground Zero EP
Kolkata old school thrash metal band are raw and fast on their debut release
[easyreview cat1title=”Ground Zero” cat1rating=”3.5″]
February is doing well to reassure India’s thrash metal faithful. With releases from Mumbai thrash bands Devoid [The Invasion EP] and Sceptre [Age of Calamity], Ground Zero by Kolkata old school thrash metal band, Mortar is the latest addition to the thrash playlist. Their debut EP is a short, yet full power thrash assault in 17 minutes.
Formed in late 2011, Mortar cites its influences as the Bay Area American thrash bands such as Exodus, Megadeth and Metallica. You can also hear some Kreator and Sepultura in there. It’s a bit confusing then to find that they’ve thrown in a cover of Judas Priest’s “Hell Bent For Leather” at the close of their four-track EP. The track even ends with a cheeky outro riff of the British heavy metal band’s most famous song, “Breaking The Law.” Seems like Priest is obviously one of those unacknowledged musical influences, whose sweetened, palatable melodies can even be heard on “The Human Plague,” Mortar’s five-and-a-half-minute track on which you can hear a nod to almost every major thrash metal band.
It’s not to say Mortar is ripping anyone off, though. They keep things as abrasive as possible on the other two tracks, the balls to the wall “Ground Reality,” and the EP opener “Napalm Messiah,” which follows a sweltering pace of guitar riffs from Samrat Daas and drum bashing from Sayak Bagchi.
Mortar really does want to put Kolkata metal on the map, and this EP should help. The close to raw production value is a nod to Eighties thrash metal [or the lack of quality recording gear]. But it’sÂ straight up old school thrash metal all through.
Â Key track: “Ground Reality”
Â Order Ground Zero EP from the Incanned Productions website here.