MORTAL FORM – The Reckoning
Straddling the lines of thrash and death with a bit of low tuned rhythmic groove, the third album from Dutch quintet Mortal Form "The Reckoning" could appeal to a diverse metal audience who like things raw and fierce with bursts of musical melody enhancement. "At Fever Pitch" contains a thoughtful lead break in more of the Death mold, and vocalist Ralf Jansen has a raspy snarl to his quick hitting growls and screams. Guitarists Vincent Wassink and Teun Jans peel off a series of mid-tempo to fast riff tradeoffs, some Bay Area thrash oriented like "Storm Before Calm" and others in an early death metal way such as "Apocalyptic Aftermath" or the semi-blasting "Forsaken Graves".
Bassist Oscar Thijssen and drummer Bastiaan Seynaeve get an equal chance to contribute in terms of setting the tone and pacing- both prominent factors in one of my favorite tracks, the 6:05 "Dungeon". Ralf’s influences appear to be a mix of German thrash singers like Schmier and Tom from Sodom as well as Chuck of Death- the way he trails off certain ending words as in the closer "Sinners Repent" creep into the night and could scare all creatures great and small away scurrying into the shadows.
Very workman-like in their approach to the genre, "The Reckoning" doesn’t really break any molds but rather keeps the emphasis on crushing riffs and arrangements that are very easy to get into and should excite any audience when taking in Mortal Form live. This could be a sleeper pick for many, good enough for me to stay interested and see where this quintet take their music in the future.