Mortad – Pandemic Paranoia by Ben Spencer

Somi Arian – Vocals
Jonathan Hughes – Guitar
Joseph Perumal – Bass
Szymek Lawik – Drums
Album Tracklisting:
1. Pandemic Paranoia
2. Black Rose Deflowered
3. Disciple and Distortion
4. Stricken
5. Waste My Rage (Bonus Track)

Having only recently formed in 2010, Mortad from London have been building up quite an impressive resume in their musical career. Founded by vocalist Somi Arian, the quartet played at the second stage of Bloodstock festival 2011 and is set to play Hammerfest and Female Voices festival this year.

With this in mind, Pandemic Paranoia has plenty of hard hitting metal to satisfy even the most extreme listeners. Instantly the female vocals are one to be admired as the opening title- track ‘Pandemic Paranoia’ lunges head first into a shrilling assault on the senses. Guided by some throat tearing shrieks, pounding drumming and metallic riffs and solos these guys solidify a no-nonsense approach to death metal. The track elevates and swings down like a guillotine in its final moments: if music could severe heads it would sound something like this.

‘Black Rose Deflowered’ follows in a similar fashion. However, what is most notable here is the furious and enraged drumming which takes precedence with rapid fire double kick peddles, attacking its way half way through.

A personal highlight would be the technicalities of ‘Discipline and Distortion’. A slight moment of relief is found in an eerie intro that soon bursts into a maelstrom of noise. Relentless and colossal, these guys have cloaked themselves in a dark and sinister aura, as well as throwing in more jaw dropping solo’s into the mix.

The EP’s fourth track ‘Stricken’ sweeps through with thought provoking lyrics “Is reality just in our minds?” a dialogue that is well scripted with a powerful composition of instrumentation. Some serious fret board wizardry kicks in, propels the song and is guaranteed to leave you breathless.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there as bonus track (which will feature on the band’s full length album) ‘Waste of my rage’ leaves a trail of destruction behind it, leaving you with high expectations for their follow up record.

Overall, this is indeed a solid release, passionate and dedicated: everything from the record’s production to song writing moulds together into a cohesive whole. Even though some may feel the record suffers from a lack of diversity it more than makes up for it by the band’s precision and focus. One that I’m sure will be further utilised in their 2012 debut album.