Good morning, and here comes some more music for you all to start off your week with!
Don’t worry, I know how to operate a calendar, and I realize it’s Tuesday. But yesterday was a federal holiday here in the U.S., as well as a snow day, so we lazily decided to have ourselves a nice extended weekend.
But today we’re back on track, and I would like to call your attention to an album I particularly enjoyed when it came out last summer. Again, I assure you, I do know how calendars work, and I do realize we’re now into the third week of the new year. Within the next few days I promise the first review of a new 2022 release will be coming! But we’ve still got plenty of older ones to cover that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Like this one: the fourth album overall (and the first in 27 years!) by San Franciscan band Mordred — who, by the way, will be playing their first hometown show of the year this coming weekend, alongside fellow local thrashers Death Angel. Details on tickets (both in-person and live-stream) to be found below.
Mordred – The Dark Parade (M-Theory Audio, 23 July 2021)
Although these guys had originally formed in the 1980s, releasing albums between ’89 and ’94 (and actively performing on and off since that time, with all five current members having been part of the band for more than thirty years now), and although the early 90s were extremely formative years for myself as a music listener (during which time I discovered plenty of thrash and other metal bands that would become lifelong favorites), somehow this particular group never quite made their way onto my radar screen until now.
But now that I’ve discovered newly-released LP The Dark Parade and found it so closely in sync with so much other stuff I loved from that era (you could have told me this was the album the band released in 1994 and I would’ve accepted it unquestioningly), it absolutely makes me want to dig deep into the rest of their back catalogue.
As soon as I’d hit play on the new record, opening track (and first single) “Demonic #7” immediately grabbed my full attention: the chaotic thrashy riffs, the keyboard accents, and especially the combination of rhythmic talk-singing with melodic choruses, all strongly reminded me of a song I particularly loved by another Californian funk/metal fusion band.
That mix of thrash metal with talk-singing in some places but epic melodic singing elsewhere also brings to mind a couple other early-90s favorites, GWAR and Queensrÿche. I didn’t have discovering a band with those very different touchpoints on my 2021 bingo card, but here we are. Most songs here also include well-performed flashy guitar solos, frequent punctuation by record scratches in the background, funky basslines and riffs. All good stuff. And one other can’t-miss highlight is the title track with its (for lack of a better way to describe it) demented-Dixieland-style saxes and horns, providing what seems to be a perfectly fitting soundtrack for that macabre display in the cover artwork.
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