Mortals – Cursed To See The Future (Relapse Records)Wednesday, 2nd July 2014
It shouldn’t matter, but it does; it does because metal’s a dude-dominated field – Mortals are the semi-official blackened sludge pile(r) on(er) of the female sort. Not that we need another band like this (we don’t, definitely), but hey, getting a different angle on the matter can sometimes be refreshing. Naturally, if one listened to the band without reading their bio and taking a gander at their promotional pictures, one would assume Cursed to See the Future is an all-dude affair. Alas, it’s not, and even if it was, then it would still be an above-average offering that is very 2014.
High-five to whomever recorded and engineered the album – the guitar tone of Elizabeth Cline is that of sonically devastating proportions. It really enables her occasional deft chord guitar to shine when she’s not getting bogged down in generic sludge-ville. So when there’s the prominent black metal elements showing their face (see: “Epochryphal Gloom” and “Devilspell”), it really starts to click with Mortals in a sort of USBM, but less ugly fashion, all thanks to Cline’s flexibility with plain ‘ole heavy riffing, and the winding, savage chord usage often found within black metal.
Beware that the six jams here can be a little long, some of which going for the throat right away (“Series of Decay,” which happens to be the album’s best jam), while others not quite there in terms of full-on catchiness. Also, one would be advised to not listen to Cursed to See the Future in consecutive listens, something DR did, only because he’s a glutton for punishment. The album is so sonically loaded and bombastic, that a certain feeling of being worn down and worn out will take effect. But don’t let these be a deterrent, as Mortals should get some attention for how thoroughly heavy they are, which as simpleton as it sounds, is the truth.