Violence Fraud Treachery

Written by: AP on 01/08/2012 13:44:13

It never seizes to baffle me how the vast majority of Danish metal bands seem to be content with recycling each other's music. The death/thrash hybrid is without a doubt the most popular and practiced subgenre of metal in the country, and while playing it well should thus be a certain path to success, at least domestically, it leads to a depressing assimilation of the nation's metal scene as a whole. There are exceptions of course, and those exceptions tend to be the ones receiving the most critical acclaim - which is hardly surprising. Mordax, who released their debut album, "Violence Fraud Treachery", earlier this year, sadly do not belong in that category of bands, as the music on it aligns itself all too closely with the style pioneered by Hatesphere.

That is not to say that Mordax are poor musicians, or lack the wits to pen a decent song, as the talent and instrumental prowess underlying the music is undeniable. The magnificent instrumental piece "Contrapasso", for instance, sees the band enlist their full arsenal of influences, from melodic death metal to progressive thrash to stunning results. But while the rest of the album provides a satisfying serving of metallic violence, there are few other tracks here with similar standout quality. Where Mordax do attempt to differentiate themselves is the vocal and lyrical department with the help of inordinate extremity, however. Vocalist Asbjørn Steffensen has an absolutely ferocious growl, and with song titles like "Trademark: Strangulation", "Acts of Aggression" and "Necrotic Hordes", the subject matter of his lyrics should be easy to discern. The surprise cameo by Dan Swanö (the producer of the album) on "Monarch of All" is a neat touch, as his contribution cranks up the intensity of the assault even more and gives the track some much needed novelty.

Instrumentally the songs divide itself into two categories: those that lean heavily on the band's thrash influences (such as "No Redeemer") and those that find the band delving deeper into their death metal roots ("Devoured by Life", for instance). There is a sense throughout the 47-minute running length of the album that Mordax know their shit, as individual weaknesses in the songs are virtually impossible to spot. But when inspected as a complete album, "Violence Fraud Treachery" fails to reveal enough stand-alone tracks to produce true lasting value. It is an ideal companion for the cathartic purpose of letting off some steam, and it certainly packs enough quality to deserve kind words on par with their domestic peers such as Blood Label, but in terms of original ideas Mordax bring very little to the table.


Download: Acts of Aggression, Monarch of All, Necrotic Hordes, Contrapasso
For the fans of: Blood Label, Cataract, Hatesphere
Listen: Facebook

Release date 24.02.2012
Ultimhate Records

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