Review: “Dead Generation” by Mortal Shift

Mancunian Hardcore quartet Mortal Shift – Stuart Carson (vocals), Ryan McGuire (guitars), Peter Higson (drums) and Conor Yates (bass) roped in Triple Six Productions for the cover art and Loathe guitarist Conor Sweeney to handle production, mixing and mastering for their debut EP “Dead Generation“, released independently back in May. Detest vocalist Christian Tustin also repays the favour of Stuart Carson appearing on “Abuser” from their EP “Human Scum” released the month before.

For a band labelling themselves as Hardcore, the dark industrial overtones of “Intro” that bleeds into “Now It’s Horror” suggests there is something else to Mortal Shift and by the time the Gloom laiden downtuned riffs come to life with dirty distortion that rings true. There is a bit of Loathe in the sound but also a some Downtempo groove, Nu-Metalcore introspection and an almost Slam growl from Stuart Carson. That eerie tension loaded introduction and the tempo drop offs bring two step moments before “Bedlam“. A simple opening riff of tight chord progressions paves the way for a guest vocal appearance from Jay Ingram of Broken Down and acid burn esq vocals side there is something of Bakersfield California Nu-Metal titans KoRn in the mix. Carson roars over more two step groove and there is a little moment of vinyl scratch work that nuances in before a tempo change that adds to the violence. Ingram’s part is short and sweet but interestingly the track cuts dead when it could got for another verse and chorus.

Human Trophies” features the aforementioned guest vocal from Christian Tustin of Detest and he brings the power of Slam to the table, lacing the track with some gore. Musically following similar paths to the earlier cuts and using stuccato riffage, polyrhythmic patterns and a dirty guitar tone means there isn’t anything complex but there doesn’t need to be. It’s all about the blunt force trauma and that makes it a Evil pleasure. Opening with some nauseated alarm call lead riffs “The Sickening” is a cut to throw your friends around to taking influence from the likes of Lotus Eater and creating a battering ram of a meat tenderiser while Carson screams about ending the cycle by burning him alive. That lyrical theme is then taken into the final track “Pessimist” which showcases a polar opposite side to the band. A dark churning meloncholy mood with a melodic guitar sound that hints at Deftones work excluding the brutal unclean vocals of Carson. That is until the half way mark when the broken relationship theme switches up into a far heavier groove and develops on what the band have done earlier in the record. It’s a track that says “how can I carry on without you in my life, everything’s in pieces” with a shoegazing quality that leaves you mesmerized [7/10]

Track listing

  1. Intro
  2. Now It’s Horror
  3. Bedlam (ft. Jay Ingram of Broken Down)
  4. Human Trophies (ft. Christian Tustin of Detest)
  5. The Sickening
  6. Pessimist

Dead Generation” by Mortal Shift is out now

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