Review: “New Dark World” by Force Of Mortality

Forged in the furnace that is Oxford in 2016 before releasing their debut EP “Reincarnate The Immortal” independently as a quartet in the spring of 2017, Force of Mortality laid the foundations of what would become their debut album across 5 hard and heavy tracks that had already been part of their live show for almost a year. Slimming down to a power trio of Danny “DB” Bhatt (drums, percussion,), Colin “The Doctor” Lewis (bass, guitars) and Andrew “Mazza” Marriott (vocals, guitars) with the exit of lead guitarist LJ in 2018 they took 10 months to craft their debut full length with Bhatt sat in the producers chair. Citing influences in Metallica, Bolt Thrower, Paradise Lost and Xentrix, it’s time for a fresh beginning and the new chapter in the book of Force of Morality, “New Dark World“…

…bringing the record to life “The Fall” has the epic build up that you might expect from an early Metallica track before cutting a mid-tempo groove with riffs akin to Black Sabbath or Spirit Adrift, rooted firmly in the space between 1970’s Hard Rock and 1980’s Thrash Metal with a classy amount of nostalgia about it. This opening cut approaches the seven minute mark in duration but has plenty to keep you engaged, basslines which pop out of the mix and a fine elongated lead style solo that plays things out. Having set that tone “Divided Nation” comes out of the wash sounding like a pre-Black album demo from the Big Four Kings with that familiarity in the riff and structure that you will have heard on Thrash releases since the dawn of time. That could be a double edged sword but fortunately the vocals and lyrical narrative hold it together neatly and there are so many rhythmical nuances that it works on many levels. Mazza’s vocals have a Lemmy Kilmister vibe at times whilst also having that dry rasp of a Steve Souza in his locker and while there are a couple of minor faltering moments, notably at the beginning of “Eponymous“, he always finishes strongly and that only serves to add to the charm of the record…

…Longer cuts are the order of the day throughout “New Dark World” but a shorter cut in first single “Driver” shows a willingness to experiment. It tells the story of a getaway driver escaping from the law after a job gone wrong makes for a neat storyline and belongs on a film soundtrack, it would fit neatly into anything Quentin Tarantino might want to make. That storytelling capability is something which works really well in the apocalyptical stand out “Hades“, which has a more complex over all sound and some impressive tribal drum patterns, while the Therapy? esq moments of “Born to Fire” and some more aggression in the guitars serve Force Of Mortality well. An instrumental finale in “Even Badder” is a tour de force of classic Metal and Thrash riffs that sees the band running over hot coals with numerous tempo shifts and little moments so well crafted that it could run on for twice its length and not lose any of its momentum. There is even time for a classic rock fueled noodling mid song that tips it’s hat to some legends as well as neat solo that will take some doing live [7/10]

Track listing

  1. The Fall
  2. Divided Nation
  3. Driver
  4. Eponymous
  5. Hades
  6. King of Kings
  7. My Serenity
  8. Born to Fire
  9. Even Badder

New Dark World” by Force Of Mortality is out 23rd October

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