"Shoot 'Em Up"

By Dr. Abner Mality

These Canadians have to be one of the most gun-obsessed bands I've covered for Wormwood. Besides the title track, we get songs like "Eat Lead", "Trigger Happy", "Locked and Loaded", and "Poink Blank". So at least they're well-armed...

These dudes play primitive, low-tuned death/thrash that's as raw as uncooked meat. Just simple, pounding brutality with amazingly bass-heavy production and growling subhuman vocals. Honestly, I don't know where the death ends and the thrash begins...this is much more brutal than the typical retro-thrash music, even stuff like Warbringer. Especially thuggish are the  caveman-like vocals of Yobin Lafrienere, who sounds like he just got done killing a mastodon.

The formula works pretty well in the early going, especially if you are looking for something simple and brutal to mosh to. Cuts like the opening "Under The Flag", "Eat Lead" and the title track are satisfying in the most primal way, but as the album continues, it's obvious these guys don't have too many more tricks up their sleeve. There are 14 tracks on "Shoot "Em Up" and with this basic in your face style, it should have been pared down to 10. There are at least four redundant songs that don't match the high quality of those I've already mentioned. That makes the album a weary slog to go through in one sitting.

But there is something definitely very heavy and aggressive here. I am sure that Mortor would kill live and when in the proper mood, "Shoot 'Em Up" delivers the raw beatdown many metalheads crave.