MortThe colourful sleeve picture is of a city at war, lightening, barbed wire and skeletons. This is the image of the coolly-named Canadian old-school thrash metal band Mortillery. Destruction is their world in common with the band of that name.

Sure enough, “Origin of Extinction” is an absolute blast. Aggression meets melody and diamond-hard riffs. In fact it’s pure rock and roll. Each track is laced with excitement and where on the one side I can see the harder-edged side of Death Angel, on the other there’s the more popular appeal of Iron Maiden and even Skid Row in there. This album is about non-stop action. I especially liked “Seen in Death” which typifies the mood. Its irresistible beats make it thrilling. Fantastic solos sweep you along. The vocals come from a ballsy-sounding female who reminded me in attitude of the woman from In This Moment. This one supplements the hard rock / metal on display with a good blood-curdling scream when she wants to. It’s all in a similar format, moving along nicely to breakneck drumming for the most part, but any uniformity is compensated by sheer energy and life. I like the fact that there’s no attempt to tone it down or present some artificially deep or mellow side. Although consistently heavy, the musicianship is, however, sophisticated. I guess though that “F.O.A.D” couldn’t really be described as “sophisticated” as it contains, consistent with its title, a lot of swearing. Childish? No it’s not because it’s important not to be po-faced. “F.O.A.D” arguably has the strongest riff on the album, it’s hard-hitting as usual and it’s there to be enjoyed. Although they are serious musicians, Mortillery don’t appear to take themselves too seriously. And “F.O.A.D.” is a great song.

Attack – attack – attack. There’s no room for defence here. “Origin of Extinction” has consistently strong riffs, loads of melody and 10 tracks of freshly-thrashed heavy metal.

(8 /10 Andrew Doherty)