Thrash metal has seen its share of progressive innovation and reinvention over the years, but the original form of the genre holds a special, rarely captured charm. Bands that capture the original threatening atmosphere and hold on to the rough edges of early genre progenitors are uncommon. Often, they mimic without understanding, roughly imitating the sound—high-gain guitars, snarled vocals, tupa-tupa and d-beat drumming—without actually retaining the inventive magic that makes the seminal entries in the genre so long-lasting. Thus, like all retro thrash releases, I approached Mortal Vision, a new band from Ukraine, with trepidation—but several listens later I can vouch for their debut record Mind Manipulation being a fully-functional war machine fashioned with reverence and skill, capable of fielding high-velocity instruments of destruction. Or, more succinctly, this is a fucking ripper. Check out one track from the band's arsenal now with our premiere of "Apophenia":



Kicking off with a spidery, fingers-flying riff, Mortal Vision demonstrates their sonic command immediately: nasty guitar lines and impressively visceral drum tones make for a burly presence, with a delightful amount of bass present in the mix (and also driving the song structure at points). Ivan Dyshlyuk's vocals have a gaspy-snarl quality to them, eccentric but also vitally menacing, and he deploys them across the song in service of the momentum, not just to wedge in a requisite number of verses or to over-emphasize a chorus.

"Apophenia" also demonstrates the band's mastery of the form: full of stop-starts and drumming switchups, the rhythmic side of the song is just as interesting as the notes that make up the riffs. It picks up at just the right times, and, maybe more importantly, drops out at what seems like the wrong times, only to slam back into full gear and invalidate any doubts on who knows what's best for the song.

Essentially, it's all a story of cohesion: every element of the band works together, not just serving as a vanity vehicle for guitar playing. Even the moments when the guitars let the bass shine are tremendous, and the neat little bits of lead work on the record are designed as a coherent complement to the meat-and-potatoes side of the record. As a shining (or more accurately, blood-stained and filthy) example of throwback thrash's potential, Mind Manipulation is set to be one of this month's most crucial thrash listens.

From the band:

"Apophenia" is defined as tendency to perceive a connection or meaningful pattern between unrelated or random things.

This song is a kind of abstraction of inner conflict, when person can’t accept or realize his own life experience and find a way to solve this problem. Of course, every listener will perceive lyrics of this song differently.


Mind Manipulation will release on October 29th via Redefining Darkness Records.

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