Mordred - The Dark Parade
M-Theory Audio
Funk/Thrash Metal
8 songs (39' 26")
Release year: 2021
Reviewed by Andy

San Francisco's Mordred had their heyday in the early 90s, just before mainstream metal fell out of favor and as thrash and death metal was becoming increasingly progressive and daring. Rap and funk in metal were, as far as I know, unheard of at that time -- and were essential to the Mordred sound, which incorporated a turntable into the traditional four-piece, two-guitar lineup. After more than 20 years, they've released a new full-length. To my ears, The Dark Parade sounds as if their long semi-hiatus (they'd played some live shows in the interim) never happened.

Not entirely. Vocalist Scott Holderby's voice has gotten stronger, not as weird and nasal as I found it to be on earlier albums. But the band's quirky songwriting and lyrics are the same as ever. Demonic #7 leads off with high-speed, clipped guitar with an 80s thrash vibe, screaming guitar solos and all, in between record scratches and short sections of rap. The drums are crisp and tight, while the riffing moves from a clean, high-speed attack to a bath of distorted power chords on the slower choruses.

The title track is one of the best, with a nice chorus melody and a drawn-out guitar solo, though Eyes on the Prize, a much more minimalistic song than usual with chanted rather than rapped lyrics, caught my interest as well. At the very end, we get a drinking song with an initial riff that sounds like a throwback to the 70s, before the ultra-tight guitar distortions take over, DJ Pause still spinning his platters in between verses. For a reunion album on which the band could have easily dropped the ball, The Dark Parade far exceeds expectations.


Killing Songs :
Demonic #7, The Dark Parade, Smash Goes the Bottle
Andy quoted 85 / 100
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