Ohio's Mortifier has followed up their 2008 debut Underground Noise with a 3-track 7" EP of riffy 80s thrash/speed metal that thankfully evicts the all too typical 'WE ARE THRASH METAL AND WE WANT YOU TO KNOW' blazon from its sleeve. No, Mortifier are simply a band loving and living what they do, with no need to insult the intelligence of the everyday thrasher.
Tales of Torture has influences from all over the thrash metal spectrum. You can hear a little German riffiness, a little crossover punk, maybe some Wehrmacht, and the dirty vocals of Brian Rex have a nice, harsh bite which finds a middle ground between Sadus or Juggernaught, and King Fowley (Deceased). Though the riffs are actually quite tight, the band aesthetically pulls off the sloppy fun of beercan-crushing, zombie decapitating 80s thrash metal decently. "Brain Freeze" is a moshfest worthy of early Tankard, "Satan's Attack" opens with some demonic melodies, then a chuggy Exodus-style riff and a flurry of vomiting speed. "Lord of the Seas" is the longest track on this 10 minute release, with most of the best riffs, and what I believe to be a Cthulhu theme. The lyrics are of the mediocre rhyme scheme sort, but this is also true to the roots of the genre.
Tales of Torture is nothing approaching mind blowing or excellence, but it's a quick volley of old school thrash metal that will appeal to lovers of the less pretentious 80s bands, in particular the US scene. I can rattle off a lot of obscure bands this one recalled, but it would take longer than it will take you to check this out. I'm all for a revival of this style, and unlike many retro poseurs, Mortifier are content to let the music do the talking (as it should be).
Verdict: Win [7/10] (unlocking my masters tomb)