Mortal Treason
Sunrise Over A Sea Of Blood


4.0
excellent

Review

by BallsToTheWall USER (231 Reviews)
January 12th, 2008 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Take that Satan, we can rock harder than you.

Mortal Treason is a rather unknown metal band that never broke through the extreme metal scene due to breaking up shortly after releasing this album. They released two albums in their young and once promising career. They are known to many because of their Christian tag. Some bands use this as a crutch to lure like minded people into the music despite how bland or unoriginal they are. Amongst the ashes of the bloated scene, there are quite a few bands that stand out in terms of uniqueness and talent. Extol, Living Sacrifice, Zao, Renascent, and Antestor just to name a few. "Mortal Treason at first glance might not possess the tools necessary to step out of the overcrowded genre, they however have made a serious attempt to ignore the typical clichés and find their own niche in the metal world. Their sound can be described as a mix of straight forward heavy metal with slight hardcore influences wrapped around melodic death metal and symphonic black metal elements.

The album kicks off with a nice instrumental, opening with a piano laced with a cello before the drums and guitar soon enter, paving way for the album. Their sound possesses an aggressive yet melodic edge that recalls some of the greats. At The Gates, older Underoath, and Dimmu Borgir can all be felt in the presence of the metal that is being played. There is no singing to be found on this album. The vocal work of Seth revolves around the higher pitched raspy growls to lower pitched grunts atypical to the death metal scene. The singer shows good range and makes great use of his voice, varying the high's and low's to keep the music interesting. The guitar riffs are heavy and pack plenty of groove to satisfy the listener. As the tempo shift's from mid to low, is where the breakdowns make their presence known. Don't get me wrong, the breakdowns aren't over abused like so many bands but used to a minimum, maximizing the impact of the music with ominous keyboard melodies intertwining with the guitar's to leave a greater impact. The drum work has greatly improved from their last album. Patterns are fast when they need to be and slow when the times call for it. The bass is drowned out immensely, which can be a positive or a negative depending on how you take it in this style of music. The keyboard work on the album can be linked to Seth's wife, Elizabeth who was a new addition to the band as "Sunrise Over A Sea Of Blood" was being recorded. Filling a void to set the gap between the previous work into something new and refreshing, Mortal Treason had

As a vocalist, Seth might not be the most unique individual to abuse the microphone but he has shown a great amount of talent with his pipes. His higher register bears a striking similarity to Dallas Taylor yet shows more aggression and force than Dallas. His lower ranges while nothing out of the ordinary provide a great change of scenery. About the lyrics, the base centers itself around Christian related themes while for the most part not going too far into the Jesus aspect with the exception of “Death Is The Beginning”. The topic’s touch on various topics, ranging from substance abuse to the beginning of the end. Lyrically, I didn’t find too many things that bothered me. The guitar work is a solid rhythm machine provided by Josh and Adam. They play their fair share of groove oriented riff patterns along with the occasional breakdown to enhance the song, not overshadow it. There are a few solos, adding a nice kick to the music. “Taste Of A Bitter Soul” shows that well, with a well placed solo that ends way too soon. The key work is surprisingly dark and up front for being a Christian band. Bringing in the black metal flavor to the music, Elizabeth adds plenty of symphonic passages to the heaviness that the guitars add, adding a nice contrast between melodic and heavy. Some might find the key work to be irritating as the role it plays is prominent throughout the disk. I personally have no problem with this. A noticeable flaw would be the bass being nearly absent in the mix. From a bassist’s view, this album might not excel in but nothing is perfect. Drum work is pretty solid but standard fare for metal as rapid double bass patterns provide a lot to the music. There are a lot of cymbal crashes, drum fills, and cool drum patterns that change up as the speed changes. The music is wrapped around slightly fuzzy production, not quite black metal levels, but benefits the music greatly instead of sounding too commercial or clean as you’d find off the new Sonic Syndicate record.

All in all, this is a solid metal album that took a step up for the Christian metal movement. It’s a shame that their journey ended so soon but hope they inspired a new legion of young bands to leave their own mark upon the current music scene. Mortal Treason has proved to us that you can throw down with the best without exhibiting all the profanity, recreational drug abuse and groupie interaction that us metallers are guilty of, not that there is anything wrong with groupie interaction or boozing with your bros. Fans of any sort of metal should definitely give this a spin as it’s not too preachy for the elitist metal heads who bask in the dark to find offensive. If you do find that it does, well that's just too bad.



Seth Kimbrough - Vocals
Elizabeth Kimbrough - Keys
Josh Jarrett - Guitar
Adam Wright - Guitar
TJ Alford - Bass
Steve Robinson - Drums


Pros:
Great vocals.
Hard hitting yet haunting.

Cons:
Bass is tuned down.



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user ratings (59)
Chart.
3.8
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 12th 2008


17623 Comments


I don't know if I'd like this, but I'm sure there are songs online somewhere to check out... good review.

BallsToTheWall
January 12th 2008


49318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you, and yeah, I did read that Skinny Puppy post. I'll check those out after viewing Short Wave which is going to take a while given all the music provided from the band's last effort.

Digging: Gouge Away - Burnt Sugar

Willie
Moderator
January 12th 2008


17623 Comments


Oh, that's cool that you're going to review it too. Like I said, I have them all and you bought the only one that isn't out of print... so just let me know if when you want to hear a different one.

BallsToTheWall
January 12th 2008


49318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah for sure, I have a feeling though that this album's going to take some time to sink in, given all the material. Actually, only reason I bought it was that the cover reminded me of The Snowman and the label, hvy mtl.

Poet
January 12th 2008


6005 Comments


LOL@Squirtle. He was my favorite Pokemon.

ninjuice
January 12th 2008


6760 Comments


nice review. I didn't like what I heard when I listened to this, but maybe I will now. You say the breakdowns aren't abused, which is usually the thing that bores me in metal without singing.

BallsToTheWall
January 12th 2008


49318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's pretty accesible so it shouldn't be hard to get into. The music is pretty balanced and catchy the way it is.



Poet^^ pretty soon it'll evolve to Wartortle.This Message Edited On 01.12.08

Poet
January 13th 2008


6005 Comments


LOL!!!

ah Pokemon.

I haven't read the whole review....The only reason I came to look is because you wrote it Balls, and you've gotten me into a few things. But then I saw it was Extreme metal...I don't like that though

BallsToTheWall
January 13th 2008


49318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tbh, it's not anything like Vital Remains. You might like this because of the symphonic influence. The key's are executed pretty well.



Last post... im out.This Message Edited On 01.12.08

Pebster49
January 13th 2008


3021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is awesome, "Worst Case Scenario", and "These Evil Days" are amazing tracks. Awesome review.

jrowa001
January 13th 2008


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review like always balls. i havent listened to this forever though, i think im going to dig it up. i tend to listen to their previous album more

rasputin
January 13th 2008


14968 Comments


Great review, it doesn't sound like something I'd like though.

Neoteric
January 13th 2008


3243 Comments


I borrowed this off a friend a few years ago, pretty poor...

Crysis
Emeritus
January 13th 2008


17368 Comments


Nice review, I love the album title :D

jrowa001
January 13th 2008


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

TJ Alford actually went on to join War of Ages after this band stopped. didnt know if you knew that Balls. you should check them out if you havent already

BallsToTheWall
January 13th 2008


49318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I found that out actually a while ago. My friends love War of Ages so i'll tell them that when I try to introduce them to this band. I need to hear the other album despite the lack of keys.

jrowa001
January 13th 2008


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i have a link for that album in megaupload

ATLbraves
January 13th 2008


193 Comments


This band is absolutely AWESOME! Everyone needs to check them out. The instrumental "Best Case Scenario" is the reason i started playing drums. It will probably be one of the most awesome instrumentals you will ever hear in your life.


And "Death Is The Beginning" is just 8 minutes of awesome hell.

Chaosweaver
January 13th 2008


110 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is ok.

BallsToTheWall
January 13th 2008


49318 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Indeed a solid instrumental. Excuse me sir, you be liking some Scar Symmetry? Because that is a great song. What would that link be Jrowa. If possible, thanks.



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