9 out of 10
Release in 2014 on UKEM Records, The Day the Dead Returned, is the debut album from Stamford based, UK band, Morti Viventi. Literally translated their name means “living dead” and the whole album is a tribute to all things zombie.
On being given this album, I was immediately filled with dread and tried to put off listening to it. This initial reaction, without hearing a single note, was due to one thing, the band’s logo. That scrawly writing, that no matter what way round you turned the paper, you still can’t read, indicated one thing to me…black metal and not being a big black metal fan, I thought I would hate it.
The first few riffs of the opening song blasted through the speakers and I absolutely loved what I heard, however, with an introduction of nearly a minute, I had to wait for the vocals that I was sure would ruin it all again.
But, with more than a hint of Chuck Billy in his voice, the singer totally nailed it.
Morti Viventi are a thrash band and a damn good one at that!
But the more astonishing thing of all is the fact that they are not actually a band. Morti Viventi is just Adrian (Aidy) J Heathershaw, one man who had the vision of having his own band and after belonging to several bands which dissolved, he took it on himself to produce a record that was 99% performed by him.
And what an album, what a debut!
He takes the part of all instruments, except for a guitar solo in the last song “Thrash or Die” and does a superb job of them all. With riffs upon riffs and stunning drum work, topped with a voice to rival any of the top four thrash bands, he has created a VERY, HEAVY album.
A mixture of Testament, Slayer and with just a trace of Lordi, not such a bad thing if you ask me, this is probably one of the best thrash albums of the year. At only 46 minutes, and just seven tracks, long, it is high intensity, full out thrash from start to finish.
The stand out song for me is track 4, “Maniac – Face the Shape” but there really is not a bad song on the album, except maybe for track 6, “The Arrival”, which, although is not inherently bad, it is an instrumental and I tend not to favour instrumentals.
The album warrants an 8, all by itself, but doing this great album as a one man band, deserves a little extra credit which is why I have given it a 9. The title of the last song “Thrash or Die” completely sums up the whole feel of this album and if you like your thrash, then this is an album for you.