Alexander Nordqvist – Vocals
Kimberly Nordqvist – Vocals
Martin Thollander – Guitar
Jonny Pettersson – Bass
Henrik Jansson – Drums
3. World Destroyer
4. Sacrilege (Acoustic)
5. Sacrilege (Acoustic instrumental)
I’ve not come across Stockholm’s Mudpusher band before, but the Swedish groove metallers have been headbanging since 2008! Consisting of Alex and Kimberly Nordqvist, dirty and clean vocalists respectively, Martin Thollander handling guitar duties, Jonny Petterson on bass and Henrik Jansson smashing the skins.
Their new E.P ‘Sacrilege’ has just dropped after a series of demo’s of other material but do Mudpusher stand side by side with the great bands of their Country and some of their influences?
I don’t know whats in the water in Sweden but it more often than not, seems to be a breeding ground for great metal. Entombed, Dissection and At The Gates spring to mind. Unfortunately, from what i’ve heard on this E.P I can’t begin to hold Mudpusher in the same esteem.
You can’t compare Mudpusher to those bands because they play a completely different style of music. It’s sort of death metal inspired metalcore (not Deathcore, bleugh!). Think the riffs of The Haunted or newer Dismembered
and throw in some female singing. There’s no disputing that Mudpusher can play their music, some of the down-tuned riffs and guitar pieces on offer in ‘Sacrilige’ are great and the overall polished production serves the E.P well, an impressive sound considering that this is an independent release.
The drumming and vocals are good but nothing really stands out other than Kimberly’s singing which unfortunately does nothing for me. I’m sure there are people that can get into it but i can’t see the majority of Death metal fans warming to it. The second proper track, if you discount the opening intro, ‘World Destroyer’ beings with a riff straight from the modern death metal handbook, i’ve heard it a million times before and guess what? It’s followed by a cacophony of chugging guitar boredom. In all fairness, I prefer the chorus to this track than on the first. Kimberly’s vocals sound a little more subtle and darker which works much better with the sound they’re going for.
The next two tracks are on the E.P kind of baffles me; an ‘acoustic’ version of the first track, with just a piano and Kimberly’s vocals does not sit right for me on a melodic death metal album. When the vocals are highlighted that much it gets very easy to pick out the bits that just don’t hit the mark. Oh and then closing the 5 track E.P which is another ‘acoustic’ version of the same song but without the vocals, you know, just in case there’s any melodic death metal fans who want to do a karaoke version in their bedrooms…it makes no sense to me.
There are plenty of positives to take from Mudpusher’s ‘Sacrilige’ E.P. There’s some fine instrumentation in parts and the band clearly have skills programming and creating some really nice orchestral pieces but for me, while all the parts are decent individually, they just don’t slot together. The vocals sound out of place, the ‘acoustic’ versions seem unnecessary and they need to up their game to avoid sounding like other modern death metal bands.
I’d like to see how they improve on a subsequent release.