Baroque-influenced, post-black metal duo MORTAL THRALL will release their A Path To Fire debut full-length on May 20th via Trepanation Recordings.
MORTAL THRALL was forged in September 2020 by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Todd Harris (ex-Oubliette, Battle Path). Spontaneously conceptualised, written, and recorded over lockdown, A Path To Fire is an emotive fresco of intertwining guitar lines, stunning chord progressions, passionate vocals, textural synth, and martial drumming which evolved from Harris’ obsession with Renaissance paintings.
Thematically set in the last days of the Spanish Inquisition, the album tells the story of one of the final victims – Maria de los Dolores Lopez – murdered by the church for “heresy” and whose story was buried by the Vatican until the early 1990s. Harris felt compelled to pay tribute to her horrendous fate, seeing disturbing parallels in the still-pervading influence and authority of religious power in the modern world which has been a personal point of contention throughout his life as a gay man.
Notes Harris, “Considering the hell she was put through, she was an absolute pillar of strength in the face of such extreme adversity. It paralleled for me many of the same things that women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community deal with today. She was courageous and outspoken in a very dangerous period and refused to be silenced in her beliefs, even though they were highly unorthodox. I’ll let the lyrics fill in the details, but I hope this album will resonate for anyone who feels beat down by society.”
In advance of the record’s release, today MORTAL THRALL unveils the record’s title track, “A Path To Fire.” Comments Harris, “The track sets the stage for the story that unfolds within the album. It gives a snapshot of the album’s subject, Maria — one of the last victims of the Spanish Inquisition — and her early life, while at the same time foreshadowing her ultimate fate.”
Stream “A Path To Fire” at THIS LOCATION.
Influenced by the likes of Blut Aus Nord, Bathory, Liturgy, Katatonia, Kauan, and Alcest as well as post-rock acts like Shiner, Hum, and Dead Now, and featuring a sterling drum performance by Jack Blackburn (Chaos Moon, Skáphe, Gardsghastr), A Path To Fire is a strikingly elaborate, richly-layered debut. The eight-track offering was recorded in Seattle, Washington, Houston, Texas, and Murfreesboro/Nashville, Tennessee, mixed by Mike Low (Inferi, Oubliette, Arkaik, Enfold Darkness), and mastered by Zak Denham at One By One Studios. The record comes cloaked in the outstanding cover art of Caelan Stokkermans.
A Path To Fire will be released on CD, cassette, and digital formats. Find preorders at THIS LOCATION.
A Path To Fire Track Listing:
- Flames (Interpolation)
- A Path To Fire
- Take The Cold
- The Calling
- Passion Made A Weapon
- Twelve Long Years
- One Soul, One Life
- Flames Filled The Sky
Todd Harris – guitar, bass, vocals, composition, lyrics
Christopher Scott Davis – synth,keyboards
Jack Blackburn – session drums
Mike Low – guest guitar on “A Path To Fire”
Emily Low – guest vocals on “One Soul, One Life”
Dylan Hawes-Glynn – Baroque guitar on “Flames (Interpolation)”