Mortal Strike: An Unstoppable Austrian Thrash Machine
Written by Brett Kihlmire
Thrash metal is one of the truly enduring metal styles. It has spanned generations and is showing no signs of fading into obscurity thanks to legions of dedicated fans like the hard rocking metal warriors of Austria’s Mortal Strike.
Formed in Vienna, Austria by “five drunk guys on a couch who wanted to make the music they love” Mortal Strike began in Autumn of 2009. Inspired by old school thrash metal like Kreator, Sodom, Destruction and Tankard, the band quickly got to work on crafting their own thrash style. A few months later they started out on a quest of metal domination with their first show on New Year’s Eve.
Determined to make unrelenting thrash metal music, the band took up a name that truly fit their sound, According to rhythm guitarist Christian ‘Chirir’ Nielson the band took up the name Mortal Strike, because it means striking an opponent with the pommel of a sword. This went well with the band’s decision to mix themes of metal, war, history and society into their music.
Taking up an “honest, fast, brutal old school thrash” style, Mortal Strike steadily crafted their style before releasing their debut demo, Here Comes the Tank, in April 2011. That same year they would r rock the stage at Wacken Open Air.
Their early successes, Wacken especially, catapulted the band’s morale leading to Mortal Strike’s debut extended play, Unleash the Hounds of War, in August 2012. That same year they performed in the Wacken Open Air Metal Battle. That same year, however, the band parted ways with their original drummer and lead guitarist, recruiting Christoph ‘Etzi’ Etzmannsdorfer (lead guitar) and Max Scheiber (drums). 2014 would see their current lineup begin with the arrival of Dominique Heine just in time to participate on the band’s debut full length For the Loud and the Aggressive.
Despite the opportunities for Austrian thrash bands being “very, very limited” according to Nielson, Mortal Strike has been rocking hard and working even harder to spread their name. As a result of their efforts the band has achieved a good deal of success in their career together. As of this writing the band has played Wacken Open Air, opened for Exodus, Tankard and Destruction, and they aren’t slowing down as May 2017 will see the band embark on a tour through Germany and the Balkans.
With multiple major shows under their belt and almost three years since the release of For the Loud and the Aggressive, some are wondering when the band will have time for a new album. Fortunately, the wait is almost over as the band plans to have their second full length released in 2017. When it will be released, however, is a still a question. But rest assured, the band definitely plans to have some fresh tracks out this year. As well, the band is planning a tour with their “barbarian brothers” Tulsadoom, so even if the album is a ways away, fans around Europe will at least get a chance to see the band live and maybe hear some new tracks before anyone else.