Mofsed - Rattenkrieg!

Mofsed from California, U.S.A. were formed in 2011. They play a technical death/thrash metal hybrid with heavy metal influences. "Rattenkrieg!" is their debut album. It surprised me that they didn't release any demos before, but went straight for the full length instead. Many bands of today prefer to DIY release their music and maybe this shows a moving in the relationship between the bands and the music industry.

Back to the album and Mofsed thematology which dwells in historical and philosophical subjects. "Rattenkrieg" is a German word and stands for "Rats War". The title is a straight reference to the Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 - 2 February 1943), the largest confrontation of World War II, between Germany and their allies and the Soviet Union. The Battle of Stalingrad was the bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. The German advance into the city of Stalingrad changed the initial way of the battle from regular fighting to brutal close quarters combat. The term "Rattenkrieg" (Rats War) refers to these grim combats for claiming strategic buildings, city streets, but also cellars or even fighting holes. The cover artwork of the album portrays exactly the close fighting thing over the madness of war.

Mofsed music influences vary from Death to Vader and from Bolt Thrower to Hail Of Bullets. Their sound is not typical though because they add German school thrashier riffs (some of them technical enough). They incorporate several heavy metal phrases in their songwriting and they use some progressive/power leads too (for example on 'Silent As The Grave') and they seem to try to create an own style mixing all the above. Zakk Thonen's vocals sound influenced by Chuch Schuldiner (Death) and Glen Benton (Deicide) at his most evil singing parts (for instance on 'Tokkotai').

'Dawn Patrol' is a standout track for me. It's the first song Mofsed actually show their craftsmanship. It starts as a death metal song but soon evolves to an Andy LaRocque influenced lead guitar piece that is followed by Iron Maiden-ish melodic guitar fills bringing it at the end to a more personal style.
"Rattenkrieg!"'s production is fine for an independent release. I would love though to get some more middle range in guitars and/or have the bass turned up a bit for the sake of creating a thicker/massive sound.
I am not sure if the WWII concept will follow the band in their future releases, but although often used the WWII concept is endless.

In their debut, Mofsed show respect to their influences and attempt to establish their own sound. "Rattenkrieg!" is a nice effort in this direction, especially for a DIY album. However, Mofsed have still way to go in terms of songwriting and production. Although they have great influences and are skillful players, they still seem in search for their own path and identity. For the moment the result was unclear and somewhat confusing to me.

The respectful and absolutely solid cover they did on King Diamondës 'The Family Ghost' shows the ability of Zakk Thonen to sing heavy metal and makes the band sound thick and on track. Without feeling at all the need to become a prophet, maybe this could be the solution to the puzzle and the key for the future of Mofsed.


1. Rattenkrieg
2. Dawn Patrol
3. Tokkōtai
4. Grotesque Procession
5. Silent As The Grave
6. Scroll Of Ani
7. Chivalry
8. The People
9. Critical Bondage
10. The Family Ghost (cover King Diamond)

Self released
Reviewer: Manos Michaelides
Aug 15, 2019
Next review: BruuT - Bloodmoon

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