Mercyless - Unholy Black Splendor

Mercyless from France last had an album released some 13 years ago, since then there has been a couple of compilation efforts but this is their first studio album in rather a long time. I suppose when you want to get noticed and when you want a sound that is sonically brutal then you need a certain type of person twiddling the knobs, in this case in walked in Dan Swanö who mixed and mastered the release. The result is old school death metal as you would expect rather than the material on their last studio outing which did not meet much general approval.

The band has regrouped with two original members and the result is very positive. By the time you get to thinking that ‘God Is Dreaming’ you should be more than warmed up for this aural death metal assault. Then violently dislodge yourself with the disjointed opening of ‘Bless Me Father’ and then immerse yourself into some tight groove death riffs while you recover and lick your wounds. This album simply works. There are terrifying low end destructive grooves, guitar riffs backed with thunderous strong drumming, there are sub terra firma bone shattering vocal lines that really warm any darkened soul and overall the closest comparison for this release is recent studio output by Sweden’s Grave. But far from these being another tribute act, Mercyless have their own gritty bite and gnarl. There is something about the arrangements that are truly made their own and they are well constructed. ‘Unholy Black Splendor’ may pepper around what’s already out there but before complacency sets in these French chaps change it up and batter you furthermore with their unrelenting music bombardment.

All in all, this is a safe investment; this is also a welcomed return to the scene from a band that deserves another shot at delivering their craft to the unsuspecting world, this hits many markers in terms of classic death metal done right.

  1. At The Coming Of Dawn (Intro)
  2. I Vomit This World
  3. Unholy Black Splendor
  4. God Is Dreaming
  5. Infamy
  6. Probably Impure
  7. Absent Belief
  8. Bless Me Father
  9. Swallow My Soul