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I realized while looking through the archives that there were no reviews available for Merciless. This really is total insanity so I decided to do a couple, hence this "Unbound" review. It is really fucked up how unknown Merciless are in comparison to what they deserve. They started out really early in 1986 and rarely earned their recognition for awakening the Metal scene in Sweden. Sure, they didn't have any major influence on an entire genre like Bathory, it's just the fact that they simply were (and remain) a quality Extreme Metal act.
Anyways, the CD I'm reviewing now is from 1994 and while it isn't as imminently violent as debut "The Awakening", it does have a bunch of good guitarwork and songwriting. There's a bunch of more melody in here as opposed to the raw Death/Thrash they started out as. This melodicism is all good though as it's well incorporated well into the songwriting.
The sure highlight of "Unbound" is the title track. It starts off with an acoustic folky intro (not in the gay In Flames sense of the world) before turning straight into a fuckload of nice riffs and thrashing tempos. The pace is high and it catchy as fuck, as well as slightly melodic. More melodic in the "Coma of Souls" meaning of the world than Swedish though. It does slightly remind me of "The Sun Burns Red", because it has an acoustic intro before turning into a great thrasher in the same fashion. Singer Rogga's aggressive snarl also remind me slightly of Mille.
"The Land I Used To Walk" and "Nuclear Attack" are two other great highlights of this album. The first one is a nice thrasher with a couple of very good riff patterns as well as nice snarls. Very reminiscent of 80's Kreator and obviously enjoyable. "Nuclear Attack" is one of Merciless classics and a fast as fuck balls-to-the-wall kind of song featuring a bunch of crushing riffs. The 8 minute epic "Back To North" is also worth mentioning. This might not be the best way for a band to Merciless to write songs but this one does work. There's a whole lot of nice midtempo Thrash riffs to be found in here, just enough to carry the song all the way.
My point is that more people should definitely check out these guys, because they surely do own. They have the attitude and they bring the riffs. What more do we need?