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...Huh. - 77%

Noktorn, December 12th, 2010

The title isn't really lying; this has an absurdly brutal quality to it, mostly due to how compact and straightforward this music is. The racing drums (ostensibly human but REALLY sounding programmed), manic, speedy riffs, and ranting growls make for something that leaves you kind of breathless and exhausted at the end of each track. Merlin really doesn't fuck around on this album, and it really makes for most of the release's charm; it doesn't really attempt at nuance or atmosphere and somehow, in a roundabout way, arrives at it anyway.

The riffs on this album are a juxtaposition of death, thrash, grind, and the sort of eastern bloc goofiness you'd hear from a band like Hybrid Viscery, but rather than sounding silly, it just makes the band that much crazier. Heavily based off of blasts and double bass passages, the music is oppressively direct, only allowing the listener breathing room in some equally demanding, off-kilter, oddly timed passages that function as bridges from crazy blast to crazy blast. Even the vocals have a raving lunatic quality to them; everything about this album seems to suggest a band that's really going as fast and intense as possible with every note (which is what makes for a good extreme metal album really). It makes for a pretty intense listen.

Complaints: I don't the riffing style ever really settles down into a coherent whole, and some of them seem at odds with each other, like on 'Memorial To The Dead', where somewhat melodic tremolo riffs intersect with some of the band's raving, crawling thrash riffs which spin up and down the fretboard. This could kind of be a criticism leveled at the album in its entirety; while Merlin does have its own musical style, it's a bit of a one trick pony and feels kind of stifling after a while. Granted, they perform that trick extremely well and easily sustain themselves over the course of the album with it, but it's still something I would call into question.

I like this album; it's got the sort of charm you only find in a former Soviet nation and has that earnest, kind of amateurish without being shitty quality you find in a lot of Russian bands. Also there's some face-melting solos if you're into that sort of thing. If you like death metal you should probably buy this (though you'll probably just download it instead because you suck.)

Brutally Constructed Death Metal - 100%

Paskkal, March 6th, 2006

Never had I imaged a band named Merlin (which I thought was lame until I heard the music) would play such awesome and BRUTAL FUCKING DEATH METAL. I also never thought I would hear a girl making Chris Barnes look like a pussy when growling. I heard this album before "They Must Die" and I have to say that I glad I did, because I bought them both. I found "They Must Die" to be a bit boring and predictable old school death metal but "Brutal Constructor" is the same ideal but on steroids. The fist track is my favorite starting with the vocalist laughing maniacally following a battallion of distorted guitars and machine gun drumming that is sounds like a 1000 calibre shelling out a massacre. The guitars riffs are intricate giving it a technical sound similar to Disgorge(USA) but with different vocals, more varied sound and a bass that distinguishes itself in all the masscre of sounds. I think this album leaves the majority of 'brutal' death metal bands running away pissing their pants. Merlin has taught me to never judge a band by their name because they can surprise you. A must have for any good death metal collection, a bit hard to find but thats part of the fun. Get this album then lock yourself in a padded room with it cuz you'll want to thrash, slam and kill everyone in sight!