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Unbridled, Nihilistic Death Metal Packed In With Beatdown Hardcore - 99%

TheRisenOne, November 8th, 2019

Typically with beatdown hardcore, you'll more than likely be greeted with tough guy vocals, downtuned riffage and lyrics about unity, betrayal and standing your ground. But in Mercy Blow's case, they push the boundaries of the latter genre, pack it in with death, sludge, doom, noise and expulse this intimidatingly brutal, nihilistic sound that's very reminiscent of bands like Obituary, Entombed, Eyehategod, Bulldoze, Devourment and many more extremities within metal and hardcore. And that's just the tip of the iceberg: the lyrics are some of the angriest, most devastatingly pessimistic lyrics I've ever witnessed in beatdown, right next to New York's own Neglect.

First off, let's look at the vocals. I've never heard so much hatred and disgust compact itself (bar No Zodiac) into hardcore style vocals, but then utilize the death metal roars and the end result is just pure, unbridled aggression. Now while the vocals don't go into a Devourment-esque route so to speak, they do keep that gnarly essence of disgust throughout this EP.

The guitars are appropriately meaty and crunchy, with that additional angry overtone, particularly during the more mosh friendly sections of the songs. They also add beautifully to the reverb that's present throughout the EP, which gives a vibe almost like it was recorded in some masochist's basement.

The bass is metallic and incredibly gritty, which further adds to the cold, bleak and angry vibe that this EP gives off, which is incredibly fitting for something of this style.

The drums are incredibly frantic and chaotic, with two steps and blastbeats thrown into the mix, giving off an almost schizophrenic essence and fully showing just how much can be pushed within beatdown and death metal.

The song Ill At Ease features Don Campan of Waking The Cadaver fame, and my god does he rip the last section of the song apart with his guttural madness and hardcore yelling savagery. A perfect guest spot for an EP as aggressive as this.

Songs like Necrotic love to dabble in noise electronics, and they do right because it only adds to the tense atmosphere this EP has to offer, and this is where I started noticing Full Of Hell influences, as they do something a lot similar with their music and utilize the same dark atmosphere.

Lyrically, Mercy Blow gush out an incredible mix of anger, nihilism, inner struggles and many more, a great example being this line from the title track, "I hate myself and the choices I made, I can't wait to lay in my grave ". While it's incredibly simplistic, you can almost feel the sheer amount of disgust in that one line, and if you're like me who loves reading lyrics, you can relate to this almost immediately.

This is an EP that is sure to make you destroy your entire house and punch your floor into oblivion. A must listen for fans of both metal and hardcore.