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Not At All Bad - 70%

corviderrant, March 4th, 2004

Mercyless were one of the few bands from France I heard that I actually enjoyed at the time this was released (early 90s). Colin Richardson actually manned the board for this album, and while the production is good and relatively clear, it still sounds a bit low-budget. The guitars have a good clear crunch, and the drums could have been a little punchier and more prominent, but otherwise this is not hald bad.

Musically, Mercyless were very much inspired by the likes of Morbid Angel and Pestilence (who wasn't influenced by those two bands back then, though?), with staccato, choppy riffing that whizzed along at a healthy clip most of the time. But they mixed it up with slower power chord rhythms that were actually pretty catchy, as well as the odd arpeggiated part here and there, and Stephane Viard was a pretty damn good lead guitarist, blending Van Halenesque tapping with emotive bending and tasteful runs that ran the gamut from fast and furious to slow and melodic. Drummer Gerald Guenzi had happy feet--he loved his double kick work--and Max Otero's anguished growl/howl vocal approach suited the music perfectly, and somehow his thick accent added character also.

The best tracks on this album are the beautifully-arranged "A Message For All Those Who Died" and "Flesh Divine", and the rest of the album is pretty standard issue for the time. That said, this was one of the better debuts I heard that year, and I'd recommend it for fans of old school Eurodeath.