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Excellent Possessed worship - 92%

natrix, December 2nd, 2011

I really can't get enough of the weirder types of death metal. Bands like Pestilence, Morbid Angel, and Morgoth all injected a fair degree of left brain thought into the the death metal genre. Mercyless also gave us Coloured Funeral, an album that I feel is one of the top 5 avant garde death metal albums ever, easily up there with Blessed Are the Sick and Testimony of the Ancients.

This is not nearly as adventurous as Coloured Funeral. This doesn't sound too different from Morgoth's first two albums, especially in terms of vocal delivery and the overall dark sound. Mercyless is, however, far more technical, and while they don't use as many strange melodies and polyrythms as on the follow up, their use of melody sets them apart from Morgoth.

The strongest influence you'll hear on here is Possessed. The riffs are choppy and jarring, and often shift from blasting to a midpaced shuffle. Slow moments are very few, most notably on "Substance of Purity," which has a creepy main riff. Combined with the drawn out growls of Max Otera, this gives Abject Offerings a really dark feel.

Mercyless certainly boasts some of the best musicians. The drum work is particularly impressive--there are lots of clever fills here and there. As I've noted, rhtymically, Abject Offerings boasts nasty riffing. Guitar solos are generously sprinkled throughout the album. If you love Trey Azagthoth's whacked out tapping and Patrick Mameli's composed leads, then you'll be very satisfied here.

What really strikes me is the strength of the arrangements. Abject Offerings could have been a terrible, unlistenable album in spite of it's musical merits, but this French foursome arranged the songs in a surprisingly mature way. Just listen to the longer tracks such as "A Message for Those Who Died" and "Selected Resurrection," to hear how these masses of ugly riffs work together.

It's criminal that Mercyless never got the respect and attention that they rightfully deserved. What's even worse is that after the masterpiece that is Coloured Funeral, they abandonned their death metal roots and created two poor albums.