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Premature swansong for a great band... - 95%

natrix, August 25th, 2004

Fuck!

This album is really great! If you haven't heard of Mercyless, and you love the likes of Morgoth, Pestilence, and Possessed (as far as the choppy riffing goes), then you've got to hear this one. Mercyless were actually doing something really creative and interesting on this album, while still maintaining a large degree of death metal's inherent ugliness.

Apparently, Colin Richardson produced this album, but it sounds a little rough, which at times works in its favor. The guitar tone is dirty, but distinguishable. Max Otero's vocals...ah, what a pleasure! Similar to Patrick Mameli's work on Testimony of the Ancients, but rougher and with a strange accent that renders the lyrics even more incomprehensible. So yes! It makes the album heavier and quite enjoyable, considering this is death metal.

I'll briefly go through my favorite tracks on here. "Mirrors of Melancholy" has a strange, dissonant riff, kind of doomy

"Travel Through a Strange Emotion" is killer, from start to finish. The beginning has a choppy, unsettling riff that eventually launches into a steady gallop. A clean guitar plays over the "chorus," before hitting another heavy patch. The leads in this song are killer--totally tripped out tapping and crazy note bending. One of the things that immediately comes to mind while listening to this song is how crazy the time changes are in Mercyless' music. Fuck! They do that a lot!

"Agrazabeth" is a nice little acoustic interlude before "Serenades," my favorite track of this album The main riff kind of reminds me of "Black Sabbath," but with double bass going the whole way. The mid section brigns to mind Seasons in the Abyss-era Slayer, especially the lead break which is pure Kerry King. Very tight time changes on this song as well, and great lyrics.

"Beyond God" is a bit similar to "Travel..." but begins with a tapped riff, before heading off into mid-paced gallopping.

What a shame this band took a huge shit and turned into a nu-metal/core band. This is a very promising release that was sadly the absolute pinnacle of their existance.