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Mercyless - Pathetic Divinity Award winner

Pathetic Divinity
by Craig “Thrashing” Rider at 15 January 2017, 9:57 AM

Metal maniacs, rejoice! The Thrasher returns to present to you; MERCYLESS, signed via Kaotoxin Records - hailing from France, performing Death/Thrash Metal, on their 6th album entitled: “Pathetic Divinity” (released on October 7th, 2016).

Since formation in 1987; the quintet in question have 6 albums behind them, I'm acquainted with their 6th record: “Pathetic Divinity”. Combining the brutal nature of Death Metal with Thrash Metal isn't exactly precedence in the community; yet what we have here is a distinct formula of forged brutality that defines the sub-genre proficiently. MERCYLESS deliver a hint of new SEPULTURA-esquire vibes from the vocalization from Derrick Green (not Max Cavalera) while implementing rough instrumentation in which has pummeling and speed inhabited with excruciating elegance. Apparently returning to their dark metal roots since the previous album “Unholy Black Splendor” (released on October 18th, 2013), the quartet showcase an organic substance embodied with a unique aesthetic. As a Death/Thrash Metal purist; I positively enjoyed every second of this record with an exquisite feeling of power and motivation.

Consisting of Max Otero on vocals/guitars; the dude is practically a monster; I couldn't help but notice complex indifferences to that of Derrick Green from SEPULTURA right off the earphones, prominently showcasing a distinctive flair that mimics this exertion brilliantly…while contributing some of the most riff-thymic melodies on guitar that just scream out destruction - similarly found with the help of the second guitarist Gautier Merklen. The pummeling powerhouse from Lauren Michalak on drums and Matthieu Merklen on bass distribute dexterity in their delivery to the sound production which sounds savage in every way. Efficiently providing the most extreme listen of 2016 evidently; any fan of DEATH, CANNIBAL CORPSE, AMON AMARTH etc… should diligently bring in new fans effortlessly, as they have done with me. 10 tracks ranging at around 45:34, MERCYLESS showcase an acute formula for excruciating yet powerful Metal tenfold.

Opening with a brief requisite intro “Blood Of Lambs” the titular track proceeds to unleash a ritualistic funeral with a choir preaching to the gospel; full of destructive Death Metal instrumentation and sped up with fierce Thrash Metal melodies, this is a track that perfectly describes the word brutality in every sense. “A Representation In Darkness”, “My Name Is Legion” & “Exhort The Heretic” involve duel-guitar harmonies, thrashy kick-snare verses - deliciously portioned with an epic malevolent moment in edgeways…leading up to noisome chorus' and nefariously sparse keyboards for an accentuated haunting effect. Not for the weak of heart, certainly. “Left To Rot”, “Eucharistic Adoration ('16)” & “Christianist” unveils them at their most Scandinavian. Old-school barbaric anthems compile this segment, leaving you with a sense of brutal stimulation.

And with that - “How Deep Is Your Hate?” & “Liturgiae” concludes “Pathetic Divinity”. MERCYLESS interject an abundance amount of vitality back into the already overdone sub-genre that it's practically a miraculous breath of fresh air for us Death Metal lexicons. Spot on.

Songwriting: 9
Memorability: 8
Originality: 8
Sound Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Blood Of Lambs
2. Pathetic Divinity
3. A Representation Of Darkness
4. My Name Is Legion
5. Exhort The Heretic
6. Left To Rot
7. Eucharistic Adoration ('16)
8. Christianist
9. How Deep Is Your Hate?
10. Liturgiae
Max Otero - Vocals, Guitars
Matthieu Merklen - Bass
Laurent Michalak - Drums
Gautier Merklen - Guitars
Record Label: Kaotoxin Records


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Edited 03 February 2023

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