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Mercyless - Unholy Black Splendor

Unholy Black Splendor
by Angela "The Hunter" at 24 December 2013, 3:20 PM

It has been over a decade since France’s MERCYLESS has released a full length album. From that hiatus was born an incredibly black recording full of Black Metal goodness that is sure to please even the most old school Metallers. Welcome to hell.

The album opens with a Gregorian chant warming you up for the visceral onslaught that is about to commence.  From there it transitions into “I Vomit Out This World” (points for wicked song titles goes to MERCYLESS) which is as brutal as the title suggests. Growling vocals and wickedly heavy guitar work pound your will into submission. There is no escape from the audible assault, and you’re really ok with it. Next is the title track, “Unholy Black Splendor”, another high energy track with rolling riffs, mean vocals, and exceptional drum work. Laurent Michalak’s drums throughout the entire album are really fucking good. Well balance, brutally fast yet intelligent. There is a great mid song break where the song merely changes tempo but loses no energy as the lyrics become the showcase of the piece. This, like the rest of the album, is a great reflection of how intelligent and well-constructed Black Metal is. From here it only gets better.

“God is Dreaming”, “Goat of Mendes”, and “Infamy” are a trio of black metal rhythmic masterpieces pulled from the blackest pit to see the light of day. All three are rhythm powerhouses that run the gamut from neck snapping head banging to rolling wind milling and back again. The growls and snarls that give life to the lyrics are nothing short of wicked. From there we close in on the remaining three songs, “Absent”, “Bless Me Father”, and “Swallow My Soul”. The remaining songs are more old school with contrasting drum work, plodding guitar riffs, and stellar solos. The album as a whole is a solid Death Metal album and a great example of old school done right. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. For a rating, I’d say 7 out of 10. Until next time, stay well and live free my friends!

3 Star Rating

1. At the Coming Of Dawn
2. I Vomit Out This World
3. Unholy Black Splendor
4. God Is Dreaming
5. Goat of Mendes
6. Infamy
7. Probably Impure
8. Absent Belief
9. Bless Me Father
10. Swallow My Soul
Max Otero - Guitars & Vocals
Stéphane Viard  - Guitars
Laurent Michalak - Drums
Matthieu Merklen - Bass
Record Label: Trendkill Recordings


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