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Merlin - The Mortal

The Mortal
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 17 October 2019, 11:31 AM

There is a lot of bands out there with the name MERLIN so it’s pretty easy to get confused. These guys hail from Kansas City and have been at it since 2012. The Doom Metal band is very prolific to day the least, this is the follow up to the excellent ‘’The Wizard’’ album that was out in 2018. They have done 5 full-length albums in only 6 years and there is no end in sight thankfully for us! This album definitely picks right up after the previous release, it’s a natural progression. This band brings a lot to the table, you have the saxophone (which was an integral part of the last album), an organ and a whole lot of percussions. The variety of instruments used is very reminiscent (well…for me) of ANCIENT VVISDOM or even LION SHEPHERD (which I reviewed a few years back).

They dive deep in their roots and some songs reflect the early PINK FLOYD albums (think the Syd Barrett era) mixed in with the somber tones of classic Doom Metal like early SLEEP or CANDLEMASS. The song that represents this combustion of elements would be ‘’Ashen Lake’’. This song is the breakout song of the album nonetheless. They let loose with their creativity and each song is their own. It speaks volumes on the quality of the work done and the overall effort of the band. They just bring it, they don’t hold anything back and each song has its meaning on this album. ‘’Basilisk’’ reminded me a lot of the Blues Rock of GYPSYHAWK (unfortunately disbanded though). It’s a rocking tune and they sound like they are having the time of their lives on this one.

‘’Mindflayer’’ has this incredible drum beat and drum work. You can just hear that overwhelming talent of Caleb Wyels. This, added with the uncompromising altered vocals, adds to a very original and powerful song. The acoustic elements in ‘’Metamorphosis’’ add another flavor to the meal that is the album itself. This song was probably my favorite and it really stood up for me. This Progressive-Doom band continues with another solid effort and hey, we might even get a new album next year! They are a newer band but they bring so much thought and creativity in a drawn-out style. They just blew a lot of bands out of the water and they deliver on all fronts on this album. This is a band to look for in the coming future.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. Tower Fall
3. Chaos Blade
4. Ashen Lake
5. Mindflayer
6. Basilisk
7. Metamorphosis
8. The Mortal Suite
Joey Hamm  – Bass
Chase Thayer – Bass and Guitars
Jordan Knorr – Vocals
Caleb Wyels – Drums and Percussion
Stu Kerstring – Guitars and Saxophone
Carter Lewis – Guitars, Keyboards and Organ
Record Label: The Company Records


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