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Merlock – Onwards Strides Colossus

Onwards Strides Colossus
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 31 January 2023, 2:52 PM

From Bandcamp, "Onward Strides Colossus” is a sort of “hero's journey” set in a post human, Post-Doom atmosphere. Sonically and lyrically, it explores cycles of death and rebirth, notions of hell, and of self-actualization. Seeking truth is the primary urge of the album, and that urge becomes, at times, colossal, which is where the name comes from. “Heady pretension aside, the album is also very much about the three of us building this monstrosity that is MERLOCK.” The album has six songs.

“Sovereign Throne” is the first. Low, fuzzy, and slow bass notes open the song, with a sprinkling of leads. The vocals are clean, and terse, and there is more attention from the leads than the vocals. “Sunbarren” is nearly twice as long, so the Doomy atmosphere can soak in and slowly rot away your flesh from the inside out. Trippy leads cover the top ranges of the song. The pace quickens, and the vocals turn harsh. It swells with angry tones through the end. “Behold! The Sword of Lock” is harsh and angrier from start to finish, slowing down at the half-way mark to let elements of despair through the door.

“Where No One Goes” is a little longer, and so far the band has offered their sound in a variety of formats. This one begins with clean bass tones, and some melancholy. It segues into a horribly painful sound…the kind of an old wound re-opening with renewed infection. The short “Somniliquy” prepares us for the final lengthy song. The tones are actually quite charming, and unexpected, showing the band’s skill at offering a diverse album.  They are also sad, but in a hopeful sort of way. The title track closes the album. It’s a smattering of trippy leads, and somber, defeated tones…and the perfect way to end the album.

In keeping with the themes of the album, I say tread lightly on seeking the truth, because the consequences can be too much to bear. It also has a gargantuan sound that threatens to pulverize the listener into dust. The varied songs also highlight the band’s creativity. This was an excellent release overall.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Sovereign Throne
2. Sunnbarren
3. Behold! The Sword of Lock
4. Where No One Goes
5. Somniloquy
6. Onward Strides Colossus
Andrew Backes – Bass
Lucas Barrey – Drums
Taylor D. Waring – Guitars, Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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