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Unmerciful – Wrath Encompassed

Wrath Encompassed
by Cherie Wong at 20 May 2020, 4:44 PM

On April 24, 2020, UNMERCIFUL released “Wrath Encompassed.” UNMERCIFUL is a brutal death metal band from Kansas. Formed back in 2001, “Wrath Encompassed” marks the band’s third release. Their debut album “Unmercifully Beaten” was released in 2006, followed by lineup changes and a hiatus from 2009 to 2012. After the hiatus, the band returned with “Ravenous Impulse,” which included the drumming of John Longstreth from fellow Kansan band, ORIGIN.

Though I was not familiar with UNMERCIFUL prior to this album, when I first heard “Wrath Encompassed,” I was reminded of bands like SUFFOCATION and DYING FETUS. Like those bands, UNMERCIFUL is relentlessly brutal and heavy. This kind of album doesn’t require a track by track review, nor does it require multiple listens to get the gist of each track. Tracks have a similar brutal sound, with similar intense riffs played at similar fast speeds. Blast beats consistently provide a background wall of sound. Some of the tracks feature short solos that get in and out quickly, without any lasting effect. Growls are low to mid-range, with dual growling vocals in a few places throughout the album.

The Incineration” gets a special mention as an intro track that shows the full force of the album within a few seconds. The first track that stood out to me was the third, “Predator to Prey.” Towards the end, chuggy riffs slow down the pace without losing any heaviness. A sweeping riff in “Carnage Unleashed” took me by surprise, as it was probably the most melodic part of the album, albeit one that took less than 30 seconds total. “Furious Precision” does its title justice. The band does play furiously and with precision on this track. The last minute is like a machine gun of riffs and blast beats.

Overall, I recommend this album to fans of straightforward brutal death metal. There are no overly technical or melodic riffs, but there doesn’t need to be. “Wrath Encompassed” has a classic heaviness that isn’t flashy. The album is just a brutally good time.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The Incineration
2. Blazing Hatred
3. Predator to Prey
4. Wrath Encompassed
5. Carnage Unleashed
6. The Stench of Fear
7. Furious Precision
8. Oblivious Descent
9. Inexorable Decay
Clinton Appelhanz – Guitars/ Vocals
Jeremy Turner – Bass/ Vocals
Trynt Kelly – Drums
Justin Payne – Guitars/ Vocals
Joshua Riley – Vocals
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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Edited 07 February 2023

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