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Without Mercy - Seismic

Without Mercy
Seismic
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 October 2020, 7:47 AM

WITHOUT MERCY is a Death/Groove/Metalcore band, formed in 2004, and hailing from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. They released their debut, self-titled album in 2009, and now are back, after over a decade, with “Seismic,” set for release in November, 2020. The album contains nine tracks.

“Thunderbird” leads off the album. It opens with a heavy, fast and aggressive edge, built mostly from the enraged guitar riffs. The vocals are harsh and intense. Some Progressive elements come into play with how the band shifts the meter. “Abysmal” features some shifting meter along with raging vocals and a big rhythm guitar presence. The drums move into overtime, galloping with a sense of purpose, while the guitars shift from one section to the next. These guys play very well together, that’s for sure. Guitarist DJ lays down one hell of a solo. A groovy, bluesy section follows after the half-way mark.

“Left Alone” comes right at you out of the gates, with a hard, heavy and massively dexterous passage from bass and guitar. It’s almost too chaotic to even keep track of the meter. A long scream hears the song slow down just a bit, for some dark, suspenseful lead guitar work. “Wiindigo” opens with a heavy dissonance, leading to a mid-tempo track with some melodic lead work. Again, their ability to shift the meter whenever and wherever they want is noteworthy. The grooves they work in are nice as well. Is there anything this band can’t do? “Disinfect the Soul” is over seven-minutes in length. A guitar solo over a bed of thick bass guitar notes carries some of the melody here. The song is quite chaotic, yet carefully structured as well. Towards the end, the sound slows to a lumbering pace, with eerie lead guitars and raging vocals.

“The Disaster” is four minutes of fury with ever-shifting meters and a fast moving sound. The intensity here is unmatched…especially in the vocals, but also equally in the guitars, bass, and drums. Every member contributes here and the synergy they develop is amazing. “Possessed” is four-minutes of absolute intensity I did not think the band could reach, following the previous track. It certainly sounds like the band is indeed possessed. “I Break the Chain” features fast spoken harsh vocals in an almost rap-style, layered with secondary vocals to create this thickness. Guitar and bass dance together in a samba to the death. The hammering guitars drive much of the sound here.

“Uprooted” closes the album. Just when I think things could not get more intense, they lay down this final track with deadly precision. It settles into a groove for a spell, but this is some high level intensity, with twisting guitar passages. I really marvel at the drummer here…how he can keep track of all the changes is impressive. There is a long fade-out at the end. Overall, two elements really struck me here…one was the level of intensity, and the other the level of musicianship from the band. How they can remain unsigned is a mystery to me. They play with such a tight synergy that it’s almost like they can finish each other’s sentences before they even open their mouth. Although it comes off just a bit sterile, his is Progressive Metal turned up to 11.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Thunderbird
2. Abysmal
3. Left Alone
4. Wiindigo
5. Disinfect the Soul
6. The Disaster
7. Possessed
8. I Break the Chain
9. Uprooted
Lineup:
Ryan Loewen – Bass
Alex Friis – Vocals
DJ Temple – Guitars
Matt Helie – Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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