|Classic Review: Merciless - The Awakening|
Label: Deathlike Silence Productions
Year released: 1990
Review online: October 13, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 4.06/5 (81.25%) (16 Votes)
Well here we have the first album to be released on the Deathlike Silence label, owned by late Mayhem guitarist Euronymous (as if you didn't know). I always though it to be quite ironic that the first release to come out on his label was death metal, reading about how much the guy used to slag the genre off as 'life' metal in press statements in the years after this came out. Anyhow, I digress. Sweden's Merciless certainly raised their collective hackles for this one, pulling the first of a string of vicious face-removing death/thrash albums from the depths of Hades itself.
High on the noxious fumes of the Possessed, early Death ('Denied Birth' in particular could easily have sat comfortably on 'Scream Bloody Gore'), early Sodom and huge swathes of embryonic Slayer, Merciless rarely take their foot off of your throat for the entire album (apart from to internalize your nose with a sledgehammer like blow with punchy, Slayer-esque dark harmonies, which lead directly back into the mosh-friendly, neck-achingly turbulent riffage). High paced, frenetic death/thrash is the order of the day, and my... if you can listen to this without at least banging that head at least once, well, there must be something wrong with you. All in all, this album is steeped in a life-affirming old school nature, which just can't be touched. When this aforementioned feeling is coupled with some of the most lethal riffs ever to have been struck from a Swedish guitar, you know you're in for some proper metal insanity.
So, get that money ready for the medical bills when you slip this CD into your player - you're heading for the traction unit after this vicious little rottweiler gets its teeth into your eardrums. Steamrolling, inexorable and essential for any death thrashing crazies like myself.
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