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Review: Merrimack - Of Entropy and Life Denial
Of Entropy and Life Denial

Label: Moribund Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 56:05
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: January 20, 2007
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Readers Rating
Of Entropy and Life Denial

Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (8 Votes)

After forming back in 1995, Merrimack have only just got around to releasing their second full length album in the form of 'Of Entropy and Life Denial', and after the band's debut passed me by back in 2002 (much to my annoyance, I might add), I was still intrigued enough to check this out due to the fact that their compilation of demos was also receiving good reviews by fellow underground fanatics. What I got after pressing play on my stereo wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I was still massively impressed with the quality of the album's content. With all the incorrect comparisons of Merrimack to the early 'Les Légions Noires' scene I'd somehow managed to conjure before hearing them, I was expecting some truly under-produced, raw black metal. What we actually have on offer is quite a polished style of fairly orthodox blasting black metal, similar stylistically to that of country-mates Antaeus, Arkhon Infaustus or Ancestral Fog (in fact, Merrimack actually share members with Ancestral Fog, who shared an excellent split album with Temple of Baal recently).

There is an overwhelming professional hue to this album, while it still manages to stick inside the realms of the underground ideal, emanating unbearable iniquity with ease throughout every note. The tempo is quite speedy in some parts of the album, perfectly encapsulated in the slick 5th track "Insemination", where the speed at times borders on that of Marduk or earlier Setherial, albeit a lot more torturous, bassy and maniacal on all counts (if that's at all possible!), and with a general feeling of filthy malevolence inseminating your ears in a inexorably fierce way. That said, the pace isn't all pedal to the metal, with the 6th track 'The Birth of A Life's Sacerdoce' slowing the pace considerably, sounding almost death metal at times due to the low vocals used. I'm also pleasantly reminded of the more conventional pieces of later Deathspell Omega albums, which is not to be sniffed at, showing that accomplished prowess in the song-writing department certainly seems to be one of Merrimack's priorities, and it shines through thanks to the stellar production job mentioned previously.

In summary, I'd say that my black metal collection would never have quite been complete without this exceptional album in it. So, ask yourself this question – can you live without it in yours?

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