Monday, October 22, 2007

Merciless Death-Evil in the night

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Heavy Artillery
2007

I remember just loving thrash metal back between say 1985-1990. There were a lot of great bands back then like Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, Dark Angel, and Possessed and many others that were really breaking ground in a sub-genre that was just starting out. Now there is a crop of young bands springing up that have embraced this old style. LA’s Merciless Death is one such band that is attempting to walk in the footsteps of those great mid-80’s bands. In the album credits these guys have a huge lists of bands they thank as influences. However the main influences I hear are Slayer say around 83-85, early Dark Angel and maybe very early Kreator. The music is quite honestly a fairly basic straight-ahead thrash style largely sounding like it could have come from about 1985. It’s overall fairly together musically and has the advantage of higher production values than most thrash bands had years ago. Try as I might I really can’t get past the vocals of Andy Torres. It’s almost like he can’t get beyond a talking type style and it really just keeps them from building up much steam and it makes them sound a little amateurish. Back in the day the only bands I heard with sub-par vocals like this were bands that might do one album and then disappear. The other concern is a concern I have with any band playing this style of music today. That is that there isn’t really a future in playing a style that was prominent twenty years ago. If there is a future in trash then something new needs to be added into the mix or else I may as well pull out my copies of “Hell Awaits”, “Bonded by blood” and the like if I want to hear great thrash. Merciless Death are not breaking any new ground, but I like the music enough to hope that they grow musically and address the vocals situation in order to have a chance to move ahead in the future.

3 Comments:

Anonymous horrorbiz said...

Great review. I think you said it perfectly when commenting on the vocals.

I bought this when it came out, along with other disks by bands being hyped as the "new breed of old school thrash" - Municipal Waste, Re-animator, Merciless Death. Although I liked them all (especially Municipal Waste), the vocals were always a let-down.

I guess growing up with such distinct thrash metal vocalists (Belladonna, Mustaine, Hetfield, Araya, Souza, etc.) left me with certain expectations about any band being categorized as playing "old school thrash".

I don't even care if these new thrash guys break any boundaries or whatever. I'd be more than happy listening to records that capture that old thrash vibe, but with singing that's a little more interesting than the shouting thing.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Thanks. Two bands that I am interested in are Avenger of blood and Warbringer. Both were on the Speed Kills...again compilation. Avenger of blood have an album due out soon on the same label as Mercliess Death. Warbringer are on Century Media. Their album is due out in February and they are scheduled to tour with Exodus in early 2008.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous horrorbiz said...

Cool...2 new bands to check out, thanks.

5:23 AM  

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