(Devils Clause Records)
'Merciless Terror', death/thrash aggressors from Nottingham, formed with the notion of creating a powerful blend of rampaging, crushing death Metal with a delivery of relentless thrash Metal battery and the intent of opening up a nightmare world of dystopia, unleashing Armageddon upon any survivors that dare to witness the terror; an admirable ambition.
Their debut full-length album, 'Vile Extinction', is the follow up to their two EP's, 2011s 'Perpetual Devastation' and 'Eternal Decay' in 2012 during which time the quartet underwent several line-up changes, finally reaching what they feel is a solid and ferocious unit, responsible for this newest offering.
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Musically 'Vile Extinction' is an aural assault that clearly demonstrates the band's death/thrash aggression; the sound is pounding and relentless. The album is lyrically themed on; "The damnation of humanity, the imminent fate that will consume us all and lead the remnants of civilization to fight for survival, the result of mankind's own doing by unnecessary wars because of religion, over harvesting, over spawning like a cancerous infection upon the earth and depleting the world's life force."
The musicianship is good across the album; vocals that are powerful and acidic enough burn the skin of your face, drums that do the necessary and the guitars supply competently fast and intense riffs throughout with more than a few decent solos littered about.
After the atmospherically ominous opener, 'Omnicide 00.00', the pace ramps up with 'Doctrine Of Malevolence. I love how it opens, the riffs punching their way through making space for a massive vocal roar, just the beginning of some of the powerful vocalisations that tear through this and the rest of the tracks.
'Circle Of Contempt' is just intense and blasting and 'Enraptured' is heralded in with yet another powerful roar and midway through you are greeted by what could well be the best solo of the album. 'Baptized In Blood' takes an interesting turn midway, becoming slower, darker and completed by a nice chunk of thrash mayhem towards the close.
On 'Hateful Abomination', distant guitar squeals and drum blasts follow and then another roar, there is also a nice vitriolic edge to the vocals at times. On 'Process Of Eradication', I loved the drum blast and guitar riff pattern as the track opens, something that is revisited across the track with good effect.
Some aural respite is given as 'World Desolation' closes with a ponderous solo, just long enough for you to wonder what to expect next, which would be 'Imminent Death', which is short, sharp and intense.
The penultimate track, 'Dystopic Visions', is a beautiful clean guitar instrumental with a strong melancholic edge. This track took me by surprise as I did not expect this at all. The final and longest track, 'Existence Denied' is well worth the wait, it has the best vocals of the album, for range, variety and delivery, certainly my favourite track. It has a dark reflective quality to its construct and some fabulous guitar work throughout; a great ending.
Overall a good album, it will certainly get a fair few spins from me.
Could it be that the Reign of Terror has just begun... that this is humanity's Vile Extinction...