Merciless Death

Eternal Condemnation Demo 87 CD

Thrashing Madness 2009

On this CD we are treated to the 87 demo from Poland's Merciless Death, not to be confused with the neo-thrashers of the same name from California.  The CD compiles the English and Polish versions of the demo 87 plus five live tracks taken from a gig in 88.  At the time of this demo, Merciless Death was, to my ears, Poland's answer to Dark Angel or Possessed, seriously heavy thrash that lurked on the fringe of death metal.  Up first is the English version of the demo.  The Beginning of Darkness features destructive riffs played with lightning aggression.  The track's latter stage slows down for some stomping grooves.  Ritual of the Black Host unleashes a full on frontal assault of speedy drums and razorsharp guitars.  The riffs build momentum, retreat slightly and then push forward again.  UP next is Sadist which is a slower, more intimidating track whose drums and riffs simultaneously rumble menacingly.   Antichrist starts slow and then explodes with whirling Kreator-ish riffs.  Slayer influences take over on the track that shares the band's moniker, Merciless Onslaught.  Sawing Slayer-ish riffs shred away all sanity.  Track 7 is a worthless, "fucking around in the studio track."  The main thing that differentiates the English and Polish demos here, besides the vocals of course, is the raw cover of Slayer's Black Magic which is basically spot-n despite being much looser and primitive in execution.  I am not big into live material and the five live tracks really do nothing to enhance this CD for me aside from the cover of Slayer's Postmortem that closes out their set.  The production values on this CD are indicative that this is a demo but the music still shines beneath its rough exterior.  Thrashing Madness has done well in finally bringing this crushing thrash demo into the light and out of the dusty obscurity of time.  Merciless Death, though embryonic in its development, managed to kick out some raging thrash with a deadly edge.  If you like Dark Angel, Slayer and Possessed's death/thrash approach then Eternal Condemnation will warm your diabolical heart.