Merciless Death (Pol)
Poland's Thrashing Madness label once again brings to light an ancient thrash relic from Merciless Death in the form of their 1993 debut album. These Polish maniacs didn't lose any vigor in between their previous recoridng an this release, and I might even say this album is more intense. The Sanctuary opens the album with chunky death riffing that quickly busrts into frantic thrash passages that shred flesh. The track breaks into some almost classical clean guitar that adds a bit of aristocracy to the song. Sinister synths are a prelude to the diabolical thrashing riffs on The Victim that bring to mind Dark Angel at their grimmest. Ghastly death vocals paint a morbid scene over the pounding drums on the track. A stop-start beginning on Power of Destiny sets the stage for brooding Kreator-esque riffage, a controlled but brutal display of power with a flailing guitar solo that gnaws your ears off your skull. However the clean guitars and dream-like keys that introduce River of Blood evokes similarities to some of Tiamat's work on The Astral Sleep, that is until frantic, sawing guitars and speedy tempos scorch the landscape, setting everything ablaze with the furious fretwork. Mirror of Inferno begins with a bass guitar piece that reminds me a quite a bit of Dark Angel's "Merciless Death", however the comparison ends there as a fat, lumbering riff lurches out of the darkness like a zombiefied grizzly bear cruelly disemboweling the listener. The title track is a work of maddening intensity and scathing riffs. The track drifts into some classy leadwork that illustrates that not only is Merciless Death insane but they are also talented and understand how to write seemless transitions midsong. There are 4 bonus tracks that were recorded live. It's rough production but the intensity of Meciless Death is present. This album is Merciless Death at their deadly best. Thrashing mayhem with death metal overtones and crushing variations of intricate guitarwork leave all listeners devastated by the end of Sick Sanctities.