MERCILESS - The Awakening (12" LP on Half Red/Half Black Vinyl)
Sweden | Death/Thrash
Reprint, 500x half opaque red, half opaque black 12" (140g) in a microtene innerbag, printed innersleeve, full-color on 220g, jacket, full-color printed on 350g, lyrics sheet, all assembled in a plastic overbag.
In the Death/Thrash subgenre, Merciless is an unparalleled band that pushed the boundaries of speed and aggression to their limits. Their 1990 debut album, "The Awakening," is a brutal and unrelenting masterpiece that straddles the line between thrash and death metal. It delivers an unmerciful assault from start to finish, with thunderous tremolo riffs and relentless drums that tap into raw emotion and savage hatred.
Merciless draws comparisons to bands like Kreator, Bathory, and Sodom, but they manage to improve upon their predecessors with even greater intensity and intricacy. The drumming, in particular, stands out with its unique "hyper-snare" style, which adds a deathly intensity to their thrash structure. The lyrics are twisted and thought-provoking, touching on themes beyond the typical gore of early death metal.
While the majority of the album maintains breakneck speed, there are moments of time signature changes and semi-technical riff work in songs like "Realm of The Dark" and "Dying World," showcasing the band's versatility and hinting at their future evolution.
In summary, "The Awakening" by Merciless highlights the limits of thrash metal's aggression and the potential of the emerging death metal genre. It serves as a pivotal album in the transition from thrash to death metal, with Merciless pioneering this shift. This underrated classic marked the changing of the guard from thrash to death metal and remains a powerful testament to the band's unique style and innovation.