S/t (Black Loge 2003)

Album review

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Merciless was one of the first underground Death/Thrash metal bands in Sweden. Inspired of the early fast-playing bands like Kreator, Sodom, and Destruction the band was formed in the summer of 1986 in Strängnäs Sweden by:
Erik Wallin-guitar
Fredrik Karlén-bass
Stefan Carlsson-drums
Kåle-lead vocals

In the summer of '89 Merciless recorded their first album "The Awakening". Before that the band had been doing some demos, the first one "Behind The Black Door" came in 87. After that demo Kåle left the band and the new singer was Rogga. After the first record was out, the band played a lot of shows with bands like Entombed, Dismenber, Count Raven, and also the Brazilian band Sepultura on their "Beneath The Remains" tour. Merciless' second record "The Treasures Within" was recorded in '91 but was not relesed until the year after. Then the drummer was tired of waiting for the record to be released, so in '92 a new drummer, Peter Stjärnvind (Unanimated/Entombed) replaced Stefan Carlsson. In the begining of '93 the band did a tour in Scandinavia together with Entombed. The same year they recorded their third album, "Unbound" with producer Dan Swanö at his Unisound Studios. Tired of the lack of support from the record company, Merciless lost the inspiration to go on. In the start of '94 the band did a show before they decided to take a long break.
However, in '95 they preformed on the Slayer tribute record "Slaytanic Slaughter" with the song "Crionics". In '99 the first album was released on Osmose productions then Merciless were offered to do a lot of shows and started to rehearse again. After some more successful shows Merciless decided to start working on a new album. In 2002 they finally entered Dog Pound Studios in Stockholm Sweden.
The band has 10 tracks with fast and hard thrash/death metal on the new album, there are some calmer passages in some of the songs but mostly they stick to hard and fast metal. The sound is not updated to 2000, it sounds like they still are back in the 80´s, the soundpicture, the songs and the production sound extremly 80´s. Merciless plays standard death/trash metal and it´s nothing new about them or their music. If you like 80´s death/trash metal you should check this out, but I´m not impressed at all, the only thing I like on this record is Peter Stjärnvind's drumming.

Rating 4,5/10

Reviewed by: Anders Sandvall