Merauder - God Is I
Regain Records
11 songs (43'15")
Release year: 2009
Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex

Upon receiving this CD in the mail my first thought was: “Could it be the same Merauder, whose Five Deadly Venoms blend of metal and hardcore, New York style, I could not quite fathom way back in 1999?” The times, they are changing, and so are we. I grew enough in my musical outreach at this point, that almost nothing would repel me right off the bat, based on genre definition alone. Merauder seem to go through a lot themselves, five years of inactivity since 2003 and passing away of the founding guitarist Javier Carpio in 2006. Seething on the inside with pent up energy seeking release, vocalist Jorge Rosado felt the need for resurrection. And so 10 years later, wiser and more tolerant, I get a chance to sample Merauder comeback album God Is I.

The album, true to its NYHC roots, hits hard with strappin’ manly riffs beginning from the get-go, with the opener Until. Not looking for much subtleness and melody this time around, I understand that this music is mostly about slamming grooves and big-time intensity. At the same time, unlike recently reviewed Ektomorf, Merauder does have variation in its playbook. Forgotten Children proceeds from fluid guitar to mid-tempo stomps and ends with profound melody. Hell Captive has a distinct straightforward classic heavy metal moment with a twin guitar solo. Yet the trademark remains this double bass pounding, death metal bordering groove, which sounds especially focused and angry on Ratcatcher and Never Surrender. If the majority of modern metal outfits give me the sense of unfounded childish annoyance, Merauder, 2009 version, projects mature crushing sense of strength and invincibility, even if I still don’t find a lot of personal enjoyment in their music.

Jorge Rosado certainly does his part to make the venom flow. He reaches back all the way to scream his guts out, and to sound legible with many forceful exhales. The band is supporting him often with gang background vocals, which take on the special meaning if one listens to the opening of Gangsta, depicting neighborhood gangsters as some sort of Robin Hoods, not the bottom trawling street thugs. Singing in Spanish on Ahora, Merauder brings an “ethnic” feel to the song, Brooklyn, NYC, being responsible for the ethnicity all its own in this case.

Merauder’s signing with Regain Records is surprising. The label specializes in mostly European and particularly Scandinavian black, death and thrash, reissuing many of the more known acts from the Swedish scene. Merauder would have been a lot better fit on something like Stillborn (Hatebreed) or Metal Blade (Lamb of God), but then, seeing that the band’s manager is none other than Frank Watkins (Obituary), that may explain the Regain backchannel.

Killing Songs :
Ratcatcher, Gangsta, Forgotten Children, God Is I
Alex quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Merauder that we have reviewed:
Merauder - Bluetality reviewed by Jay and quoted 69 / 100
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