Merrimack - Of Entropy and Life Denial
Moribund Cult
Black Metal
11 songs (56:00)
Release year: 2006
Moribund Cult
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review

When I first heard Ashes of Purification by French Black Metallers Merrimack I was quite impressed. I had not seen the type of voracity from a French scene that focuses on the weird in quite a while. France in a way is growing as a Black Metal scene, and is expanding its horizons into 2nd Wave Influences from The Great White North.

Merrimack open Of Entropy and Life Denial with an evil intent, making it quite obvious that their idea in their music is vicious and resentful, with each strummed note and harsh vocalization a clear indication that they are as heavy as French Black Metal has ever been. The combination of substantial drumming, incredibly harsh vocals, and a clearly present dual guitar attack makes the band quite overwhelming if played at a high volume. I think the true strength of this band is the vocals. Terrorizt performs on this album. His ferocity is well-wrought, with a harshness unseen of in the French scene. His vox are powerful and booming, and bear a tortured distortion to them that layer over the equally pungent guitars beautifully. On songs like Melancholia Balneam Diaboli, his lyrics are laid over a slower rhythm void of blast beats, and they sound as perverse as ever. Violent guitar rhythms and contrasting tones accompany Terrorizt’s infuriated vocals well, as it seems as the vocals are as virulent as ever, but there is control to the mayhem. That is where Merrimack derives their excellence, with controlled chaos. They have a sound that is harried and bloody, like a maelstrom of blades, yet somehow the band seem to be in complete control over the pure insanity.

There is an excellence to a band that can harness the hellfire of Black Metal and direct it in a straight beam of sound, an aural onslaught. Songs like Redeem Restless Souls are perfect examples, and are the reason why largely Merrimack have succeeded, albeit under the radar in a French scene dominated by names like Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega.

Strangely enough, the band have a harsh Black Metal production, but seemingly amidst the carnage, the sound is clean and discernible. Evidently, this may appear to be a stupidly contrived paradox to you, the reader, but listen to the band and understand my process. Merrimack have that dirge and gritty sound, but at the same time have a very well produced sound with easily deduced notations and tones. Of Entropy and Life Denial has everything from rapid blasts and tremolo riffs to doom and gloom droning tunes. Merrimack here set on a mission for hateful and violent music with a well-produced quality amongst the carnal songwriting and have succeeded. This is likely their best album, and along with the earlier Ashes of Purification get my vote and recommendation. The band is falling just a bit short of a 95+ album, but when the mind is tough and the ears are calm, pop this in your player and beat them to submission. Merrimack make the French scene more unpredictable than ever.

Killing Songs :
Melancholia Balneam Diaboli, Redeem Restless Souls, Subcutaneous Infection
Tony quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Merrimack that we have reviewed:
Merrimack - Ashes of Purification reviewed by Tony and quoted 89 / 100
Merrimack - Grey Rigorism reviewed by James and quoted 75 / 100
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