Whipstriker - Merciless Artillery
Hells Headbangers
Blackened Speed Metal
8 songs (30' 5")
Release year: 2017
Hells Headbangers
Reviewed by Andy

In the mood for something fast and ugly, I cracked open Whipstriker's latest LP of blackened speed metal, Merciless Artillery. For those who haven't listened to Whipstriker before, just think of the sort of band that ends up on Hells Headbangers (which needless to say they are) with a stack of gritty-looking splits tall enough to teeter dangerously over the hypothetical visitor. The band's Venom worship is proudly worn on their leather-covered sleeves, but the enthusiasm so plain to see on the album is infectious.

Nor by any means is Whipstriker a Venom clone, even with their greater NWOBHM emphasis on Merciless Artillery. The heyday of their influences was a long time ago, and simple enough that there's plenty of room to try new things. There's still plenty of d-beat-filled thrashing, but the riffing is catchy and often inventive, and Skullkrusher's drumming, moving quickly from punk-style minimalism to double-kicked pummeling on Rape of Freedom, gives the whole thing a rushing urgency that demands a mosh pit full of leather-and-spike-clad opponents.

Of course, the band is the project of its eponymous frontman, who has helped out on some of the better-known blackened thrash bands during live gigs. A bassist and vocalist of the Lemmy/Cronos school, his grating voice isn't going to overwhelm the listener, but it gets the job done for this kind of music. Interestingly, though, in terms of the production, Merciless Artillery is much smoother. The band doesn't go for the crusty, low-fi vibe, but instead opts for a smooth mix that shows the instruments off to their best advantage, merciless artillery and all.

A solid showing from these Brazilian thrashers, Merciless Artillery of course falls into a specific niche, but listeners to other genres would probably still enjoy this one due to the enthusiasm put into it by its creators.

Bandcamp: https://whipstriker.bandcamp.com/.

Killing Songs :
Rape of Freedom, Warspell
Andy quoted 79 / 100
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