If you were to categorise black metal as a genre within our world, nine times out of ten you’ll find the association with Occult, Satanic, Church burning and Corpse paint possessives will be at the forefront of this historic genre.
As influential and important this subject matter may be there’s a side to this music that is never really considered by the majority. As an art form, black metal expresses the true ugliness of the world that surrounds us.
Since the mid 1990’s there’s been a band that have felt very much a part of this morphology. Hailing from France MERRIMACK scourged a path and gained a following in the earlier millennium. Back with album number 5 ‘Omegaphila’, the band make a menacing return to the senses.
Like a wind chime made from bones, the record opens with what can only be described as a ritual in full swing. Cauterizing Cosmos has Tribal like percussion whilst these satanic chants build to the point that a guitar erupts. 2 hits of a snare and then you’re immediately thrown into Merrimack’s world. Enchanting riffs guide you to the point of no return. The track explodes into blast beats and guitar savagery. Vocalist Vestal has a distinctive sound to his voice unlike the traditional black metal vocalists.
Keeping in line with breakneck speed ‘The Falsified Son’ comes racing out the gates and is as immediate as a punch to the throat. Layer after layer of riffs really make this track stand out. ‘Apophatic Weaponry’ takes a different approach in speed. Opening with a sinister riff, the track initially has a slower tempo but once Vestal’s screams come in that face melting speed comes back and hits harder every time. Post-apocalyptic vibes all over this song.
‘Gutters of Pain’ again comes racing out the traps, 2 minutes in however I challenge anyone to have this track turned up to 11 and resist banging their head. A steam roller of a riff ensures that this will be an absolute juggernaut of a song in a live environment. ‘Cesspool Coronation’ has all of the uncompromising qualities of a traditional black metal anthem, anthemic, dark and brewing with distain.
‘At the Vanguard of Deception’ closes the album and really displays the creativity and musicianship of this group of individuals. This is a real testament to the band being able to create landscapes and make there sound colossal. The track fades out in such a chilling way, this is something that needs to be heard.
Although this is a band that have a strong following within the French black metal scene, with ambition and creativity to this standard there’s no reason we shouldn’t see their art on a bigger scale. After all, with the world as it is, this music has never felt more relevant.