So I am going to tell you a little story about a band from Topeka, Kansas called Unmerciful.
So In 2006 Unmerciful released their debut full length Unmercifully Beaten. The record did exactly that to your eardrums it beat them to a pulp with its furious display of brutal technical death metal and was heralded by fans of the genre, and is still to this day considered a peak record within the brutal death metal scene.
Following the release the band went fairly silent and it took 10 years for Unmerciful to deliver a follow up record which came in the form of 2016’s Ravenous Impulse. This record as far as I am concerned delivered exactly what was required, which was another dose of clinical death metal which maintained the styles primitive brutality.
4 years on Unmerciful are back with Wrath Encompassed a punishing whirlwind of death metal perfection. Its safe to say if you find blast beats boring then this one really isn’t going to be for you. The extremely polished technical death metal sound that has become popular among many tech death bands at the moment is thrown out of the window and Unmerciful deliver a real true sounding record. Now when I say thrown out the window, I do not mean this is some horrid sounding record done with one mic in the centre of the room, it sounds clean however the band have kept that raw punishing aggression which in my opinion gets lost when you polish a death metal record that much that you get something that sounds as if it has been programmed into pro tools.
Opening with a 1-2 punch of The Incineration and Blazing Hatred, Unmerciful do not waste time setting the scene within Wrath Encompassed. The blasting drums of new drummer “Trynt Kelly” who had the horrific job of replacing the machine of John Longstreth (Origin) behind the kit which he does fantastically I must add are matched with technical riffing from the trio of “Clinton Appelhanz”, “Jeremy Turner” and “Justin Payne” and topped with machine gun vocals of another new member “Joshua Riley”. The lead vocals are backed up by the 3 aforementioned members basically if you are not holding drumsticks on this record at some point your screaming down a microphone.
The technical riffing through Wrath Encompassed is topped of by some fantastic lead work. The track The Stench of Fear is just one of many examples of being done. The band taking the track from an extreme battering and giving you something new to concentrate on before coming back into fifth gear for a final assault.
Wrath Encompassed definitely delivers what was expected and on a personal note what I want out of a technical death metal record, which is a group of musicians pushing themselves to the limits of their craft. If you are not familiar with the band then Wrath Encompassed gives you a great starting point into discovering what Unmerciful are all about.