Sometimes you want metal to hear some metal that is distilled to it’s purest forms without the pretense of genre or labels or anything ground breaking or progressive. Sometimes that primal desire is what makes metal so enduring and Sweden’s Merciless are the prime fucking example.

With Merciless you’ll find to frills or lengthy compositions. No inflection or atmosphere or soundscapes. No genre defying conventions or redefining metal moments. What you will find is fucking balls to the wall thrash/death metal that is a violent riff tornado of mayhem. Think of that go for the throat, off the rails approach of the first Kreator album, now times that by five and you’re in the ballpark of Merciless’ first album here. Everything is stripped down to the bare essentials and blasted at full speed. This is the sort of sound that so many bands want to try and capture nowadays but few have. Hypnosia was the only one that came close and it’s because they understood that it’s not about sounding true to a time period but just making some kick ass extreme metal with no filters, and that’s what Merciless did on The Awakening, achieving a timeless album of unrelenting fury.