Having appeared on the French scene since 1994, Merrimack has been delivering fairly consistent black metal since that time. Their first full-length, 2001’s ‘Ashes of Purification’ was as diverse in dynamic approach as it was rich in ebonised and ebullient anti-Christian savagery; 2006’s ‘Of Entropy and Life Denial’ saw the band throwing in a few death metal as well as depressive black metal elements; and 2009’s ‘Grey Rigorism’ marked a clear maturation in their sound and secured their position as a band worthy of attention. And so, from the murky depths, appears full-length number four, ‘The Acausal Mass’, a wave of shifting grim layers of relentless drumming, dissonant guitars, and deeply atmospheric and bleak passages. Mixing black metal wrath with the dark atmospherics of a Hellish torture chamber, the dirge-like passages bring forth the immediacy of pain and torment in the lead work and the arpeggiated phrasing across the album – particularly in ‘Gospel Of The Void’ and ‘Hypophanie’ – making it that much more ominous. There are near doom-like tempos in the burning atmospherics and galloping riff that tear the flesh from the soil. Merrimack’s strengths are their complex structures and their ability to shift from frantic tempos and complex rhythms into dark and dim dirges. At times overwhelming, at others burning with the fires of hell, Merrimack have produced a very good piece of work that, though not without its merits, fails to push them much further than they have already gone with their previous releases. I would wager that their next album will see them delivering a more inspired and innovative piece that sees them transcend their well-defined boundaries.
THE ACAUSAL MASS
Review by Jason Guest
22nd June 2012
1) Vestals of Descending Light
2) Arousing Wombs in Nine Angels Pleroma
3) Gospel of the Void
4) Beati Estis Cum Maledixerint Vobis
6) Obstetrics of Devourment
7) Worms in the Divine Intestine
8) Abortion Light
9) Liminal Matter Corruption
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Mixing black metal wrath with the dark atmospherics of a Hellish torture chamber, the dirge-like passages bring forth the immediacy of pain and torment in the lead work and the arpeggiated phrasing across the album..."