Unmerciful
Ravenous Impulse

Kansas natives Unmerciful released their first full length album, the awesomely titled Unmercifully Beaten, way back in 2006.  After picking it up and listening to it many times over, I knew this would be a band to keep an eye out for.  Well that eye (or both) ended up going to sleep, as these guys went nearly dormant.  I had actually totally forgotten about them until seeing they had a new LP coming out, and I was quite eager to see what they had come up with during all that time.

They still have two of the original members back, that being former Origin guys Clint Appelhanz on guitar and Jeremy Turner on bass.  Newcomers Justin Payne joins them in the strings category, with Chris Bolton taking over on vocals.  And who is that we have behind the kit?  Well none other than the inimitable John Longstreth, easily one of the top 5 drummers in all of metal.  I heard a track or two before knowing that was him behind the kit, and while doing so remembering thinking “holy hell who is that?!?”

With one of the fastest and most technical drummers on earth behind the kit, and one of the original members of that little known tech-death band Origin (also from Kansas, so he didn’t have to travel far),  and the two other former Origin guys, care to take a guess what this one sounds like?  Yep, it’s almost a carbon copy of their style, but one that is pulled off very well.  This one is an absolute crusher from the self-titled first track, with none of that weak ass intro garbage that rarely serves a purpose 98% percent of the time.  The wicked fast double bass drumming and lightning riffs are the first thing you’ll notice, as they come at you like a pack of rabid Dobermans.  Bolton’s vocal style is the semi-decipherable growl, and I can honestly say I wish it was a little deeper, but maybe that was a conscious choice as to not interfere with the instrumental wizardry going on.

Other than the occasional chug riff, or wicked solo such as the one that closes out “Sociopathic Predation”, this one is a speed fest, and if you like and/or are familiar with Origin (if not go look them up NOW), then you know exactly what you’re being served here.  The album ends with a nearly 5 minute instrumental, and while I’m usually not the biggest fan of those, this one ends up being one of the best tracks on the entire album, with the whole thing clocking in at just under 35 minutes.  Like their first one this is also on Unique Leader, and that’s a solid bonus as the production job is fantastic.  Definitely one to check out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
August 16th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Nick K

    To me this is a completely different album then the first one. Not that this is a bad thing at all. There is interesting parallels here. For one.. James King and Clint from Unmerciful played on Origin’s Echoes of Decimation. The flip here with this 2nd Unmerciful album is you have Jeremy Turner and John Longstreth ( Ex and Current Origin) on an Unmerciful record. I hear a lot of Gorgasm influence on this album. Fans of the first record might be wondering where all of the crazy sweeping is but i think these guys have moved passed that and have matured with this album. Nice review!


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