Unmerciful
Wrath Encompassed

Without a doubt one of the most anticipated death metal albums of the year for me, Kansas’s Unmerciful have been an upper echelon brutal technical death metal band.  From the band’s inceptio,n having world class drumming has been a necessary component to the band.  With Unmercifully beaten you had James King. With Ravenous Impulse you had John Longstreth.  Trynt Kelly’s debut is a masterpiece and Wrath Encompassed is its own beast of an album.  Featuring Karl Schmidt from Gorgatron on vocals.  The dual guitar work of Clinton Appelhanz and Justin Payne.  Last but not least the master craftsmen Jeremy Turner handling the bass and contributing to the writing on the album as well.

Wrath encompassed wastes zero time turning the tempo meter up to pummel with the first track “The Incineration”.  The precise execution of Kelly’s blast work and the string sections fretboard gymnastics makes for a fantastic way to begin an album.  There are so many catchy riffs that it doesn’t really feel like a five-minute song. It’s nice to hear more solos which I felt Ravenous Impulse was a bit lacking of.   There is excellent contrast between Clint and Justin.  Clint lays down an absolute beast on this one.

“Blazing Hatred” shows a bit of the influence of Hate Eternal on the riffing.  There is an intensity that is similar to me.  The groove on this track is fantastic.  Kelly’s double kick work is one of many highlights of the album.   “Predator to Prey” is one of my favorite tracks on the album the drum work in the intro and the way the way the track builds into the verse is incredibly heavy and it gets more intense as the track goes on.  It took me a few listens to appreciate the production of Wrath.  To me this is the meanest Unmerciful record yet.  The title track, “Wrath Encompassed” might have the catchiest intro riff of any of the tracks on the record.  It is also not to hear the Suffocation influence on a lot of transition riffs building throughout. Check out the awesome new video for the title track.  I think I have listened to the album start to finish over a dozen times now.   To me, every track on this is incredibly catchy. This track has one of the best solos on the album.

“Carnage Unleashed” is one of my favorite drum performances on the album.  Trynt Kelly truly has made his mark with this performance and I am excited to hear how the bar is raised for future Unmerciful releases.  “Carnage” is definitely one of the most intense tracks on the album. I think I forgot to mention how sick the cover art is.  I really need to pre-order a Willowtip bundle so I can get my hands on a shirt.  “Stench of Fear” has some awesome build and almost has a thrashier feel at times.  Jeremy Turner definitely makes his presence felt with some excellent runs.  This is another track showing off the bomb lead work of Clint Appelhanz. “Furious Precision” has one of my favorite closing sections of any of the tracks on the album.  Going from incredibly intense blast section into an excellent groove section with dissonant augmented chords and a nice fade out. For my money this album is going to be one of the hardest death metal albums to top all year. Unmerciful has checked off all of the boxes of what brutal technical death metal can sound like when musicians are committed to the craft.  The efforts of all on this are top notch and if I was to be asked which album is a must listen in 2020 this one is it. It does not get much heavier or intense as this. Highly recommended.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
April 17th, 2020

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