One of the first bands to combine high-speed death metal riffing in the style of Rigor Mortis with the simple melodicity of Sodom or other experimental minimalist black metal bands, resulting in a style of fast metal that could deliver what modern black metal wanted: bewildering chaos.

The Awakening
Deathlike Silence

Production: Dense charge of present sound.

Review: Tonight, the isolated night - a time reserved for uncommon use. Children gather at doors and adults feel nostalgia flare into ambition. There is a hope in the air, a hope swimming in chaos beneath uncountable desires and unformed feelings. Life is being formed by the hand that lives it at this very moment. Death has been accepted; souls of the damned cast new life into their force of continuation, and energy flows from the release. Tonight - The Awakening - you have been freed. And so endless resurgent frenetic thrashing proto-black metal from Merciless liberates the soul with utterly nihilistic and seemingly disconnected riffs unified by rhythm and a commentary on motion central to the thesis of each song, driving a self-assertive vision of darkness that is underneath its raw hatred and power love for the life of a nihilistic soul with a sense of possibility in the energy and kinetic power of self, of emotion, of logic in patterning.


1. Pure Hate
2. Souls of the Dead
3. The Awakening
4. Dreadful Fate
5. Realm of the Dark
6. Dying World
7. Bestial Death
8. Denied Birth
Length: 27:19

Copyright © 1989 Deathlike Silence Productions

Ranting, ripped-cord vocals hiss at a shout over pulsing drumbeats designed in the thrash school of drive with the constant broken, self-conflicting throb selectively directed into endphrases and transitions which explode into continuity through a mirrored inverse imprint of what was removed, abreacted in rough chromatic riffing as motif cyclicism. One of the first proto-black bands to eliminate most rock-n-rollish elements from their music, Merciless at this stage bear resemblance to Destruction, Kreator and other raw, anthemic and violently antisocial thrashing speed metal bands from the middle 1980s. Inspired in lyrics and theme by hatred and death, this album rises from those themes to create a sense of will and the epic distance between points of vision in life and approaching death.

Flat-out racing power chord runs and thunderous choruses of churning, building melodic fragments that become the challenge portion of the central motif to emerge combine in a rushing onslaught of liquid deconstruction in pattern unveiling, often flying through riff combinations in the style of Slayer to arrive at a resting point for change. Conclusion to motif in dynamic reduction of theme to conclusive pattern occurs within texture and so is often not as pronounced as in other bands, but in terms of the structure created by modal sequence and rhythm continuity achieved resolves in a direct extension of broken and violent phrasing emphasized in fragments of threateningly nihilistic meme.

The first release on Deathlike Silence Productions run by Mayhem guitarist Euronymous, "The Awakening" is all of the power of 1980s thrashing speed metal with the darkest heart and clearest language of blackness to be found at the time. Masters of mood and darkened chaotic riff lexicon unleashing, Merciless wrought a classic from the raw elements of a deluge to come.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE

Copyright © 1988-2004 the Dark Legions Archive