"Realm of Terror" (Heavy Artillery; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

This is the sophomore effort from Southern California's old style thrash band Merciless Death. I kind of like this album, but I liked it a whole lot more when Slayer did it under the title of "Show No Mercy."

This is very early, say '83 - '85, style speed metal and Merciless Death seems to try hard to make every detail of the music sound like it was from that time period. I think that the question that has to come after hearing any of these style thrash albums is: Why do this when it's already been done? I still can't figure why these bands are still chopping away at this kind of music like they think it's still 1985. Okay, they like the style (and so do I) but, if you don't add anything of your own to it, then you come across as a speed metal cover band. 

I am sorry that many of these bands missed the speed metal explosion of the 1980s because they had not yet been born or were in diapers. However, time moves on and so should music to some extent. 

I thought the band's 2007 debut, "Evil in the Night," was decent, but they needed to bring in their own ideas and the vocals needed some real help. Well, the vocals on the new album are a little better -- definitely deeper and more intense. The music is tighter overall and the production might even be sharper. Yet the part they spent no time on is adding their own ideas. This is just 28 minutes and 12 seconds of a style of metal that was done well over twenty years ago and done better back then. I love speed metal, but if you are not bringing anything of your own to the mix then I fail to see the point in why I should listen to this when I can just pull out a Slayer or Dark Angel album and play that instead. 

I do hope that Merciless Death keep pushing at it, but I hope at some point that they realize that they need to stretch their music out and begin to define their own sound.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:59:47 -0400.