Released: 2007, Heavy Artillery
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
You think the Thrash era is long gone? If so, just look around you! The 2nd coming of new bands playing old school Thrash Metal is within reach. If you haven’t noticed that yet, please clean out your dirty ears and open your goddamn eyes…ok?! With bands like: Violator, HeXeN, Warbringer, Avenger of Blood, Malicious Death, Evile, Fueled by Fire, Jumalation, Oppression (Swe), and a few others, there´s enough out there that proves that old school Thrash isn´t dead. It is alive, and it is seriously kicking our fragile and fat asses once again! Do not to forget that stone-hard fact. Some of the true pioneers of the genre (Exodus, Onslaught, Destruction, Kreator, etc.) have released such exemplary powerful, ´old school´ flavored Thrash Metal albums within the last couple of years that have pretty much shown the way to newcomers on how to make Thrash, the old school, ´80s way.
From the Southern California comes this relentlessly thrashing trio Merciless Death. Their debut album, EVIL IN THE NIGHT, has recently been released on the small independent HEAVY ARTILLERY label. Despite of the age of the guys in the band, (they all look like they cannot be much over 20), they shamelessly show their own tribute to the past Thrash Metal scene by the 8 songs they have recorded for EVIL IN THE NIGHT. Even if what they do has been done several times before (and probably better and more convincingly by the originators of this particular sound), the trick with Merciless Death is that these fellows have truly done their homework with ´80s Thrash. I mean, they truly have. When you throw EVIL IN THE NIGHT into your CD-player, some great memories about the heydays of Thrash Metal start penetrating your mind, when bands like Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, Destruction, Kreator, Vio-lence and the likes, ruled the earth from one coast to another. It was all about speed, aggression and violence in metal - and those strong footprints are captured well for Merciless Death’s debut album. The band reeks strongly of all things ´80s Thrash - even how they look with their worn-out jean jackets full of band patches, jeans and stuff. The band vocalist and bassist, Andy Torres, reminds of a combination of vocal deliveries of such guys as Stve “Zetro” Souza (especially his days in Legacy, which was pre-Testament as we all know). As well he reminds of a very unknown dude named Aku Raaska, who used to sing in the Finnish Thrash Metal combo National Napalm Syndicate back in the day. Dan Holder has surely kept his ears clean and sharp when figuring out how to make his guitar parts to shred the same way like Kerry King used to do in the early days of Slayer. Seems like Andy has accomplished that mission successfully as far as his very ´kerryking-ish´ plagiarism in the songs is concerned.
Oh, and in order that the whole package could reach as much of an ´80s Thrash vibe as possible, no other artist but the legendary Ed Repka (the master artist behind the album covers of such bands as Death, Megadeth, Evil Dead, Nuclear Assault, Vio-lence, Solstice and many others) has blessed this release by his very characteristic, eye-catching artwork. It’s of a blond lady haunted by zombies in a sort of boghole.
Not much else to add really except the fact that the revival of Thrash Metal has been successfully continued by Merciless Death on EVIL IN THE NIGHT. If that´s something that set your ears on fire, by all means get this. I can tell you that you´ll hardly regret it afterwards - just believe me!