Released: 2014, Great Dane Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
For every 90’s era death metal band that “made it big”, there are dozens that shoulda/coulda/woulda been just as big, but for any number of reasons, weren’t. France’s Mercyless is a great example of such a fate. In pre-internet 1992, I remember walking into my local Camelot Music store on the hunt for something new and heavy, and being met with ABJECT OFFERINGS. Adorned with Dali’s “Christ of St. John on the Cross” as the cover art and nothing else but a wicked looking logo to go by, I was immediately intrigued, plunked down ten bucks and ran home with my treasure, eager to find out whether or not my gamble was worth it. Heavily influenced by the likes of Death and Pestilence with a healthy dose of Slayer worship, ABJECT OFFERINGS’ eight tracks and an intro were nothing short of a totally respectable death metal album. Brutal enough to meet my adolescent death metal cravings, but technical and disciplined enough to sit alongside albums like LEPROSY and CONSUMING IMPULSE on my cassette shelf.
Even with a follow up album on Century Media (‘93’s COLOURED FUNERAL), Mercyless never found the audience they were looking for and ABJECT OFFERINGS found its way out of print. That is until the good folks at Great Dane Records recently remastered and reissued the album for a new audience 22 years later. Despite sounding a bit dated, the album still holds up pretty well two decades after the fact. Standouts like “A Message For All Those Who Died”, “Selected Resurrection”, “Unformed Tumors” and the title track sound as fresh and lethal as ever, with the cleaned up production job allowing much of the musical nuance to finally shine through your headphones “Without Christ” and “Flesh Divine” don’t sound nearly as creatively inspired, and “Burned at the Stake” comes closest to being straight up Slayer-ploitation, but collectively, ABJECT OFFERINGS gets the job done.
Those of you raised on diets of Revocation or Dying Fetus may find yourself guffawing at Mercyless’ archaic musical posturing, but for the old school and the old school at heart, ABJECT OFFERINGS is definitely an album you’ll want in your collection.