Released: 2017, www.blackbowrecords.com/
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Merchant have come a long way in a short space of time. Coming on the heels of last year's "Suzerain", the band have returned with "Beneath". They consider themselves contemporaries of YOB and Bongzilla, and call themselves purveyors of cosmic-minded sludge. Damned heavy stuff.
The record opens with "Guile As A Vice", which is positively warped, with a guitar as heavy as a Wookiee's lunch. It's slug slow pace is laden with plenty of emotional weight, mired as it is with a constant downbeat, funereal feel. It takes fully five minutes for the savage and ragged bellow to arrive. What have been drinking, Mr. Mirgiannis? Acid?
The release's second track "Succumbing" is more conventionally brutal, akin to being kicked to death in slow motion. An utterly pitiless, relentless experience, it is positively migraine inducing, but just a little bit magnificent.
A challenging but ultimately rewarding experience.
Review by Owen Thompson