Mercy’s Dirge is one of the first Romanian Black Metal bands, formed back in 1991. Live, Raw and Relentless is their first full-length album initially released by the band in early 2018, now re-released by Loud Rage Music. Despite their lack of activity over the past number of years (only recorded a couple of demos before disbanding in 1997) they are most certainly live and kicking.
As the title suggests, all the songs were recorded live and likely in one take, and that’s actually the biggest pros of this album! Thus, Live, Raw and Relentless consists of 11 semi-length-range black metal songs. Actually it is more of a very raw black/death mixture, but it is done in an old-school manner, from a production to the artwork, everything screams; old-school!!! Most of the music is very heavily rooted in the mid-80’s to early-90’s era.
Intro song is the shortest one on the record, a primal short black metal torment assault “Remains of Posterity”, where vocals are mostly a death-metal-style. “Foreseeing The Past” is the next rapid track showing what to expect from the rest of the album.
I like the rawness of “Devilish Wish” and “Another Hell”, but my favorite track is the one called “The Bewitched”, mostly due to excellent bass work there. Worth mentioning that is when guitar solos and leads are also added into the music they are also done in a very old-school-style.
“Groovin’ Terror” is a bit catchy and addictive, highly reminiscent of early Celtic Frost, while “Meherat” is probably the weirdest song on the record, with this long spoken-word intro and melodies that can hardly be called black metal. A modified cover of Venom’s “Countess Bathory”, here called “Senseless Agony” can also be heard as the closing track.
The production sounds old-school, while the lyrical content covers the subjects of darkness and occultism. Throughout Live, Raw and Relentless one can also hear a great mixture of some slow, mid-paced and fast parts.
My only gripe with Live, Raw and Relentless is that it is a little long at times, although I would still recommend it for admirers of Celtic Frost, Atheist, Venom and similar early black metal.
For additional info visit: www.mercysdirge.com