New Yorkers bring back “metal” and “core” in “metalcore”
There were times when the word “metalcore” didn’t stand for a bunch of skinny kids with emo haircuts whose appearance makes even the otherwise cool Iron Maiden and In Flames rip-off riffs sound bad. Luckily, Merauder still live in these times. And their new album is full of all those moments that made “Master Killer” a classic. Heavy thrash-death riffs, guttural vocals, classic song structures and a loudly stated hardcore attitude.
Opener “Until” shows that things in this album are quite serious and not just mere nostalgia for past glory. The older stuff’s concept is combined with the groovier sound and Phil Anselmo-ish vocals that were first introduced in “Bluetality” and were later developed further by Jorge Rosado in Rag Men. We also have Hatebrred-esque breakdowns put in the mix.
“God Is I” continues with the same force onwards as well. The main riff in “Built on Blood” crushes everything in its path clearing the way for the gang chorus. After a short skit where they explain to us what is the difference between a common thug and a gangster, “Gangsta” opens up with a melodic, almost heavy metal sounding riff that evolves into a metalcore meat grinder. In “Hell Captive” the bands slows things down to a max while Rosado almost raps along the crushing bass line in the verses.
The ninth track is a recording of a speech by Pedro Albizu Campos, a Puerto Rican nationalist that fought for independence of the Carribean country from the USA. Next is “Ahora” (now) that is sung in Spanish. The sharp riffs are good enough to make you think it is time for revolution as well (because this is what is sung).
The album is quite close to being the best thing Merauder have done so far. Quite awesome songs, quality sound (something they kind of missed on previous releases) and all of this in a moment when no one else makes this kind of music. Besides fans of the band who have nothing to be unhappy about in “God Is I”, the album also has all the arguments to be liked by all kinds of metal and hardcore people. Because it is really good. It’s a shame they release stuff so rarely…
Verdict: 6 / 6