Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, March 12, 2018

Merrimack - Ashes Of Purification (Re-release)

The black metal reissue has always been a bit of a contentious point in the world of underground music. On the one hand there is the notion that 'you had to be there' and that only the biggest fans get to have the physical product. On the other hand is the simple notion that if you can let more fans have a good time checking out what you have to offer, why not do it? The Merrimack reissue of their debut Ashes Of Purification sees another 500 CD's being made on the wake of the success of their latest offering Omegaphilia and it seems to me that it nicely straddles that line.

After all - this is one of the most important and exciting black metal albums of all time. These French maniacs were wonderfully atavistic, looking back to the origins of the genre and crafting something wonderfully frostbitten. The blazing guitars of tracks like Noigel speak to the transcendent and genre defining beauty of this album. It is an album that blasts forward unmercifully, careening from strength to strength and reminding us time and time again why these guys are seen as one of the greats. Few bands capture the blazing fury of black metal the way Merrimack did on Ashes Of Purification and it makes for something you constantly want to revisit.

There is a breadth to these music that belies the fact that the band had been around for eight years prior to this release. Ashes Of Purification represented a potent culmination for the group and a hint of all of the magic to come. Truly twisted, wonderfully intelligent and obsessed with the sort of pagan devil worship that only the most inverted of minds can come up with, this is a masterful release. Easy to fall in love with and wonderfully subversive, Merrimack bring us to the brink, and then hint at pushing us over the edge with this trip back in time to a stunning debut.

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