Band Biographies: Merrimack

MERRIMACK is back with their new album Of Grace and Gravity. Their third release for Season of Mist arrives after the re-print of their long sold-out debut Ashes of Purification, which followed the sizeable impact that their last album, Omegaphilia, had on the Black Metal Scene.

Merrimack can be categorized as an extreme traditionalist who is driven by a burning desire to hone their skills and strive to bring their art to perfection. The band was founded by guitarist Perversifier a.k.a. Amfortas in 1994 with a clear vision to keep the black metal flame burning as an act of aesthetic terrorism – as adamantly based in the underground as opposed to any attempts to co-opt, commercialize or turn the style into a self-parody. Introduced by several demo recordings (‘Prologue’ – 1995, ‘Act 1’ – 1995, ‘Horns Defeat Thorns’ – 2001) and split releases (with Hirilorn in 1998 and Sargeist in 2002), the French gained respect in the scene by remaining true to their words.

Although Merrimack decided to reach out to a larger audience with the release of their first full-length ‘Ashes of Purification’, the Parisians did not sever their roots with the underground at any time. With the following albums, Of Entropy and Life Denial (2006) and Grey Rigorism (2009), Merrimack closed ranks with the most influential, active, and authentic acts of the French black metal scene. Their classic combination of harsh sound with epic structures appealed to critics and fans alike and put the band on their celebrated first US tour with Marduk and Nachtmystium in 2009.

After recording The Acausal Mass (2012) in the legendary Necromorbus Studio (Watain, Destroyer 666) again, Merrimack embarked on a European tour with Norwegian icons Mayhem and accepted invitations to prestigious festivals such as Hellfest in their native France, Germany’s Party-San Open Air and Summer Breeze as well as Montreal’s Messe des Morts in Canada.

‘Omegaphilia’ breathed fresh life into an exhausted genre. While ignoring epithets such as progressive, post-, and avant-garde, the band focused on razor-sharp songwriting, captivating melodies, and close-to-perfect arrangements.  

The ensemble now presents their latest album 'Of Grace and Gravity', an aural journey where grotesque assemblies of roosters and goats languish at the foot of the heavens. Wallowing guitars and hypnotized passages of blasting drums collide with gravity-bound atoms in oblivion occlusion. Merrimack, in their enigmatic mastery, exposes the futility of belief in occult ministries and slashes at the mask of the sky. The listener questioned their faith in the shadows and occult idols. Dare believe in the sulfurous whispers echoing through this blackened masterpiece.

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