Saturday 27 November 2021

Merlock - You Cannot Be Saved (EP Review)


Release Date: November 19th 2021. Record Label: Self Released. Format: DD/CD/Cassette

You Cannot Be Saved - Tracklisting

1.Grimelord 04:58

2.Idolon (return) 08:41

3.Final Condemnation 06:18

4.Where No One Goes 07:37

5.Gloomtrain 06:53

6.Electric Funeral (Pantera Cover) 05:39


You Cannot Be Saved is the new EP from Psych Stoner Metallers Merlock who bring a darker narrative and style of music compared to their 2020 acclaimed EP “that which speaks…”. This release has a heavier approach that sees the band bring their Amplifier Post-Doom/Stoner Metal to a more heavier and distorted style of music.

The result is quite sparse and solitary but with the band bringing a real Psychedelic flair right from the excellent opening song Grimelord. The band still fully believe in the “STONER” or “WEEDIAN” way of life on this song but they have a more mature style of playing and the vocals are outstanding even when portrayed in a more raw style compared to their last EP. The instrumental work is technically solid with Merlock playing their own convincing blend of Psych Stoner Metal that feels quite original though offering familiar vibes.

Second song Idolon (return) is a more gloomy sonic based affair with twisted Doom/Drone Metal melodies being joined together by Sludgy CHANTS and VOCALS that portray an eerie picture that remind me of Pallbearer and possibly AHAB. Though the fast-paced grooves change the narrative and it becomes time for Merlock to be judged on their own creative merits. The song remains cautiously bleak with all sense of optimism kept to a low amount. This is one of the best songs on the EP that shows a different side to Merlock.

Merlock carry on with the Progressive and Psychedelic journey for the next four songs with the band showing plenty of SABBATH based riff worship with huge doses of Heavy Psychedelic Grooves. The production on the EP is mostly superb but there are a few moments where things aren’t as clear or as loud they possibly should be. Though, it doesn’t stop the overall enjoyment of the EP itself, The instrumental work is excellent and you can hear every note played towards you especially on tracks such as: Where No One Goes and Gloomtrain.

Merlock have included a cover of Pantera classic Electric Funeral and it’s a great cover that allows Merlock to put their own spin on the track whilst sticking closely to the original song.

With a promised debut full length album in 2022 then the future is quite bright for Merlock, though you won’t feel that with this EP. As the EP is all about DOOM and GLOOM with Merlock putting the listener through their paces for the entire length of the EP.

All in all, You Cannot Be Saved is another challenging and superbly entertaining slice of Psychedelic Doom/Stoner Metal from Merlock and should no doubt keep their horde of Doom/Stoner Metal followers entertained for some time and even allow the band gain some new followers along the way.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe


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