Merlock - that which speaks... (2020)
Following up on a couple of advance singles between their 2018 debut EP/demo and this new one, the quartet of Merlock (named for the Christopher Lloyd villain from DuckTales, I'm hoping) bring a cool blend of heavy psych and doom metal to action over the course of the four songs on that which speaks....
Kicking off with “Idolon”, the band establishes a solid riff before reinforcing it with extra fuzz, bass, and treated vocals, lending things a gloomy, semi-mystical air. That continues for a couple of minutes, before picking up speed into a near-thrashy groove that brings the guitar out in greater relief. Tasty bridges and pedal effects draw listeners through the midway of the song before revisiting the earlier riffs with still more intensity, and the vocals rise to match it, before fading away in favor of distorted shredding.
An abrupt cut makes way for “Prolapse”, which picks up still more thrash flavoring with its rolling guitar progressions and steady cymbal clangs. Some fun noodling dominates most of the ride, with the vocalist hanging back and picking their break-out moments with care, and the main hook of the song is almost guaranteed to get lodged in your head long after you listen. “[Vessel]” follows, building a thick atmosphere around slow-moving measures and tonal sustains, with enough shifts throughout the song to keep things engaging and fun.
Lastly, “Condemnation” brings a bit of a death metal edge to the guitar and bass riffage, though the song grows slower and heavier as it progresses, finishing out the EP on a sinking moan. All together, it's a solid sophomore release, with a good showcasing of the band's abilities in a variety of approaches to their psych/doom blend. There's a limited run of cassettes (fifty copies) available for order through Merlock's BandCamp, or you can go with the digital version. Either way, you'll be getting some tunes that are quite easy to let yourself sink into and enjoy.
For Fans Of; Demon Head, Goya, Pilgrim, Sleep, Venus Sleeps