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Murkocet: Digging Mercy's Grave

If you're looking to settle slowly into the debut, Digging Mercy's Grave, from Phoenix, Arizona's Murkocet, think again. What greets you on the minute long "The Definition" is a quick , atmospheric, explanation of the band's name (a substance directly attributed to the aggressive and often times violent actions of its user), before singer Richie Jano exclaims 'Fuuuuuuck Offfffffff!!!!' at the top of his growling, gravely voice. There's simply no comfort zone here, no easing you in, no easing off, no concern for anything other than full on fist slams of metal. Siting bands such as Lamb Of God, Slipknot and Hatebreed as influences, there's actually much more of a new wave of American heavy metal vibe going down here than Murkocet give themselves credit for. With a combination of powerfully stuttering guitars, Jano's excellent vocals and a rhythm section that sure as hell know how to bring the thunder, "Dust Cloud" leaves a toxic, lethal dose in its wake, while "Dead Wood" does an excellent job of infusing more pace into an album that often gets its unremitting message across at a more sedate, if never lumbering, tempo. The latter track also features some excellent clean vocals and, for all its added forcefulness, a more diverse approach. Taking that ethos further "Tranquil" is an acoustic interlude that while a clever attempt to change the attack further, isn't strong enough to really hold the attention. Thankfully its followed by the throat rip of "California Man" and more traditionally thrash based "Repo Man" - both proving highlights in the process.

The performance of Mike Mays behind the kit really is something to behold. He's intense, powerful, and shows an impressive ability to change the album's feel at a nanosecond's notice, but the manner in which he holds everything together during the numerous hardcore-esque breakdowns and the full on aggression all while keeping things varied and avoiding cliched tropes marks him out as a real talent. Across this album his skills don't go to waste, the stop start of "Overdose" as threatening as they come, the grind and release of "Lights Out" insistent and determined, while the steamroller pound of "The Beginning" proves a mighty way to close this album out.

Bringing a whole host of different influences and ideas to a solid, straight forward metal attack, Murkocet have shown an impressive ability to utilise an ethos that many band's think has to be one dimensional and given it a much more interesting and mature twist. Considering Digging Mercy's Grave is merely this band's starting point, it's impressive indeed.

Track Listing
1. The Definition
2. Strip Club Massacre
3. Dust Cloud
4. Tombstones
5. Dead World
6. Tranquil
7. California Smile
8. Repo Man
9. Overdose
10. Lights Out
11. The Beginning

Added: June 4th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Murkocet on Facebook
Hits: 1118
Language: english

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