Merauder - _Five Deadly Venoms_
(Century Media, 1999)
by: Matthias Noll (
In 1995 Merauder released their debut _Master Killer_. This record was far from being innovative or groundbreaking, but I still consider _Master Killer_ one of the best hardcore/metal crossover releases in the last couple of years. Singer Jorge left the band after the debut, got replaced, is now back in the band and besides these troubles one would expect four years to be sufficient for a band to unleash two or even three albums -- wrong. Basically, _Five Deadly Venoms_ sounds as if Merauder have released leftovers from the recording sessions for _Master Killer_. I´m talking about leftovers in the true meaning of the word here -- songs that just wouldn't have been good enough to make it onto the first record. The Merauder trademarks are still there -- slow to medium-paced songs with riffing that is somewhat similar to Bolt Thrower (with a different sound, though), crushing hardcore/metal breaks, occasional Slayer-esque guitar harmonies and Jorge's brutal, shouted vocals. Although all these ingredients are used again, Merauder just didn't manage to utilize them and forge efficient songs. The incorporation of very slight changes, a couple less metal and more hardcore tunes, some acoustic guitar sections, etc. doesn't improve the whole thing. In total they make this record appear even more pointless and uninspired. This is even worse if you consider that the CD is only 30 minutes long, including an intro and a Cro Mags cover version, and I can't help but feel not only highly disappointed but ripped off too.
(article published 7/7/1999)
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