Thursday, 7 May 2015

Merchants of Doom

Over the course of the last few years here in Australia there has been a mighty surge of bands bringing high quality heavy – Clagg, Whitehorse, Horsehunter, Lizzard Wizzard, WatchTower, Motherslug, Holy Serpent, TTTDC, Sons of the Ionian Sea, The Ruiner,  Yanomamo, Sumeru, Agonhymn, Cement Pig… And this is just the tip of the iceberg, the list goes on and on. Exciting times for the bands and the punters here, and that’s an understatement.

A few weeks ago a new band on the scene in Melbourne called Merchant played their debut gig. A whole slew of diverse bands were on the bill, amongst them the bluesy stoner rock grit of Elbrus and popular locals Holy Serpent riding the wave of their RidingEasy Records release. Needless to say a decent size crowd was in attendance, but I doubt many were expecting to be sledgehammered by Merchant….

Right from the word go it was dirty, low, demolition riffing. Real, visceral, in your face…  Within the first minute I knew this band wasn’t just going to be around town making up the numbers, these dudes had that same immediate kick to the face feel that everyone took notice of when Horsehunter first started gigging around town.

“The Earth will shake when it hears my VOIIIIICE!” was the lyric over the opening madness of ‘Seismic’. And it felt like the ground was opening up right then and there. This seemed like anything but a band playing its first gig, these guys were on fire from the outset. For the sake of a reference point, think Yob, Suma, Graves at Sea…. 

On to what we have before us here for you all to check out. Merchant have just put a live demo recording of the track “Seismic” on Bandcamp.  Clocking in at 9:36 this has plenty of twists and turns,  sludging its way forth with low riffs and potent, abrasive vocals delivered with evil intent. The drums could sound more balanced in the mix but hey, this is a live demo so it’s easy to look past such things. What is most impressive here is the songwriting – Seismic truly kicks ass in that department – and Merchant’s demolishing live performance. A mountain of potential and promise here. 

“A taste of what’s to come. Be prepared for some sludgy, black and psychedelic brain lubrication” is the message from Merchant on their Bandcamp page. No doubt in my mind that these dudes will unleash a devastating array of music in the future. Have a listen and I reckon you’ll pick up on the vibe here too. Definitely a band to keep your eye on. 

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