Enter the realms of the unknown with French black metal vagabonds Merrimack

Merrimack promo pic 2017, by Alizee Adamek
(Image credit: Alizee Adamek)

Steering clear of the overtly avant-garde nature of their French black metal peers but still wringing all manner of infernal energy from its bottomless depths, Paris’s Merrimack are about to arise once more with their first album in five years.

Due to belched out from the Season Of Mist maw on June 9, full-length number five, Omegaphilia, adds new layers of abyssal atmosphere to their pungent, sonic stew. Having made the requisite, ritual offerings, we can now offer a first glimpse into the seething cauldron that is Omegaphilia with the premiere of the first track to lope a steaming tentacle over the rim, Apophatic Weaponry. Giving a first hint of Merrimack’s Gallic credentials with its nausea-inducing opening passage as if descending into Cthulhu’s lair, this opening salvo ups gears into a fevered whorl of blastbeats, radioactive riffs and briefly re-orientating moments of groove, navigated by frontman Vestal’s charged guttural vocals, as it enters into vast new territory and more drawn-out tempos.

“For this song, as on the whole album,” declare the band, “we wanted to come back to something more rooted in the 90s. With a less complex structure, and a sound not as modern and claustrophobic as on our latest albums, Apophatic Weaponry still has our characteristic moody atmosphere with some crawling mid-tempos riffs. This is especially noticeable on the second half of the track. Our lyrics are dealing with the special connection between beings and their faith, even though it is constructed in a void trying to fill in another vacant space of nothingness. The divine cannot be observed, demonstrated, except by its consequences. In the end, this is the definition of faith as opposed to reason. This concept of negative theology is a mystical approach towards the divine that attempts to describe it through the impossibility of describing it. Eckhart. Jacob Böhme and most of the German mystics tried to increase their faith with such notions.”

Dig a pit, make a bonfire of your vocabularies and enter the realms of the unknowable with Apophatic Weaponry below!

Visit Merrimack’s Facebook page here

And pre-order Omegaphilia here

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.