France’s Merrimack have been on the scene for a long time, but 20 years has done nothing to dull their fire. On Omegaphilia the quintet pour all that knowledge into a record that screams orthodox black metal – from the opening riffs, to the odes to Satan, to the scything vocals that pour with vitriol from the mouth of Vestal. Cauterizing Chaos sets the tone with bombastic guitars before The Falsified Son is ushered in on frenetic beats and Apophatic Weaponry moves towards ever more blackened tones. It’s a relentless work that barely takes pause for breath until the closing moments of At The Vanguard Of Deception. A definite highlight, the track takes in choral chants, spiteful spoken word and a somewhat ecclesiastical atmosphere in its latter stages. It begins with the usual barrage of sound but takes an unexpected turn and becomes something more epic, allowing Merrimack to build on their legacy and ensure that orthodox black metal will always have its place in the pantheon of extreme music.