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Sons of Merrick: Of English Execution

Second album by UK sludge-metal band.

Sons Of Merrick represent a brutal if commercially modest wave of new metal, free of the frills and some of the more offensive nonsense of their 80s British metal forbears.

There is some nonsense, mind you – the adolescent thrill of gouged out eyeballs, crucifix-shaped shovels and so forth, while lyrics such as ‘Trapped in a bag and sent down a river/Stole my heart and they took my liver’ (Bag Of Ants) are probably not musings based on real-life experiences.

However, buried alive beneath all of this is a band who can play, and really exist for that purpose rather than to disseminate their morbid fantasies – grinding bass you could saw through titanium with, filthy guitars applied like shit to a wall, tree-trunk percussion – and delivered with a syringing, death-defying, assured groove. All in all, surprisingly good fun.

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.