This is the third album in as many years from the Birmingham based Death merchants and it does not disappoint. It’s not easy to put out music every year but these guys have managed to do it masterfully with each offering slightly different from the last in terms of sound but never ever losing the power or grittiness that makes them what they are, good old fashioned death metal.
From the opening chords of ‘Shell Shock’, it is clear that something has changed with their sound, it has evolved from being down-tuned death to a more refined sound, still extremely heavy and gritty but just better, they still sing about war, death and everything in between and it’s great. ‘Undefeated’ is an amazing track full of anger and rage backed up by a funky riff and hammering drums. ‘Never The Victim’ is more of a slow grinding track with that new-found melodic style running through while keeping the natural power and ferocity of the genre.
‘Austerity Kills’ is a real crushing Bolt Thrower style track fast, heavy as fuck and brutal, just what you would expect. “Refuse To Be Led” is a massive track in every sense, sound wise it is possible the best one here, chugging riffs and bass lines, machine gun like drums and lyrics as defiant as you can get, the title speaks for itself. ‘The Veteran’ is another track that just hammers you in the face with sheer power and violence. The title track “Requiem For Mankind” rips from the start with a savage riff and blasted drums thatruns into vocals that would strip the skin from your face. ‘Fixed Bayonets’ continues the onslaught with their trademark aggression before the album comes to a close with the rather sorrowful instrumental ‘Interment’.
If you like your death metal old school then this is for you, a modern masterpiece.