Album: Merciless Artillery
Released date: December 23rd, 2017
Genre: Heavy/Speed Metal
Label: Hells Headbangers Records
One thing that fascinates me about South American extreme metal bands is that most of them really know their way when it comes to crafting some good old primitive extreme music materials with pure annihilating and exterminating qualities. It all started when the legendary Brazilian group Sarcófago laid the foundation on how to inimitably produce a metal music that is whisked with the classic ingredient of Motörhead-esque and Venom-esque speed metal topped with a more extreme metal aspect which had also become the bedrock for proto-black metal and the likes.
After the influential Sarcófago demonstrated to the Southerners how to do it, the next generation South American extreme metal bands had since then followed that path and harnessed their brand of bestial and bulldozing extreme metal music to a more wicked and combative degree. Whipstriker, a heavy/speed metal band with a strong hint of primitive black metal who also is garrisoned in the country of Brazil, is one of these major-league South American extreme metal acts that I am referring to.
Nine years of existence had allowed the band to put out killer demos and split albums in the extreme metal underground and it had honed Whipstriker to become the respected extreme metal act that it is now. With intense and bellicose full-length releases such as “Crude Rock ‘n’ Roll“, “Troopers of Mayhem“, and “Only Filth Will Prevail“; Whipstriker had already established a strong following in underground community with its fiendish and cold-blooded form of classic speed metal with a touch of unrefined black metal soupçons.
Victor, pseudonym Whipstriker, is mainly the heart of this band as he brings along with him expendable soldiers to aid him in battle with every release. This time around, with this fourth studio offering called “Merciless Artillery”, Victor brought along an old friend named Hugo Golon to reinforce him at the drums and guitar department (the first time that Victor did not handle the guitar duty in a Whipstriker record) while he handles vocals and bass duties. Hugo had already worked with Whipstriker during the third full-length album “Only Filth Will Prevail” in 2016 so he is not a new face to the fans of the band. Both Hugo and Victor had also worked together in other bands such as Diabolic Force, Atomic Roar, Farscape, Apokalyptic Raids, and Virgin’s Vomit so chemistry is really not a problem to them anymore.
Now, moving on to this latest full-length offering, this recent opus is a fucking black-thrashing masterpiece that makes listening to the Norwegian black metal bands seems like listening to church psalms. Oh yes, my friends, I am not exaggerating anything in here, “Merciless Artillery” is a grim output of utter savageness and anarchy. Hugo Golon‘s guitar playing brings a more risqué and feculent essence to the band’s music in here as he throws on the spotlight that punkish speed metal nature of his delivery. The tremolo guitar picking present in here is fucking razor-sharp that it resembles a more extreme version of those riffs we can find in a Motörhead record.
The guitar leads and screaming guitar solos that Hugo had also dispensed in “Merciless Artillery” are pure fucking face-melters and brilliant. Makes you wonder what else he will bring if he still gets invited by Victor for the next record. His drumming also did not come short, as he continued to display outright precision like his performance during “Only Filth Will Prevail“. Hugo’s vigorous double kicks and merciless hammering behind the kit adds more feistiness to the already aggressive nature of the tracks. Those D-beat rhythms which he impeccably combines with exuberant heavy metal rhythms are pure fucking work of extreme metal art as it adds fuel to the fire and increases the mayhem.
Victor’s bass lines are blaring and vociferous that it grinds in the background like an extremely heavy rhythm guitar. With that ultra-heavy bass riff anchoring the tune, this latest studio album can be described as a bass chainsaw massacre. The vocal department is remorseless in savageness with Victor‘s raw sounding dispatch emulating cries of Mephistophelian entities being let loose from the depths of hell. The raw production of this release is into the bargain perfect for the feral and predatory nature of Whipstriker’s music. The entire offering is outlined in a rotten and dirty production that it will make the listeners feel like they had just walked into a roadhouse in hell where Whipstriker is the house band.
The cover artwork is also in-fucking-sane! Just a short glimpse of it and it will already tell you a short story of the desolation and havoc that is upon you when you give this record a spin. I mean, with all those skulls impaled on a burning landscape where a fucking tank is rolling with post-apocalyptic-looking mercenaries operating around; fuck! You just know that you are in for a treat!!!
I’ve listened to “Merciless Artillery” over and over again since Ricardo Azevedo of Metalegion Magazine had sent me a copy and I still can’t get enough of it. It just won’t fucking wear out! In my own opinion, “Merciless Artillery” will always be one of the most memorable albums on Whipstriker’s discography. Needless to say that this magnum opus stands as one of the nastiest black/speed metal records ever made from the South American continent and the world.
Originally featured on Metalegion Magazine issue #3