MERCY – “Mercy” 1984 (Fingerprint, Swe) – Hey, I like Candlemass as much as the doom guy but there’s only one problem with that…MERCY was the band for whom Messiah Marcolin crooned previously and they were better! Blasphemy! Heresy! You cry “foul, man, foul!” and run for the tar and feathers, ready to ride ol’ Ray out of town on a rail. But let me tell you one thing man, please, let me express myself before you kill me: you need to get this sumbitch out of some dusty bin and spin it one time. Then you’ll know. Then you’ll testify, just like I’m doing right now. In the meantime, there are a few very important things that you’ll need to know about this first self-titled album from MERCY that’ll prove it rules. They are: 1) Messiah was young as shit when he committed the vocals to this bad boy. When you listen to “Dirty Love” & “Tyrant,” you’ll be hearing a mammoth metal vox-man wise beyond his years. 2) Andree Witchking had a serious-ass honking guitar tone...I mean, damn, you can damn near measure this shinola in thickness, almost like hot liquid tar being poured on that neighbor’s new driveway across the street. 3) There are seven (7) songs on the album. This may not seem like a biggie, but it is friggin’ huge. I can’t remember if I’ve dwelt on this topic before on these pages but think about the old days of vinyl. There is something about taking some bad-assed hoss out of the sleeve, looking at one side of the record and seeing 4 tracks. Then you turn it over and on the other side, there are only 3…that feeling you get when you look to the West..no seriously, that feeling…seeing those 3 tracks and knowing that there’s some multiple brain-bashing 5+ minute stuff going on here and knowing, rest-assured, it’s gonna be heavy as hell. You know what? I’m going off on a tangent and don’t care. I’m naming names: Buffalo – “Volcanic Rock,” Wishbone Ash – “Argus,” Budgie – “Never Turn Your Back On A Friend,” Stray Dog – “Stray Dog.” Ok, are you receiving me? Well, actually, that would be from Golden Earring’s “Moontan,” which only had 5 songs but you get my point. This is the power of SEVEN. That is what we are talking about. And if you aren’t immediately running out to your local MERCY AUDIO EMPORIUM SHOP-MART to obtain this truck, plus everything else Mr. Witchking and cohorts ever committed to any form of plastic, let me say one more thing to you: “Master Of Disaster” just may have one of the coolest and heaviest choruses ever. These guys also prove the same thing that Black Sabbath once did: You don’t always have to be slow as molasses to be kings of doom. That’s it, I’m out. I’ve run out of reasons, superlatives and praise. Either buy or die. Don’t Stop Heavy Guitar
NOTE: The CD version of this put out by T.P.L. Records some years back also includes the “Swedish Metal” EP and 5 unreleased bonus trax. Not sure how easy it is to find, but do what you gotta.