At The Mercy of Inspiration The Perfect Way To Kill An Evening

Featuring five full songs, with intro and interlude pieces, this almost 21-minute EP from Toronto’s At The Mercy of Inspiration is as unapologetically metal as it gets, with no pretence to being anything else, despite it ambiguous album and song titles, and art. Although kicking around the loosely labelled Ontario "hardcore scene” for a couple years now, At The Mercy of Inspiration isn’t interested in its fickle "of the moment” nature, instead delivering a blistering battering of black, death and thrash metal influences. Vocally it’s all vintage Jeff Walker shrieks and growls, while lyrically it’s nothing but broken-hearted, loveless recriminations. Musically, all the black, death and thrash suits At The Mercy, being all double kick-driven frantic black metal chaos, throwing in some Paradise Lost-style melancholy guitar riffs or Morbid Angel-inspired pitch-harmonic squeals, coupled with the occasionally acoustic moment or piano intro, with their only nod to metallic hardcore coming in the form of a couple of breakdowns. It’s done well, but with little innovation, and it may be a tough sell to the current hardcore kids, but the extreme metal scene is always just some corpse-paint and spiked armbands away. (Independent)