Merciless Law – Grimoire for the Ultimate Sinner (Stormspell Records)

Wednesday, 13th December 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Productivity would be an accurate word to describe the discography of Chile’s Merciless Law, in the hands of main multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Pancho Ireland. In 2022 alone, he released two full-length albums and an EP for the group – setting the stage for this latest four-song EP Grimoire for the Ultimate Sinner. Joined by another prolific musician in the traditional/power metal circles Cederick Forsberg on drums, this is another treasure trove dive into the 80’s Teutonic heavy/power metal scene, with special guest solo work to add more fire to the cause.

Sturdy as steel rhythm guitars with proper emphasis on harmonic-laden hooks, the thunderous bass/drum attack you expect as the backbone to this style, as well as the upper range, high-pitched vocal melodies to bring all of the muscular moments home is the heart and soul of this effort. Branching off the work of acts like Helloween, Scanner, Rage, and Grave Digger among others, the four songs possess distinct accents to showcase the strength plus variety evergreen in this movement. Be it an intro to the opening track “Rulers of the Sinful World” tailor made to capture unison chants from the audience before the Maiden-esque circular guitar runs and steady double kick action takes control, all the way through the special marching speed gallops and go for broke, emotive lead work from guest Fabian Riquelme on the spirited closer “Balor”, the honor to these bands doesn’t go unnoticed while putting their own take on things. Pancho displays accurate proficiency across all his instruments, also more than capable of hitting those air siren notes necessary to elevate Merciless Law to peak performance – his breath control and falsetto abilities set to stun mode during “Living to Die”.

Prolific artistry can put musicians on the map, as long as quality control becomes paramount. In the case of Merciless Law, those who love the 80’s/early 90’s German power/speed metal sound will find plenty to devour, grinning ear to ear at the material issued on Grimoire for the Ultimate Sinner.

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