Sound — 10
Brighton melodic doom metallers Merciless Fail combine the sludge laden horror elements of Black Sabbath with the operatic melodies of Iron Maiden, in an 6 track EP which holds up to some of the great mass releases of 2011. Every song is packed with original and powerful riffage, from the melodic harmony soloing of "The All Seeing Eye" to the hammer-worthy crush that opens "The Rapture". Every riff feels strong, however, there are times when the drums get lost in the mix below the guitars during chord-heavy segments, however what is audible follows the guitar lines pretty securely, which during the opening of "The All Seeing Eye" feels unwelcome, but for the most part the drums tightly propel the energy of the songs.
Lyrics — 9
While the main attraction of this album is the riffage, the chorus's to "The All Seeing Eye" and "The Rapture" are both insanely memorable, with a vocal spectrum that ranges from clean operatic hooks to more a aggressive shout, but always maintaining pitch control. This creates such a solid musical foundation for every song, to where some songs feel organic as the vocal lines act like a lead harmony to the guitars.
Overall Impression — 9
For a debut EP, this is beyond a solid effort, sporting incredible melodies coupled with intense doom riffage that makes this album feel totally original and unique. My favourite song would be "The All Seeing Eye", due to the way it concisely combines subtlety and impact into each note, with the exception of a few drum lines, in a way which is almost unprecedented from a debut band. Overall this is a truly stunning album, and if it got lost I would definitely buy it again.