This new Merrimack record comes in a nice gatefold jacket with (interesting) lyrics included and, by all accounts, it certainly looks the part. But does it sound the part? That’s the main question. And I don’t have the answer, not definitively at least. I find that ‘The Acausal Mass’ is a really good album but not necessarily a great one.

Merrimack first caught my attention with the excellent ‘Of Entropy And Life Denial’ six years ago. Follow-up ‘Grey Rigorism’, though decent, didn’t reach the same highs and the latest offering falls somewhere in between. Some of the songs and ideas on this record are superb but it doesn’t quite hold my attention throughout. Instead, it seems to drift and lose focus.

Which is a great pity. Because when ‘The Acausal Mass’ is good, it’s really, really good. More and more, Merrimack seems to be morphing into pretenders to Deathspell Omega’s crown. At times the similarity between the two French bands is uncanny and the connection can be traced back to a 1998 split with Hirilorn, so clearly this is no coincidence.

Not as immediate as Deathspell Omega, but still an enjoyably – if slightly inconsistent – harsh and dissonant album.

Evilometer: 444/666