“Merciless Artillery”

By Theron Moore

I gotta be the bad guy here.  I can’t connect with “Merciless Artillery,” the new record by Whipstriker.  And by all counts, it should be a disc that I dig, but alas, I don’t.  Let’s just get right into it.  Does the band have talent?  Yep.  Do they rock?  From what I can tell, yeah.  So, what’s the problem?  It seems like they keep making the same record over and over again.  At least with previous releases they had equal parts Venom and Motorhead defining their sound but with “Merciless Artillery,” it seems like they’re just channeling Venom’s first three records, over and over and over again.  

I know, I know, how I can hate a band that has a song on this record called “Bestial Hurricane?”  I mean, the imagery alone boggles the mind but it’s the imposing ghost of Cronos himself that haunts “Merciless Artillery” to the point it becomes distracting.  Look, I love Hell’s Headbangers, the label this band is on, nothing but love and respect to them, however, it’s Whipstriker I have an issue with.  

I wanna hear what Whipstriker sounds like underneath Venom’s “Black Metal,” and I wanna know who they are and what their identity when they’re not reinventing “At War With Satan.”  Musically Whipstriker is a pretty thrashin’ band and I’m sure they translate better live than they do on record.  But the Venom thing just kills it for me.  Too much.    

 “Merciless Artillery” definitely has an old school feel and that seems to be the big wave that everybody’s riding in metal right now.  And props to the Whipstriker fellas for doing Venom better than Cronos is, with his current band.  But aside from that…pass.  On a scale of 1 to 5 battle vests, I’m going with a 2.  Sorry guys…