Merrimack – Of Grace And Gravity

Of Grace And Gravity is the successor to Omegaphilia from 2017 and yes, we are indeed with the French masters of black metal Merrimack. A band that has been in the underground since time immemorial and that turns out to be just 1994. I got stuck with Of Entropy And Life Denial for a while in 2006 and then joined again in 2017. I promptly missed two records. Oh well, nothing you can do about it. It was colleague Yves who reviewed The Acausal Mass in 2012, so it turned out that these French people were not completely forgotten. Colleague Bart, on the other hand, was only moderately enthusiastic about Omegaphilia and seemed convinced that quite a few good ideas on this record went up in Satanic smoke. Well, colleague, this is a tiny too strongly in my opinion.

The French grandmasters take the next step in their career and with this one, Of Grace And Gravity, they release a second album on Season Of Mist, an important player in the extreme metal world. Second album? Yes, there are actually three but those also include a reissue: the debut Ashes Of Purification. The more complex song titles on this latest album suggest, as always with these Frenchmen, they have tapped into deeper layers lyrically and that would be interesting to explore I think.

Black metal from the French school is characterized by a lot of aggression and brutality but also by sharpness, finesse and dissonance. Things you also have to process in the first song: Sulphurean Synods. Mr. Vestal’s vocals are nice and robust and often a bit heavier and fit perfectly between the guitars, bass guitar and drums. The latter are performed in a perfect manner, something that can also be said of the stringed instruments. The waltzing, at times dancing first song, is a pleasant reacquaintance with these gentlemen. The ingenuity lies not only in the music but also in the song structures which means you get to hear some longer songs. Songs that easily and smoothly reach the seven-minute mark on average.

Sublunar Despondency tells a similar story. It is striking that the French often choose to glue the guitar lines together nicely with a sour lead line in between that you do not always immediately notice in the first notes. However, this is always neatly worked out. It doesn’t make you despondent. Of course, these gentlemen are the best when shouting. On Dead And Distant Clamors the voices seem to come from a distance and have been stripped of any life. Gentle healers cause stinking wounds, which is a truism. However, Merrimack prefers to sing about a wound that heals well. Something that is understandable knowing the dark background of the band members, especially the singer. He shows many scars in several band photos. It seems clear to me where these come from.

Merrimack does not disappoint. Of Grace And Gravity has become a very strong aggressive, biting black metal record. Veteran fans of this band will not be disappointed. I recommend youngsters, who are just lurking around the corner, to purchase this album, if only to fill their collection with very strong discs.





Season Of Mist, 2024


  1. Sulphurean Synods
  2. Sublunar Despondency
  3. Dead And Distant Clamors
  4. Wounds That Heal
  5. Starving Crowns
  6. Under The Aimless Spheres


  • A.K. – Guitar
  • Vestal – Vocals
  • Blastum – Drums
  • Daethorn – Bass guitar
  • Perversifier – Guitar