Before listening to the song you’re now about to hear, I had some expectations about what it might sound like, but the expectations were based solely on the previous musical output of one of this new Swedish band’s members rather than any advance descriptive information about the music — of which there was none. What I found turned out to be an electrifying surprise.
The band is Merger Remnant, and it’s a collaboration between Björn Larsson (who performs vocals, guitars, bass, and drums) and his friend Jonas Ström (keys, samples, ambience, guitars). Larsson is best-known to me and to many others as a member of the death metal bands Mordbrand and God Macabre, and that’s what formed the early expectations. Ström, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any kind of metal pedigree.
What they’ve created together, as represented on their debut EP Dregs, is difficult to pin down in genre terms. Based on the song we’re premiering from the EP today — “All-out Violence Upon Life” — death metal is in the mix, but so are strains of black metal, doom, and ambient music, and the song also has a powerful and multi-faceted atmospheric quality.