New York Hardcore outside of Long Island has gotten a bit stale in its evolution towards the "beatdown" variety over the course of the last 10 years or so. While Merauder certainly doesn't eschew any notion of this shift, they do mix in a variety of other genres to keep things interesting between the hammering double-bass breakdowns and deathcore growls of their fourth studio full-length, God Is I.
Boasting time-to-time contributors from a bevy of NYHC projects and beyond including First Blood, Agnostic Front, Leeway, Full Contact, Pro-Pain and Ill Niño, Merauder’s approach is uncompromising in the heaviness of their audio assault, with traces of metal (“Hell Captive”), thrash (“Never Surrender”) and even Holy Terror hardcore (“God Is I”).
Taking a cue from the Bad Brains, the album’s “Intro” is nine songs deep, while the crushing weight of the disc’s opener “Until” pummels forth with no delay. The band takes a bit of a breather leading into “Ratcatcher,” which serves as Breakdown Central for its four-minute existence. One of the album’s stronger tracks is “Built on Blood,” bludgeoning everything in its path as vocalist Jorge Rosado shouts “This city built by hate...this life a fucking fake!.” “Ahora” and “Perdona Me” highlight Rosado’s Latin roots, though only the former is actually sung in Spanish. The record closes out with “Never Surrender,” unleashing a barrage of double-bass drums and metallic riffage which alternates with the slow hardcore chugging of the verse as Rosado proclaims “I won’t be bought or sold by the lies of you.”
Whether dubbed hardcore, metal, metalcore or something else entirely, Merauder delivers a surprisingly effective batch of angry, brooding, and generally ferocious cuts on God Is I.