It is damn unfair that this band flew under the radar of the masses indeed and albums like ‘Dead Is Dead’ was criminally underrated too. Not any holy grail of obscure but still one of the rarest top notch thrash metal albums of the late eighties and one of the LP treasures that vinyl collectors are haunting all these years Mersinary’s Dead is Dead is the album you should immediately add to your discotheque if you want it to be rich and updated.
Mersinary’s story begins somewhere in 1982 but with different name. After almost two years guitarist Shawn Sherman, bassist Steve Bray and drummer David Schiller try their luck in Las Vegas. Together with guitarist Eric Thompson and singer Kirk ‘Ice’ Scott they created the first formation under the moniker Mersinary.
I don’t know why everyone mention the fact that Mersinary was the opening act for Slayer’s first live outside Los Angeles ever but this can’t be a highlight in any career by its own still shows that the band was pure dynamite at the time. It was then when famous engineer Bill Metoyer invited them to record a four-song demo at Track Record in Los Angeles.
This wasn’t enough for the band to stay strong and gradually split up as Kirk “Ice” goes to Mad Reign, Eric Thompson to Papsmear, David Schiller left for Apocrypha. Fortunately sometime in 1986 Dave Richards of Iron Works / World Metal and Azra Records heard the Mersinary demo and offers Kirk ‘Ice’ Scott to release their debut studio full length if he gets the band back together. From 1987 to 1988 Kirk ‘Ice’ works on that, and as a result their first mini album ‘Chose Death’ was released in 1987 (Iron Works made two more releases with the band in 1990. One of them was the Dead Is Dead, 4-track shaped picture disc that features one exclusive track while the other was a split EP with New Jersey act Rawshock featuring Amulet members) but as the two guitarists weren’t available, the other three band members decide to hire session guitarists for the recordings. Finally Dave Simms ended up recording two, Tony Fredianelli four and Dave Kaufman one song. And Dave Richards finally released the recordings in 1988 under the title ‘Dead Is Dead’.
Mersinary delivers generously brilliant USPM Thrashing madness in the veins of Flotsam & Jetsam, Toxik, Agent Steel, Exciter, Hades, Attacker and sometimes they’ll bring you in mind Dark Angel or Destructor. They have in their arsenal some great anthems born for live shows like ‘Tear Down The Walls’ and ‘Hunt You Down’. Excellent riffs, high pitched vocals, speedy soloing and chugging guitars while the band can write awesome songs even when tempo gets slower as in ‘The Pendulum’. The Thrash dynamites are hitting you like tornado; the title song ‘Dead Is Dead’, ‘Front Page’ and ‘Torn Apart’ or the catchy ‘Medals’.
Lost and Realm Records release a definitely plentiful compilation available in CD for the first time, in a limited edition on 2CD that comprises remastered audio of ‘Dead Is Dead’ album, additional studio recordings and an unreleased live concert in Las Vegas: The first disc features all the songs from the 1988 ‘Dead Is Dead’ LP, as well as ‘Choose Death’ from the 1987 12inch and ‘Dead Is Dead’ from the 1990 single. The second disc features the ‘Live in Las Vegas’ show recorded in ‘Rock Wars’ in 1985. Plus a 12-page booklet with band biography and rare photos is also included.