Genre: Thrash/Crossover/Speed
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Suicidal Records
Year: 1987, 2014

The long-out of print 1987 album by No Mercy, which featured vocalist Mike Muir and former Suicidal guitarist Mike Clark, was released on October 28th on CD for the first time ever (it is also available on vinyl and picture disc.) Double celebration for Clark as 28th of October is his birthday.

No Mercy was a thrash/crossover band active between 1982 and 1987. Hailing from Venice, California, famous as Suicidal Tendencies homeland, they shared members, as you may all assume, with Suicidal Tendencies. No Mercy made only one album, a few demos and appeared on a combo split record in 1985 entitled “Welcome to Venice”, which also featured Suicidal Tendencies, Excel, Beowülf and Los Cycos, released by Muir’s label. The band started in 1982 and featured lead vocalist Keven Guercio, guitarist Mike Clark, bassist Ken Blakley later replaced by Ric “Rancid” Clayton (the artist who designed the Suicidal Tendencies logo as well as the shirts on S.T.’s first album) and drummer Sal Troy. Guercio recorded a few demos and the tracks on the “Welcome to Venice” (1985) compilation before leaving and moving to Jackson Hole, WY and was replaced by Suicidal Tendencies vocalist Mike Muir. Muir signed them to his (independent) label “Suicidal Records”. But the band broke up while working on a sophomore album even though many new songs already were written but Clayton and Troy quit. Instead of recruiting new members, Muir decided to “merge” the two bands by having Clark join Suicidal Tendencies. Guitarist Mike Clark reformed No Mercy a year later under the name Waking the Dead.

As Suicidal Tendencies was always punk thus it influenced this side project of Mike Muir to become more Metal based in the vein of D.R.I, Evildead, and Cryptic Slaughter. The music of course is once again a (perfect) mixture of thrash and metallic punk/hardcore but this time the thrash elements seem to be taking over Muir/Clark’s (as a composing duo) sound. “Widespread Bloodshed/ Love Runs Red” is a totally top notch Crossover release, a pure guitar driven album with 100% thrashy riffs and melodic solos, full of speed that its value doesn’t stop on historical reasons. The whole album has a consistent sound except for the track “Controlled By Hatred” which is slower and probably works like a little break in the middle of the album. But everything you loved in Suicidal is here from the characteristic voice of Mike to (other) Mike’s crunchy riffs. Don’t try to find anything you haven’t already heard from the 2 Mike’s. Just consider if you have any doubts left either you buy or not this album that after the breakup of No Mercy and the new ST line up, Clark took over much of the songwriting duties for Suicidal, shifting its style more to a melodic thrash metal sound similar to No Mercy’s and what would have been No Mercy’s second album became Suicidal Tendencies’ third album, “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today.”

In 1989 “Master of No Mercy”, “Controlled by Hatred”, “My Own Way of Life”, and “Waking the Dead” were re-recorded by Suicidal Tendencies for their “Controlled by Hatred/Feel Like Shit…Déjà Vu” album, after Mike Clark had joined their band. “We’re Evil”, “Crazy But Proud”, “I’m Your Nightmare”, and “Widespread Bloodshed/ Love Runs Red” were later re-recorded by Suicidal Tendencies for their “No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family” album.

5/6