French extremists Necrowretch certainly know a thing or two about Mercy – as in not showing any! New album Swords of Dajjal is an object exercise in aural pummeling, with every track (save for ‘delicate’ instrumental Daeva) finely tuned to cause the most damage possible to any eardrums caught in the album’s blast zone.

That said, if this sort of blackened (charred to within an inch of it’s miserable life, actually) death metal is in any way ‘your bag’ then a riotous time awaits as the band hack and slash their way through just under thirty eight minutes of weapons grade brutalism. Fast or slow – but most effective when they hit an unforgiving mid-paced chug – they’ve got all the bases covered, and on the utterly chaotic headline track Vae Victis they even manage to throw in something resembling a death metal earworm – although earworm in this case means causing you to inadvertently bark out the words ‘VAE VICTIS!!!!!!’ as the song plays in your brain, leaving you open to suspicious looks on the bus when it happens…

Still, I should complain, eh? It’s not often you get to bask in the reflected glory of utter bangers like The Fifth Door, so a little bit of unscheduled humiliation is a small price to pay, I’d say. The last track here is called Total Obliteration, and to be honest, that’s as good a summation of what’s going on as anything my garbled mix of hyperbole and exaggeration can come up, so maybe I should just leave it at that.

Necrowretch’s new album Swords of Dajjal: Total Obliteration guaranteed!

Swords of Dajjal is out now.