Album Premiere: Merlock – ‘Onward Strides Colossus’

Merlock band photo

Back in 2017, Spokane got a lot louder when doom trio Merlock formed. This power trio is a shadowy hybrid of wailing trad doom, garage-born psych rock, and the proggy side of sludge. After cutting their teeth on two EPs, Merlock released their debut LP (You Cannot Be Saved) in 2021. Since then, they have haunted the Pacific coastline with live performances. Now Merlock return with their sophomore record, Onward Strides Colossus. Praise Crom, because Decibel has an exclusive premiere for you a few days before the record’s February 24th launch.

The album fittingly begins with a rumbling Andrew Backes bass line. One by one, each musician shapes the song from nebulous psych rock to something darker and grittier.  There’s a leathery toughness to “Sunnbarrenn” driven by Taylor D. Waring’s reverberating bellows. Later, an undercurrent of Mastodonian sludge simmers before exploding on the ripping “Behold! the Sword of Lock.” Along the way, engineer Nic Wilbur highlights what makes the band singular in a super-saturated sea of stoner fuzz clones. Merlock cast gloom despite being a high-energy rock band. The album gets heavier as it romps onward, perfectly matching the title’s promise.

Onward Strides Colossus is a sort of “hero’s journey” set in a posthuman, postdoom atmosphere,” Waring shares. “Sonically and lyrically, it explores cycles of death and rebirth, notions of hell, and of self-actualization. Seeking truth is the primary urge of the album, and that urge becomes, at times, colossal, which is where the name comes from. Heady pretension aside, the album is also very much about the three of us building this monstrosity that is Merlock. Writing albums, touring, failure and victory—all of those intense experiences that continually shape and reshape us as people. We all had to grow into new, more powerful versions of ourselves to create this album. We know the colossus doesn’t stop here.”

Shiver in the shadow of colossus and press play below.

Pre-order Onward Strides Colossus on Bandcamp HERE

Follow Merlock for news and updates HERE