Roel de Haan : Merrimack is a household name within the black metal scene and deservedly so because these Frenchmen consequently deliver excellent albums. But every band has to start somewhere and ‘Ashes Of Purification’ was Merrimack’s first proper stride onto the scene. Released in limited numbers in 2002 it is of course long sold out. Yet for those who missed out back then Season Of Mist offers the opportunity the complete their collection by re-releasing it. In those days Merrimack wasn’t as refined as they are now. ‘Ashes Of Purification’ is clearly an album that showed much promise, but was lacking in pure originality. However, the authenticity, the aggression and hatred in the songs more than make up for that. Raging and harrowing shrieks are the embodiment of that true black metal feeling and ‘Ashes Of Purification’ is full of them. Honest, pure and varied black metal for fans of Marduk, Temple Of Baal and similar groups; a good thing that it gets another chance on the market.