My friend Friel has never heard Merauder, so I made a promise to send Master Killer to him. Then, I figured I'd just send it to the rest of the internet as well.
This is death metal recontextualized as syncopated rock music. Nu-metal showed the world how guys with braids can do this in the worst possible way; Merauder showed the world how guys with braids can do this in a way that I like so much.
Merauder understands that the best way to make their listeners frown uncontrollably is to play at a steady, mid-paced tempo. There is some sort of evolutionary short circuit about heavy guitars with a backbeat at ~150 bpm that causes a severe frown reflex. Major thirds are prevalent, texturing riffs with a distinct flavor: Merauder's most recognizable moment, the big mosher at 1:57 in "Master Killer," makes use of this sound.*
You know, it's interesting that I like this record as much as I do, as the evolution of death metal and hardcore into stoogish w's downtuning their guitars and putting the kick drum on the "and" bums me the fuck out. However, sometimes it's just done really, really well. I am an adult, and this record regularly makes me see red and mosh in my bedroom.
*Please watch this whole video. Thank you have a nice day.