Mental Cruelty is a German deathcore act. Once one of the more prominent examples of the slamming deathcore movement, they quickly shifted to a more blackened sound and became a steadily-rising star in the genre.
Formed in Karlsruhe in 2014 by Lucca Schmerler (vocals), Alex Reichel (guitars), and Julian Oberst (bass), Marvin Kessler joined the following year as a second guitarist, and Sickening World, their first demo, was released in the spring of 2015. Reichel and Oberst left the following year, and Dennis Passman and Viktor Dick took their spots, while Alex Vespremi took the drum slot and the band made a Genre Shift to deathcore from the beatdown hardcore sound of the first demo, and Pereat Mundus, their first proper EP, was released the same year. Vespremi left before the end of the year, and Kevin Popescu took his spot, forming the lineup that would go on to release Purgatorium, their debut full-length, in 2018. The band began playing out more and was picking up hype online, and around the end of the year, they recorded a second album and inked a deal with Unique Leader Records. Inferis, their sophomore full-length, was released in May of 2019, and gained praise for exploring more of a symphonic/blackened deathcore sound, and their first US tour was also announced for that time. Dennis Passman left sometime before the fall of 2019, however, and after returning from their US tour, Kevin Popescu left as well. Nahuel Lozano and Danny Strasser were announced as their replacements in 2020, and while the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic put their touring plans on hold, they finished up their third full-length. A Hill to Die Upon was released in May of 2021, and their first post-COVID tour has been announced for the spring of 2022.
- Sickening World (2015) (demo)
- Excruciation (2016) (single)
- Human Evisceration (2016) (single)
- Pereat Mundus (2016) (EP)
- Immortalising Purgatory (2017) (single)
- Purgatorium (2018)
- Mundus Vult Decipi (2018) (single)
- Inferis (2019)
- Ultima Hypocrita (2021) (single)
- A Hill to Die Upon (2021) (single)
- King ov Fire (2021) (single)
- A Hill to Die Upon (2021)
The band contains examples of the following tropes:
- The Big Guy: At 6'7", Lucca is an extremely tall man who towers over the rest of his band, and a photo taken with Dave Simonich in front of a height chart on tour showed that he also dwarfed Simonich, who, at 6'1", is not exactly a small man himself. This was lampshaded in a Digital Tour Bus overview of their rental RV, where Lucca admitted that he was the sole occupant of the double bed above the cab of the RV by necessity, as none of the other beds fit him.
- Burn the Witch!: What happens to The Lost Lenore of the protagonist in the video for "Ultima Hypocrita".
- Child Popstar: Lucca was in high school when the band started.
- Deathcore: They started off as one of the figureheads of slamming deathcore, but had mostly abandoned this by Inferis for blackened deathcore, though they do still have songs reminiscent of their old style (particularly "Death Worship").
- Early Installment Weirdness: Sickening World was beatdown hardcore with absolutely no trace of their later deathcore style.
- Metal Scream: Lucca is a Type 2 with Type 3 highs, currently sporting a gurgly bellow (along with occasional slam gurgles and pig squeals that he never fully retired) and squawk-like highs.
- New Sound Album: Numerous ones:
- Pereat Mundus was a Genre Shift to a slamming deathcore style.
- Inferis adopted a significantly more blackened and symphonic sound, with the slams mostly relegated to breakdowns.
- A Hill to Die Upon vastly expanded on the blackened and symphonic styles.
- Special Guest: They have had appearances from Duncan Bentley, Diogo Santana (ex-Analepsy), Ben Mason (Bound in Fear), Daniel Burris (Gamma Sector), Dickie Allen (Infant Annihilator, Scumfuck), Jack Simmons, Jay Evans, Marco Bayati, and Yo Onityan.
- Vocal Evolution: Lucca's vocals on Sickening World were a standard hardcore shout, which turned into a slam gurgle with copious pig squeals/"brees" up to Inferis, where he transitioned to deathcore gutturals and also began using highs more.