Mercenary - Metamorphosis
25 February 2011

01. Through The Eyes Of The Devil
02. The Follower
03. In A River Of Madness
04. Memoria
05. Velvet Lies
06. In Bloodred Shades
07. Shades Of Grey
08. On The Edge Of Sanity
09. The Black Brigade
10. Vanity For Sale [iTunes bonus]

Of the Scandinavian countries, it is possible to think that Denmark is the country in the least regard. The other countries have sources of renown like the Oslo Accords, The Nobel Prizes, Gothenburg, Sweden even has a sub-genre named after it. Most people who chew tobacco probably couldn't tell you where Copenhagen is, so the best thing going for Denmark is Hamlet, though while being arguably the best play ever written, is about four hundred years old. However, if something is rotten in the state of Denmark, it isn't the metal.

Denmark has great metal, housing acts that are regrettably partially veiled in obscurity, yet do what they do excellently, from progpower quartet Anubis Gate to death/thrash metal group Hatesphere, the acts are consistently very good. At the forefront of the country's metal, though, is the melodeath giants Mercenary.

Mercenary started off their latest album, Metamorphosis, with a small, somewhat intricate keyboard solo, and followed it with a melodic onslaught I wasn't entirely expecting. "Through The Eyes of the Devil" is one of the better songs on the album, and is one of the reasons I always come back for another listen. The tracks often switch off between faster and slower, with "Velvet Lies" being one of the slowest tracks on the album, almost bordering on what could be called a death metal ballad, almost. It wasn't until the eighth track that they ask "are you f**king ready?" by which point you only have two tracks left, but it's one of the great moments on the album.

The best songs on the album, "Through the Eyes of the Devil", "On the Edge of Sanity", and "Incorporate Your Demons", are all faster paced with much heavier riffing consistent through the songs compared to some of their previous songs with more brutal openings (like "Soul Decision" on Hours that would switch between very heavy, and power metal choruses). "Incorporate Your Demons" is probably the most consistent of the heavier songs on the album, with the songs that are less heavy containing more consistency within each song, but not a very consistent album. Not to say that this album's inconsistencies are a bad thing, with variety being the spice of life.

A bit more on the variety, if you bought it in North America, it came with a bonus track "The Devil's Own". It gives an answer "Can Mercenary thrash?" They don't thrash as well as Havok or Megadeth but they do thrash pretty damn well. Go look it up on youtube if you don't get the bonus track.

Don't listen to this album if you're expecting sweeping solos burning through fretboards or anything like that. The playing is good, but screaming solos aren't what Mercenary is about. They focus more on the vocals, and those are very good, ranging from mid-low to high-ish screams and good singing in an aggressive voice.

The album is good, solid metal. It isn't anything groundbreaking, but that's not what Mercenary is about. They are for writing good solid metal for good solid metalheads.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10

Band profile: Mercenary
Album: Metamorphosis


written by demonsarising | 20.06.2011

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


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corrupt - 20.06.2011 at 09:58  
The playing is good, but screaming solos aren't what Mercenary is about

Nothing on this album is what Mercenary is about. That is why I'm repelled by your score. It's their weakest album of all so far. And there's a large gap between this one and the others.
I'd say this is at max a 6.5 seeing as they discarded everything that made their sound unique in the past (even the people doing so) and pretty much all the songs sound alike now.
I would assume, after reading this, that you don't have much experience with Mercenary's old work. Not that this is a bad thing, it probably gives a much more objective view on the matter, but I would have liked a little comparison here and there. Where did they come from and where did they go. So that fans of their old stuff can use the review to decide whether or not to get into this.

Also there's an error in the second paragraph where it says
[band]Anubis Gate[/i]
Crazy Booduh - 20.06.2011 at 19:33  
I thought this was a solid album that continues along the same lines as THTR and AoL.

However, if you are hoping for them to return to their 11 Dreams/Everblack sound then you will be disappointed.
strade - 21.06.2011 at 21:13  
Thanks for not bashing on the album like most have. It IS good.
And yeah, Anubis Gate is one of the best bands playing music today.
Troy Killjoy - 22.06.2011 at 00:59  
Listening to this album was the biggest waste of time. It's like Killswitch Engage without the songwriting prowess. And the forefront of the country's metal? Saturnus? Nortt? Panzerchrist? Wuthering Heights (for power fans)?

These guys deserve to be mentioned along with bands like Mnemic. I disagree in regards to the inconsistency issue however: I found this to be incredibly consistent - consistently generic.
Wyrd - 18.07.2011 at 21:05  
I can't even make it through this shit album. After hearing how awesome EverBlack and 11 Dreams were, this will never cut it for a Merc album. This band died when Kral left, anyway. RIP Mercenary
Wyrd - 18.07.2011 at 21:06  
And can Mercenary thrash?? Listen to First Breath. :/

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