Mercenary are, apparently, a rather popular melodic death/power metal band from Denmark, and from what I’ve read they’ve undergone a major style change. So being new to the band, I looked up some songs on YouTube. Their old songs were great, mixing a decent clean singing style and a high pitched shriek along with keyboards over the typical melodic death metal. Not this album. The singer more often opts for a more punk-sounding, alt rock type style mixed with a few “growls” which are much more reminiscent of a wimpy hardcore scream. Apart from the vocals, the rest of the music is pretty decent if uninteresting. The keyboards pop up from time to time, most notably in "In a River of Madness". The guitars are OK, chugging along, screeching out a melodic solo from time to time, and basically doing what guitars almost always do in a situation such as this. Drumming is the typical double-bass affair.
The intro track, "Through the Eyes of the Devil", is one of the best songs on the album. There is ONE catchy vocal line on this album, and it is featured on this song. Luckily for the band, this happens to occur during the chorus, so we hear it a couple of times. The album picks up a bit, and I mean only a bit, in the second half. "On the Edge of Sanity" is the best and last song on the album. It’s not that it’s amazingly different, just more melodic death metal-y. The absolute best part of this song is the end, because that means that the album is over (unless you have the American version with the bonus track "The Black Brigade", in which case you have another 5:44 to suffer). One thing that is constantly in the front my mind while listening to this is the fact that almost all these songs sound the same. I could live with this if it was one really good song, but it’s the same punk poser metal-wannabe song over and over, and nobody wants that. Except losers.
The one place that this band does well on this album is introductions. Most of the songs have pretty decent intros which do the worst possible thing a good intro can do: they give you hope. The song starts and you think to yourself, “Hey, this could be a good song!” and then things begin to turn sour faster than a week-old potato salad in the hot desert sun. There are some decent solos, however. Nothing special or amazing, but better than the rest of the album.
All in all, this album left me feeling dirty. Please, if anyone reads this review, don’t sully your eardrums with this garbage.
Claus’ Rating 1/5
I would never compromise the integrity of this site by posting a video.