Style: Modern Melodic (Death) Metal
Release date: 21 February, 2011
Playing time: 49:22

Mercenary was the brainchild of Henrik "Kral" Anderson who left the band in 2006. The band recorded 2 albums after his departure and on November 11th, 2009 the band's big Exodus was a fact. Vocalist Mikkel Sandager, Morten Sandager (keyboards) and Mike Park Nielsen (drums) left the band. Leaving early members Jakob Molberg (guitar) and Rene Pedersen (bass and growls) desolated behind. Within 2 weeks they recruited 2 new members; Martin Buus (lead guitar/keyboard) and Morten Lowe (drums). Rene was already responsible for the growls on their fifth album 'Architect of Lies' and he easily took over the lead vocals on the new album.

Now, more than a year later Mercenary's sixth album 'Metamorphosis' is a fact. With the third album '11 Dreams' they made in my humble opinion their best album to date, although I have to say that 'Everblack' and 'The Hours That Remain' aren't rotten either. Did the exodus have a big influence on the new album? Yes and No! While Mikkel and Morten took care of the lyrics on the previous album, this time around René Pedersen had to do this task. With the departure of 3 members some changes did occur in the song writing department, but with Jakob Molbjerg still in the  band it is definitely recognizable as Mercenary. When I am listening to the album, I have the idea that it is a little less heavy and more modern than the predecessors. They have more modern elements in their music too. Personally I did like the heavier side of the band; also the melodies they use in the songs are not as strong as on their earlier albums.

The band still combines clean, raw and hoarse vocals with melodic death, thrash riffs and some more progressive parts, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of progress anymore. O.k., if you find being a little less heavy and more modern a progression, than this is the biggest difference. Although I must admit that the song "The Black Brigade" has similarities with a band like Nevermore and that is not bad, is it?

All in all, not a bad album, but also not an album that will change a lot for the band, I think. The fans, they have will not all be disappointed, but some might be. I don't think the number of them will grow a lot either. Not bad, but not impressive either.


001. Through the Eyes of the Devil
The Follower
In a River of Madness
Velvet Lies
In Bloodred Shades
Shades of Grey
On The Edge of Sanity
The Black Brigade

Label: Noiseart Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Reinier de Vries
Date: 14 February, 2011