Mercury Rising
Under a Big Sky
Style: Progressive Metal
Release date: 16 February, 2011
Playing time: 47:17

Maryland’s now-defunct power/prog metal band Mercury Rising never quite made it to the show. But not for the lack of trying. It was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

You can definitely tell where the band were headed, and if given the budget, what they could have achieved if they continued to follow the path they were on.

Formed in 1991, Mercury Rising released one EP and two full-length albums, Upon Deaf Ears (1994) and Building Rome (1998) before calling it quits. Under a Big Sky is a compilation of their unreleased 1991 demo, unreleased live songs from 1991 and demos from 1992, while "Minute Man" is from their debut full-length. There's two different versions of the title track and "Slowly Killing Me."

Arkeyn Steel Records has re-mastered the original demos in CD format. The new recording has retained their raw sound, capturing that '80s-style metal sound like the old Metal Blade Records Metal Massacre records.

Mercury Rising's influences range from Queensr˙che, Rush, Dream Theater to most notably, early-era Fates Warning. Vocalist Clarence Osborne's vocal range is somewhat similar to Ray Alder, although not as commanding. For non-falsetto fans, Osborne's high-pitched wails may strike a nerve. There's elements of thrash and power metal, but their progressive roots outweigh both. There's loads of melodic, harmonized arpeggio guitar leads and shreddy guitar licks from original guitarists Hal Dolliver and Gary Goldsmith.

Mercury Rising were a great band with loads of potential, and they have some great undiscovered tunes that have been resurrected on Under a Big Sky.

For fans of US prog/power metal, it’s definitely worth it to check them out.


01. Death Do Us Part
02. Slowly Killing Me
03. Minute Man
04. Harnessed Lightning
05. Under a Big Sky
06. Slowly Killing Me
07. Under a Big Sky
08. Problem Child
09. Mercury Rising
10. Metal America

Label: Arkeyn Steel Records
Distribution: Steel Gallery Records
Reviewed by: Kelley Simms
Date: 10 March, 2011