Mercenary
Through Our Darkest Days


4.0
excellent

Review

by Esoteric USER (9 Reviews)
October 19th, 2013 | 11 replies | 2,226 views


Release Date: 07/25/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mercenary steered back in the right path, successfully creating an amazing melodic death metal album worth a listen.

Despite their earlier releases and whole-hearted labours, Mercenary stays an underrated band in the vast land of melodic death metal for many years. This continued until the 2000’s, the time that the band achieved the highest point of their career when The Hours That Remain and 11 Dreams has been added into their solid discography, and an immediate, yet positive consensus is established as 11 Dreams turned out to be a successful release. Denmark-based band Mercenary quickly rose to their prominence and signifies the glory days of their melodeath/power-metal style that captures influences from Soilwork, In Flames and Dark Tranquility.

Truth to be told, Mercenary could be a potential band for its modern melodic death metal adversaries. And having said that, the band also have gone through major conundrums, specifically the shocking line-up changes that many would have thought that it would selfishly harm their career. This would be true for Metamorphosis, and it is to be expected. However, with optimistic yet incredible remarks, Mercenary's latest outing, Through Our Darkest Days is a perfect craft of their play-safe formula: multi-faceted songwriting with catchy, yet predictable embellishments that is always been used up for their melodeath gimmicks and advantages.

Mercenary follows the very simple pattern of catchy riffs and vocal work, and it often leads to their hooky, sing-worthy choruses, and luckily, the aforementioned strategy works. With a headstart from a working formula, album opener "A New Dawn" is a flamboyant track that showcases hard-hitting riffs and melodic guitar work along with its bombastic chorus. It is an anthem of a song, which is an enjoyable listen in its own right. Some of the tracks ideally weave its way through the listeners due to their similar-sound perspective. “A Moment of Clarity” and “Dreamstate Machine” are two of this, as the band shows their tireless dedication by staying powerful in every track, with superficial shifts from key work and catchy choruses accompanied by rhythmic and melodic guitar works. “Generation Hate” is a heavy track, characterized by guttural mid-screams, power metal-driven guitar work and energetic drums that never seemed to sound out of place.

Ever since the departure of Mikkel Sandager, René Pedersen took the honor of doing both cleans and growl vocals for Mercenary, which is very exceptional on both marks. His powerful growl drives the atmosphere of the whole album, and his emotional cleans honestly boosts Through Our Darkest Days’ standout moments. “A New Dawn”, “A Moment of Clarity”, and “Generation Hate”, arguably the album’s prime highlights, were able to deliver effectively the momentum of band towards higher form of musicianship.

With a runtime of around fifty-minutes, Through Our Darkest Days almost feels like a short listen, as the record encompasses all the catchy aspects that made the record a consistent effort, and Mercenary as a formidable troupe in terms of sound. The album shares all the attributes that made 11 Dreams and The Hours That Remain a memorable listen. Mercenary successfully steered back in the right path, away from the vicious Metamorphosis they have gone through.


4.2/5



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ericu03
October 19th 2013


161 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Im very surprised with this release. good melodeath material. Hope you like the review!

ThenamesTrenton
October 19th 2013


88 Comments


Good read. might give this a spin. 11 Dreams is their peak imo

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2013


16387 Comments


Metamorphosis wasn't that great but I really love The Hours That Remain. Definitely will be checking this out if it's as good as you say. I enjoyed the review, nice work.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Ecnalzen
October 19th 2013


6531 Comments


Oh yeah, I listened to the advanced stream of this before it was released. It was really good from what I remember.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2013


6084 Comments


^^^Agreed

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Darkwatch025
October 19th 2013


176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Moment of Clarity, Dreamstate Machine, and Through Our Darkest Days are my favorites from the album. I actually like these songs better than anything else I have heard from the band. Awesome shit.

Scoot
October 19th 2013


17749 Comments


11 dreams is a banger, such an underrated band

trainofconsequence
October 20th 2013


1439 Comments


Yeah awesome album

spittis
October 20th 2013


6 Comments


This is a really solid album. I didn't hate Metamorphosis but yes it was weak compared to the three preceding albums. This one is up there with The Hours That Remain, their best to date IMO. Good review.

Ecnalzen
February 13th 2014


6531 Comments


Finally got around to listening to this again and am really enjoying it.

mnightmare15
September 15th 2014


2 Comments


Mercenary version 2 (post A/O/ Lies) just doesnt have the same feeling. Its not really in the same league as 11 dreams or hours that remain because the new style of writing leads itself to a rather happy, almost upbeat feel. The new singer, though amazingly gifted, brings this new feel of optimism and grace. Normally this would be a welcome change, but the song writing has noticably been affected. Songs generally have lost their dark edge, and become brighter and upbeat.

The mood has definately change, but for me, not the better. Technically its played tighter, cleaner and more attention has gone to the production. Its just lacks the dark tone that all the classics had. Its not bad, but the new style of writing is not doing it for me.



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