Mercenary
The Hours That Remain


3.0
good

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
October 20th, 2006 | 22 replies | 9,212 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Prog-metal with a heavy dose of thrash and a little death-metal for good measure. Fans of Into Eternity, Nevermore, and maybe even Andromeda will dig this.

This band has almost entirely changed since the 20th century, so much in fact, that they now have very little death metal attached to their sound. As the summary states, these guys are very similar to Into Eternity, and (surprise surprise) have played at the Prog-Power festival with Into Eternity at least a few times (check out Prog-Power USA at http://www.progpowerusa.com/ ).

The Hours That Remain utilizes a variety of styles to create a prog-metal explosion of hybrid styles; however, none of this is ever forced and makes for an enjoyable (and very brutal) listen.

From the power-metal intro of Redefine Me to the evil deathy beginnings of Year of the Plague, the listener immediately understands that if anything (besides a kick in the face), this is going to be a diverse ride. A down-tempo progressive jaunt later, and it is very much obvious that Mikkel Sandager has some great clean vocals, reminiscient of Andromeda whenever not in falsetto.

A few musical tendencies become apparent mid-way through the album:
- The guitarists, Martin Buus and Jakob Mølbjerg, *really* enjoy either downtuning a lot or 7-string guitars; their playing reminds me of the complimentary style of Nevermore's guitarists.
- The keyboards are not overbearing, like many other prog/power bands, the outro melody to This Eternal Instant is especially tasteful and really enhances the atmospheric experience.
- The bass is far too low in the mix, like most metal albums, it's merely just "there".
- The drummer is only solid at his very best, which isn't a big deal, as I don't really see how better drumming would benefit this album that much. He is an adequate metal drummer.

The hard-hitting Soul Decision continues into the second half of the album with a bang and exemplifies exactly what kind of music these guys have been playing for over a decade. That said, they follow it up with one of the most crushingly beautiful songs of the year (so far), Simplicity Demand; I usually don't like spoiling individual tracks for people, but this song made my jaw drop with a great acoustic intro and tasteful keyboard melodies, while still upholding a fast tempo. The album ends just as impressively as it began, with some of the best songs appearing at the end... which is refreshing to me, as most bands like to throw their best material up front, with a severely lacking end.

Winner Songs:
Redefine Me
This Eternal Instant
Simplicity Demand
Obscure Indescretion - Awesome use of electronic beats
The Hours That Remain

Highly reccommended for folks that enjoy melodic death-metal and/or progressive-metal. I am very glad that Mercenary decided to shift styles; compared to their older mid-tempo death-metal, this is a lot more interesting. Finally, the production on this release is far better than anything they have ever done previously.



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user ratings (108)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
October 20th 2006



4835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First review, enjoy.This Message Edited On 10.20.06

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins®

Wizard
October 20th 2006



18799 Comments


Nice review, but Im a fan of Into Eternity and Nevermore and these guys are "been there- done that" type of metal.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

kingsoby1
Emeritus
October 20th 2006



4835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I can see that, but I think it goes the other way too: if you first liked Mercenary and Nevermore, then Into Eternity might seem like "been there done that" metal.
In it's entirety, there aren't too many death-ish prog-metal bands, so I enjoy hearing the recent expansion of this style.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 20th 2006



7925 Comments


A lot of these songs remind me of a melo-death band playing radio-rock. Still a great album, it just hasnt clicked yet I guess. The singer is awesome though. I really hate the tone in their guitars though.This Message Edited On 10.20.06

Mikesn
Emeritus
October 20th 2006



3709 Comments


Like Intro Eternity you say? I might have to hear this for myself.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 20th 2006



7925 Comments


They dont sound much like IE, they just also like to use several-part harmonies.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
October 20th 2006



4835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's more comparable to Buried in Oblivion, but not as high tempo. I'd say it's the most valid comparison around... prog bands try to not sound like each other for the most part.

edit: On second thought, the reason I reccommended those three bands is that it sounds like a mixture of the lot.This Message Edited On 10.20.06

kingsoby1
Emeritus
October 21st 2006



4835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So, no votes? Sorry, I don't know how this works, but I usually click 'Yes' when I read good reviews.

Yimmypalooza
December 6th 2006



81 Comments


I think your review is good and all but where did you get it in your crazy little mind that Lost Reality is a loser song. Really i would like to know so that i can find a cure for your sickness

Mikesn
Emeritus
December 6th 2006



3709 Comments


I found this by accident. Not bad, but not as good as I hoped.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 16th 2007



4835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Changed my rating on this to a 3.5... guess it wore off a bit since I was first into it.

Zoo
August 16th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love this album. Evergrey fans will enjoy this as well.

Chrome54
November 25th 2007



10 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't like this album as much as 11 Dreams. I really miss Kral's roars, they were high quality and constrasted the singer nicely. Songs also aren't as interesting.

rleechb
December 6th 2007



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have to disagree with this review a bit. Mercenary sounds nothing like Into Eternity (much more palatable, imo) and "Lost Reality/My Secret Window" are two of the best songs on the album.

BallsToTheWall
March 2nd 2008



44164 Comments


This is a great band. I love what i've heard off the new album. Underrated band fo sure.

Wizard
March 2nd 2008



18799 Comments


I find these guys painfully average tbqh.

Crimson
March 2nd 2008



1935 Comments


You also didn't like Orphaned Land, so your opinion is void :P

willfellmarsy
March 10th 2008



3844 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is pretty awesome. Not sure if this is a 3.5 or 4. Year of the Plague and Soul Decision are awesome. I think their longer songs tend to get a little boring however. Still very excited about their new album.

Aeksis8745
March 17th 2008



448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Amazing album with some amazing vocals. I actually thought Year of the Plague was the weakest song on here but oh well. Hopefully one day these guys get the recognition that they deserve.

Gore
November 17th 2008



332 Comments


this kinda sounds like buried into oblivion

-ok, it doesn't that much..This Message Edited On 12.10.08



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