Mercenary – Metamorphosis [2011]

Band: Mercenary
Album: Metamorphosis
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Melodic Death Metal


“Metamorphosis” is the sixth studio album by Danish death metalheads “Mercenary”. This is the first album to feature Morten Løwe on drums.

“Through the Eyes of the Devil” is the first track. It begins with an eerie keyboard riff followed by a brutal yet melodic guitar riff. The vocals sound partially “metalcore” throughout most of this track and the drums seem softly played compared to the guitars and bass. The guitar retain its melodic riffs  as well. The use of clean vocals about half way through the track brings a very calming atmosphere to the track. The drums become slightly heavier towards the end of the track.

The next track is “The Follower”. The drums have increased drastically in terms of heaviness since the previous track. The clean vocals aren’t too impressive on this track. The guitar seems to have gone less melodic as well and there isn’t much use of keyboard on this track either. The track does turn brutal in some parts with some more metalcore sounding vocals. “In A River Of Madness” is next. it begins with heavy guitars and semi-heavy drums. The vocals again have that metalcore element to them as well. The guitar retains a certain amount of brutality for the majority of this track with some subtle use of keyboards here and there. The use of a breakdown about two minutes into the track gives the album more of a metalcore sound. However, the use of a guitar solo helps the album retain some of it’s death metal elements.

Next is “Memoria”, it begins with a brutal and melodic intro. The melodic riff continues when the vocals come in. The cleans vocals,  aren’t overly impressive and they have a slight pop-punk sound to them. The harsher vocals still have the metalcore sound. The drums sound softly played again. The guitar solo sounds choppy and poorly composed in parts. “Velvet Lies” comes next, beginning with a soft guitar riff as an intro. The cleans vocals, again, sound like pop-punk vocals. The guitar riffs seem to be going along the same line as the vocals with a pop-punk sound. The drums sound overpowered as well in sections of this track.

“In Bloodred Shades” is next. It begins with a brutal chugging of guitars mixed with a subtle use of keyboards, making for a great intro. The vocals soon follow and they sound more metalcore than the previous tracks. The drums sound heavy and brutal in sections of this track but sound softer when the clean vocals and keyboards make appearances. Following after is “Shades of Grey”. It’s intro sounds old skool metal and pop-punk influenced. The drums again sound soft. The clean vocals have that pop-punk sound again, something similar to “You Me At Six”. There is a subtle use of harsh vocals, faded out during in the clean vocals. The track itself, overall, is too soft to be any kind of metal.

Next is “The Edge of Sanity”. It begins sounding very death metal. Even the drums sound heavy. The vocals sound metalcore still though, almost along the lines of something you’d expect to hear on a “Bring Me The Horizon” release.  The cleans again, sound pop-punk, taking away the metal element of the track drastically. The guitar solo sounds poorly composed and choppy at best. “The Black Brigade” is the final track. It begins with drums before a semi-heavy guitar riff comes in. The harsh vocals in, bringing a very metalcore element to the track. The guitar riffs remain melodic for most of the track, which is a good thing. The guitar solo on this track is the best one of the entire album, though it didn’t have much to compete with in terms of the other solos. The drums retain a certain amount of heaviness and brutality for the most part.

While it’s not the best album to come of out the Danish metal scene, it’s not the worse. “Metamorphosis” seems to be signalling a new sound for “Mercenary”, a new sound for them needs a fair bit of work. Whilst the metalcore elements weren’t bad, they weren’t great either and sometimes didn’t seem to fit in with the music at all. The pop-punk styled vocals ruined a few tracks as well. The album is well produced, but poorly composed in parts.


Nico Davidson

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