Mercenary - Soundtrack to the End of Times (2023)


Here is a band we never thought we would hear from again: Denmark’s Mercenary makes a triumphant return with “Soundtrack to the End of Times”. For the uninitiated, the band had a great run in the 2000’s with killer releases like “Architect of Lies” and our favorite “11 Dreams”. Crafting a mixture of Melodic Death/Power Metal, the band’s sound is still fresh, powerful and engaging, delivering over 60 minutes of high-octane music.

Opening with the crafty “Burning in Reverse”, the band brings back those excellent memories of their dramatic clean/harsh vocal lines alongside catchy melodic riffs and superb guitar leads. Dusting off the cobwebs early on, the soaring melodies the band creates continue to be top notch as songs like “Heart of the Numb”, “Where Darkened Souls Belong”, and “Through this Blackened Hatred” perfectly showcase their musicianship and experience.

The band’s subtle use of keyboards for atmospheric layers is quite efficient and fundamentally different from other bands like Dark Tranquillity, where they play a more central role. If you are looking for epic vocal arrangements, songs like “Anthem for the Anxious” and “A Darker Path” will satisfy your cravings and if you like bands like (early) Into Eternity, you will certainly love these songs. Keeping things fresh and modern sounding, pieces like “From the Ashes of the Fallen”and “Beyond the Waves” have a nice edge, keeping the band updated and sounding current.

Overall, “Soundtrack to the End of Times” is a very strong release that we found ourselves listening to it way more times than we anticipated. Mercenary has been inconsistent in the past, but after a wait of ten years since their last release, we can attest that this album is quite polished and well crafted, to appeal to their older fanbase and acquire a new one as well. Highly recommended if you like melody, alternating vocal styles and catchiness, you can’t go wrong with this excellent release.

Band: Mercenary Album: Soundtrack to the End of Times

Label: NoiseArt Records

Release: September 22nd, 2023

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Genre: Melodic Death/Power Metal

Country: Germany

Rating: 95/100

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