25 July, 2013

Full Album Stream: Mercenary: Through Our Darkest Days – new album


Danish melodic death metal soldiers of fortune's, MERCENARY, new album ‘Through Our Darkest Days’ will be released in Europe tomorrow, July 26th, 2013, on NoiseArt Records and in North America on July 30th, 2013 on Prosthetic Records; in the meantime, enjoy their seventh full-length here (Decibel Magazine) or below, courtesy the band. Recorded with the band's longtime collaborator Jacob Hansen at Hansen Studios in Denmark, ‘Through Our Darkest Days’ awaits you here (NoiseArt store), here (Prosthetic store) and here (MERCENARY shop). The album's artwork, created by strapping young lad Mircea Gabriel Eftemie, according to MERCENARY “symbolizes the darkness that we have gone through as a band, which we feel that we have finally been able to put behind us", while the title “thematizes both the journey through existential darkness as a general theme and the ability to break through it; the lyrical universe is very much about making the most of life and not getting caught up in negativity:”

Formed in 1991 by vocalist and bassist Kral (Hans Henrik Andersen) in Aalborg, Denmark, MERCENARY worked in relative anonymity until 1998, when they finally landed a deal for their debut album, ‘First Breath’. Kral, vocalist Mikkel Sandager,  guitarists Nikolai Brinkmann and Signar Petersen, keyboardist Morten Sandager, and drummer Rasmus Jakobsen released MERCENARY's second Jacob Hansen-produced album, ‘Everblack,’ in 2002. Following, drummer Jacobsen and guitarist Petersen left the band and were replaced with new guitar team of Jakob Moelbjerg and Martin Buus Pedersen, as well as drummer Mike Park. This new lineup signed with Century Media Records; described as “exciting and inspired” and “a solid album through and through” by AllMusic (more here), 2004's ‘11 Dreams’ was MERCENARY's final album recorded with founder Henrik “Kral” Andersen. The band went on to write and record their fourth full-length as quintet, with Mikkel Sandager performing all vocals, while the album's producer Jacob Hansen handled bass duties. ‘The Hours That Remain’ was released in 2006. Soon after, MERCENARY recruited bassist and vocalist René Pedersen with whom they recorded their fifth album entitled ‘Architects Of Lies’, which turned out to be the last to include vocalist Mikkel Sandager, keyboardist Morten Sandager and drummer Mike Park, as well as their last album to be released through Century Media. In 2011, vocalist and bassist René Pedersen, lead guitarist and keyboardist Martin Buus, guitarist Jakob Mølbjerg and Morten Løwe released MERCENARY's sixth album ‘Metamorphosis’:
“Not so much a wholesale metamorphosis as a gradual transmutation, MERCENARY's sixth album reflects certain changes in musical direction that most observers could have seen coming from miles away, but nevertheless drove out half of the Danish sextet's lineup over the course of its creation, and rocked their fan base to its core upon release. … Conversely, numerous tracks are prolonged through unnecessarily repetitive riffing marathons (see ‘Velvet Lies’, ‘The Black Brigade’), as though the members of MERCENARY were attempting to counter their own commercial inclinations with a surplus of instrumental showboating. In any case, the final takeaway is that of a group in frank transition issuing a rather suitably named (and often quite enjoyable) album, certain to keep MERCENARY's supporters and detractors engaged in heated debate until the next album can answer some questions, perhaps,” [commented Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
MERCENARY features: René Pedersen – vocals and bass, Jakob Mølbjerg – guitar, Martin Buus - lead guitar and keyboards and Peter Mathiesen - drums

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