Jul 17

Mercenary – Through Our Darkest Days (2013)


Mercenary - Through Our Darkest Days
When talk of countries with stellar metal bands takes place, the country that gave us King Diamond and Volbeat seems to be often left out of the conversation. Why is Denmark so frequently forgotten? It is a shame because fans are missing out on great music from bands such as Mercenary. If you haven’t taken the time to get acquainted, the band’s seventh studio album, Through Our Darkest Days, is a great place to get started. The title is very fitting, considering that the band has gone through some heavy changes over the past couple years. Several bands members departed and anytime a band undergoes a lineup change, there is always a degree of uncertainty about whether or not the chemistry will remain. After the mass exodus, fans were left wondering if the band would even survive. Their first album with a revamped crew, Metamorphosis, proved that Mercenary could march on and not lose quality in their sound. Through Our Darkest Days continues this path, but in a more refined, cohesive package.

The album starts with the appropriately titled, A New Dawn. Unlike some albums that prefer to hit you with everything from the start, it’s a good warm up for things ahead and really touches on the band’s signature sound, soaring melodic vocals interspersed with harsh growling, sometimes mesmerizing and always catchy guitar work, and just damn solid songwriting. If you enter a Mercenary album seeking blazing metal, you will discover sprinklings here and there, but it’s not an overarching theme. However, Welcome the Sickness and Generation Hate are two songs in particular that should appease audiences looking for grittier textures. Both possess pummeling openings and carry the intensity through most of the song. Although the entire album is well-constructed from beginning to end, there are definitely shining moments. The title track, and first single off the album, really exemplifies what makes this band so attractive for listeners. It has accessibility, but it still carries plenty of heft behind it so that you can satisfy your appetite for heaviness. It also has some of the best solo work from Martin Buus on the entire album. Take a listen with the video below. Another standout track is Beyond This Night, with its almost airy opening, the song is like a few deep breaths until it builds up at the bridge. We are then met with another solid guitar solo from Martin Buus. While it’s not technically dizzying, there is reservation in it that perfectly settles into the track.

It is commonly heard that change is good. Some people also say that, if you’re not moving forward, you are moving backwards. For Mercenary, change has certainly been good. They survived a massive lineup change, but their music did not suffer. With the latest additions to the band, they sound like a group with a renewed ambition and purpose. Through Our Darkest Days is a strong statement and a testament to the members of this band who recognized that they still had something worthy to contribute. This album comes highly recommended and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it on a few Top 10 lists at the end of the year.



1. A New Dawn
2. Welcome the Sickness
3. Through Our Darkest Days
4. Dreamstate Machine
5. A Moment of Clarity
6. Beyond This Night
7. Starving Eyes
8. Generation Hate
9. Forever the Unknown

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Record Label: Prosthetic Records

Playing Time: 50 Minutes

Line up:

René Pedersen − lead vocals/bass
Martin Buus − lead guitar/backing vocals
Jakob Mølbjerg − rhythm guitar
Peter Mathiesen − drums



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