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June 2002
Released: 2002, Hammerheart Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

One of the Danish most well-kept secrets(!) Mercenary´s 2nd album was launched through Holland´s Hammerheart Records for a relatively short while ago, but I just managed to get it myself sent by one of the band members (thank you very much Jakob!). Those of you who have already become familiar with the band´s 1st deadly strike called FIRST BREATH that was released on a little, domestic Danish label Serious Entertainment more than 4 years ago, can definitely have sort of a feeling of relief in their chests ´coz on EVERBLACK the guys have managed to record at least equally strong material as it was to be found from their kick-ass debut already. On their official bio they are told to combine ´the drive and heaviness of American bands such as Fear Factory, Machine Head and Nevermore with a definite Scandinavian touch of melancholy and strong melodies´. Well, maybe Machine Head´s two 1st album come in question as far as some the album´s heaviness is concerned – and Nevermore may occasionally crawl into your mind when listening carefully some of the riffs churned out on the album, but otherwise I would say that at least for me the most nearest comparison came in the form of one Finnish thrashy Death Metal band named Diablo – probably mostly because of some similar heaviness present on their two albums and due to some brutal growls that they are using very effective yet so convincing way as well. But that´s where all these comparisons end. Mercenary are way more dynamic and more refined in their own song structures than any of the abovementioned comparisons – and they do compare very nicely indeed all these marvelously brutal and heavy parts with very melodic and exceptionally atmospheric and memorable parts incredibly well so that we can already proclaim Mercenary to be one of the strongest and most promising forces coming from the Danish soil of refreshing metal.

“Screaming from the Heavens”, “”, “Darkspeed”and “Bloodrush” are all solid works of excellent song writing skills, screaming for a top-notch quality both playing- and production-wise and bringing the Mercenary –team to the very forefront of today´s metal scene when listing and summing up the best ´newcomers´ together quality-wise. Heavy, dark, in-yer-face, atmospheric, deathly heavy and crushing, etc. – it´s all being said in the press kit already, but you may wonder how aptly these adjectives fit to describe them. And referring to the last phrase of their press kit, I can only agree 100% with it and spit those words out of my mouth as well by stating: “This is as metal as metal gets… Mercenary does kick your butt seriously indeed!!".
Track Listing

01. Intro
02. Everblack
03. Seize the Night
04. Screaming from the Heavens
06. Darkspeed
07. Bloodrush
08. A Darker Shade of Black
09. Bulletblues
10. Rescue Me
11. Alliance


Mikkel Sandager - Vocals
Jakob Molberg - Guitar Martin Buus - Guitar
Morten Sandager - Piano, keyboards, background vocals
Hans "Kral" Andersen - Bass, guitar, background vocals
Mike Park - Drums

Next review: » Mercenary - The Hours That Remain
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