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Mercenary - Architect Of Lies
Architect Of Lies. It seems like a perfect title for a Mercenary album in the vein of 11 Dreams and The Hours That Remain. I liked their Century Media debut, 11 Dreams, a lot. Especially the track 'Firesoul' awoke the flame inside of me. I can tell you that these enigmatic Danes from Aalborg have succeeded in creating another heavy and melodic album, but didn’t quite capture the feeling of 'Firesoul'.

'New Desire' – wham! The first thing about the opening song that you notice is the presence of the raw vocals of bassist / screamer Renè Pedersen. What an awesome voice that man has. He brings a bit of thrash into the band, which seemed to head into the power metal direction with that previous album, The Hours That Remain. Luckily the band maintains their unique combination of melancholic power / death and thrash metal, which will appeal to fans of all mentioned genres. Some riffs are clearly influenced by the Scandinavian death metal scene, whereas others are set up for pure melody.

The clean vocals of the Sandager brothers soothe, sometimes even a bit too much. The effect is that when Renè starts to scream, some songs never get that explosive and extreme effect. Perhaps they were not meant to sound like that, nevertheless it is something that I was a bit disappointed in. Tracks like 'Execution Style' and 'Black And Hollow' are much more explosive and aggressive, but even they hold up to only a certain level of destruction. You get the feeling the band wanted to put out much more of that emotion, but it didn't happen. Whether or not the wailing keyboards have something to do with this, I’ll leave up to the individual listener. I for one, would have liked to hear certain tracks wholly without them. For example, on their MySpace, the band marks Nevermore as one of their influences. 'This Black And Endless Never' could have been written by Jeff Loomis himself and as such would have sounded like a Nevermore song on its tightest.

Some aspects of Architect Of Lies, for example the newfound aggressiveness and the tight guitars, are a vast improvement. The keyboards are omnipresent and this leaves mixed feelings at times. I just missed that aggressiveness (musically as well as in Mikkel’s vocals!) and exploding power that made 'Firesoul' to one of my favourite tracks to thrash out to. Architect Of Lies is sure to appeal to a lot of fans of the Swedish metal scene as well as Mercenary fans in general. It’s most definitely worth a listen, then it’s up to you whether or not you purchase this more than decent album.
Mercenary - Architect Of Lies
76/1001Details Century Media Records
Released on Monday Mar 17th, 2008
Melodic Death/Thrash Metal

Writer @Bastian Blackrain on Friday Mar 14th, 2008

Tags: #Mercenary
Tracklisting 1. New Desire
2. Bloodsong
3. Embrace The Nothing
4. This Black And Endless Never
5. Isolation (The Loneliness In December)
6. The Endless Fall
7. Black And Hollow
8. Execution Style
9. I Am Lies
10. Public Failure Number One
Line up Mikkel Sandager - vocals
Renè Pedersen - bass/vocals
Jakob Mølbjerg - rhytm guitar
Martin Buus - lead guitar
Mike Park - drums
Morten Sandager - keys