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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. But chances are that the most common first reaction of anyone listening to the results on 2011's Metamorphosis (for that is indeed this platter's title) will simply be "what's the big deal?" After all, the melodic style of death metal exhibited on Mercenary's prior releases was hardly the definition of metallic extremity to begin with, and thus the incremental synthesizer work and clean vocals incorporated across many of these tracks (notably "The Follower," "Memoria," and the quite compelling "In Bloodred Shades") simply don't sound that radical, never mind capable of sparking such controversy. If anything stands out, it's a noticeable metalcore flavor permeating cuts like "In a River of Madness" (breakdown sighting!) and "On the Edge of Sanity" (which owes something to Hatebreed) that leaves them sounding rather outdated more than anything else. 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. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
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Liknande artister: NEVERMORE, DEATH, HYPOCRISY, EVERGREY, AMORPHIS