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I kind of lost interest with Mercenary after The Hours That Remain, and their last album Metamorphosis particularly didn't impress me. I'll definitely say I've found myself outgrowing this kind of style, though on the other hand I will say that I think this is a pretty good release.
For one it's good to see Mercenary sounding more like they did back on The Hours That Remain and although I still feel they lost the majority of their talent with the exodus of Mikkel Sandager, Morten Sandager, and even Signar Petersen it's nice to see the other guys aren't the slouches I once thought. If you're at all familiar with the Mercenary sound, particularly from 11 Dreams onwards, then you'll definitely feel at home with Through Our Darkest Days. As for the uninitiated, Mercenary sport a blend of Danish progressive metal, power metal and of course melodic death metal, coming across as a nice mix between Evergrey and Scar Symmetry.
While I like that this sounds like The Hours That Remain version 2.0, it definitely feels like they're plowing well-trodden ground. There aren't any surprises across the album and it stands as both the biggest boon and flaw here on Through Our Darkest Days. Also there are a few aspects to the sound which aren't as good as they once used to be, particularly the aggressive vocals which definitely feel a little too metalcore for my liking. For the most part though, this is a solid album and somewhat of a return to form. If you like Mercenary then you really can't go wrong here, and it's good to see that they're getting back to what they did best. Hopefully they'll take this sound further next time around.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com