Review | Mercenary – Soundtrack for the End Times

NoiseArt Records

After a 10-year sabbatical, Danish melodic death metallers Mercenary reports back with the soundtrack for our end of days. The influential band hasn’t lost its moral, nor has it become static in its development, gluing their genre defying take on metal from the past to the soundscape of the present. Production duties handled by their lead guitarist Martin Buus and Jacob Hansen controlling mix and mastering, `Soundtrack of the End Times’ is a bold statement for darker days.


`Through Our Darkest Days’ lies a decade behind us and the new album (sort of) takes course on the predictive lines of this 2013 release. Wandering amidst darkness, Mercenary has taken in the view and scoped its lyrical content for `Soundtrack for the End Times’. Blending the output with harsh phrased statements and whaling melancholy, the new album pushes the envelope. 

Kept are the blasting drum beats morphing military in stance. Dominant are the gut crushing riff assaults and towering melodic accolades. Repetitive are the raining keyboards, intricately constructed against the wall of guitars. More prominent is the anger laden fury in the vocals, contrasting with the band’s melodic and often anthemic grandiose choruses. Added is the consent for our end times…


Mercenary has composed a genuine impressive album that does justice to the band’s legacy as well as to its pretentious title. It is a soundtrack breaking barriers, with a poised and agitated tendency. Opened with the blast beat salvos and floating ominous keys, ,,Burning in Reverse” is spit in motion. Copulating their death metal traction with drizzling keys and melodic accolades, the song brings forward love child of tragic times. Immediately nesting are the towering melodies before diving into the turmoil of progressive marked beast ,,Heart of the Numb”, that features Trivium’s Matt Heafy bringing his intensity forward. Sheer bliss is the song’s bridge and chorus, where they blend pop melodies with insane metal melancholy.

This cocktail of styles is exactly what we can expect running through the album. Whether you get wrecked on the modern hard rocking riffed ,,Anthem of the Anxious”, the melodic crushing ,,A Darker Path” and ,,Become the Flame”, or get neck wrecked banging on ,,From the Ashes of the Fallen”, with its throttle shifts and epic melodic intervals, the new Mercenary constantly breathes fire. 


Ending the album on a death metal high, ,,Black Blood Soul” etches deep in classic death metal and touches the fury of speed metal’s most aggravated vocal outbursts. This creates the perfect outline for the grandiose ,,Beyond the Waves”, making all dust settle. Too much going on it is impossible to capture the album in words. This is an experience…

`Soundtrack for the End Times’ is an album bringing forward one of the genres most defining bands. Mercenary is on top of modernity as well as they are bound by genre dominated elements. The way they bring the modern twists to the front is impressive. Just check out the mid-section and end game of ,,From the Ashes of the Fallen”, and you will exactly know what this album is all about: Exploding riff and drum extravaganza, anger scattering of its radiant content, and melodies nesting in loneliest caverns of your mind. 

Release date: 22 September 2023



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