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“IN BLOODRED SHADES”: NEW NEW MERCENARY SONG ONLY SLIGHTLY BETTER THAN LAST NEW MERCENARY SONG

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Here’s two things I don’t understand about “In Bloodred Shades,” the new Mercenary song (below):

  • Why “bloodred” and not “blood red?”
  • How do you challenge In Flames and then release something that sounds like it should have been on A Sense of Purpose?

I’ve been listening to this song and various tunes from The Hours That Remain back-to-back, trying to figure out why I like this less than the band’s old material, because in a lot of ways, the changes to the band’s sound have been minimal — they’re still powered by Gothenburg riffs and good cop/bad cop vocals, after all.

But…

  • René Pedersen’s clean vocals just do not sound as EPIC as Mikkel Sandager’s did. Not only does his voice not soar like Sandager’s, but it also sounds like they auto-tuned the shit out of him. Who knows, maybe those computer-y vox are just someone’s horrible aesthetic choice. Also, didn’t Pedersen’s screams used to be way more vicious?
  • I think the riffs just aren’t as memorable as the band’s older ones. This is a new line-up for Mercenary, so maybe one of the dudes who left the band was actually writing the songs back in the day. Or maybe Mercenary just lost some of their riff-writing mojo.
  • The keyboards are  — not to beat a dead horse or anything — not nearly as EPIC as they used to be.

So while this isn’t the worst song I’ve ever heard, I don’t know why I’d ever listen to it, other than that it’s Mercenary. I mean, if someone just sent it to me, I’d think it was just some generic band, y’know? Mercenary used to sound like Gothenburg’s answer to power metal; now they just sound like any Gothenburg band. And not even one of the great Gothenburg bands.

Mercenary’s Metamorphosis comes out February 25 in Europe via Napalm, and March 29 in the U.S. via Prosthetic.

And just for kicks, here’s some older, awesomer Mercenary:

-AR

Thanks: Damien R.

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