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After replacing three-fifths of the band, Danish outfit Mercenary return with a sleeker design destined to polarize on the 10-track METAMORPHOSIS. Rapidly moving towards a total Killswitch Engage meets enter Swedish band name here metalcore makeover, Mercenary have all but dropped their more intriguing traits in exchange for a generically-designed almost pop metal feel (“In A River of Madness”) and streamlined Swedish melodic metal sound that truly renders a major disservice to the aptitude and creativity this band was once lauded for. Nonetheless, Mercenary’s all too familiar blend of crunchy riffs, dramatic choruses, and jackhammer rhythms does provide its share of rousing moments with their new sound and direction, but hardly the type those who like the band before will want to hear.
- Mike SOS