Sep 272023

(Andy Synn catches up with a band who we haven’t checked in with in quite a while)

Change, as they say, is the one universal constant. But that doesn’t mean that change is always good. Or, at least, it’s not always perceived (or received) that way.

Case in point, following the departure of the Sandagger brothers in 2009 Mercenary were – rightly or wrongly – criticised for, ahem, metamorphosing from the distinctive Prog/Power/Death Metal hybrid they used to be into a more groove-focussed, Metalcore-ish “Nu-Melodeath” act in the vein of bands like CalibanDeadlock, etc.

Much of the blame was placed, unfairly, on bassist (and now primary vocalist) René Pedersen – mostly, it seemed, because his singing style was supposedly less “epic” and more “emo” than his predecessor – even though the core guitar duo of Jakob Mølbjerg and Martin Buus (who have, at the time of writing this, now been playing together for over twenty years!) remained unchanged.

But the truth of the matter is that there was no one person responsible for the band’s downturn in fortunes, it’s simply that, for a while, they didn’t seem to know quite who they were, or who they wanted to be, any more.

But on their new album Mercenary sound more like… well, Mercenary… than they have in years!

Continue reading »

May 142014

As you know if you were following our site, yesterday brought such a great flood of new song, video, and album premieres that it was hard to keep up — in my case, like trying to keep up  with Usain Bolt over 100 meters (even if he were wearing flip-flops). In fact, I couldn’t keep up. By noon I had spotted three more new things worth featuring (and one that’s a few days old), but instead had to stop blogging and start doing what I’m paid to do. So, later than I would like, here’s that foursome.


Prosthetic Records will be releasing a new album from this vicious East Coast band on June 10. Its name is Blissfucker, and how could you forget that name? One song has previously appeared for streaming and yesterday brought another (via Lambgoat), by the name of “Organic Infernal”. It begins like an alien ant swarm, and then the ants start rocking hard (while continuing to devour whatever writhing creature is caught in their mandibles). Vicious, and memorable.

Blissfucker can be pre-ordered via Prosthetic Records or iTunes. If you missed “Salted Crypts”, which premiered last month, I’m including that below as well. But first, “Organic Infernal”… Continue reading »

Jul 252013

(DGR reviews the new album by Mercenary, and following the review you can stream the whole album.)

Two things come to mind when discussing Mercenary these days: One, that the band are releasing their seventh full disc and are still slamming their heads up against the glass ceiling of popularity. Mercenary are one of the best gateway bands for heavy metal in all senses, with powerful singing and songwriting that take them not only through heavy metal but a wide variety of its sub-genres as well. They can move from death metal to power metal in the blink of an eye. That people still turn to radio-friendly schlock as the heaviest music they’ve ever heard rather than Mercenary is truly an exercise in stupidity.

Two: Although the band basically asked for a hard reset (which is something you do by naming your disc Metamorphosis, or by pulling a Before The Dawn and using the Phoenix theme, releasing one album with a new lineup, and then killing the project) after two of their members bailed (the voice of the band at the time, Mikkel Sandager, and brother/keyboardist Morten), it is still incredibly difficult to divorce the band from their prior legacy.

Metamorphosis was a good album and it introduced the world to a slimmer, scrappier Mercenary, but it still drew comparisons to earlier highs such as The Hours That Remain and 11 Dreams. In the face of albums like those, Metamorphosis had a deck stacked against it.

Now we’re one album removed from that and about to hear the band’s latest effort, Through Our Darkest Days. Now that the band are stable again and have gotten used to songwriting as a smaller unit, what effect has that had on the sophomore release of lighter Mercenary? Have they become a nostalgia act? Did they pull away from the gravitational effects of their prior discs? Did they top Metamorphosis? Did they just put out a second Metamorphosis? Question Mark? Continue reading »

Jul 102013

I mentioned in today’s first post that I was cut off from the interhole most of yesterday and missed lots of stuff that should have been the subject of yesterday’s posts. So I’m catching up. I’ve found so many interesting developments from both yesterday and this morning that I’m going to hold my verbiage to a rare minimum and let the music speak for itself.


The band’s first single (“Captive Bolt Pistol”) from their new album (Surgical Steel) proved controversial. (The song appeared on a CD exclusively sold with the 85th issue of the German “Legacy” Magazine in order to promote the Party.San Metal Open Air festival, and someone uploaded it to YouTube from there). The haters (I’m not one) seemed primarily to be those fans who think Carcass jumped the shark after Necroticism, and therefore they’re disappointed in the Heartwork-style stylings of the new song.

Yesterday brought us another taste, an official video teaser that appears to be a playthrough of an instrumental part of another song. Haters will still hate. I am still not one of them; I still like what I hear. You can listen to the teaser after the jump. But today also brought us the very cool album cover for Surgical Steel, which you can see above. It was created by British photographer Ian Tilton, who also did the cover for Necroticism. Now, here’s the teaser: Continue reading »

Feb 272011

We’re jumping the gun on this post, since the month doesn’t end until tomorrow. Why? Uh, because this post is ready to go and we don’t have anything else finished for today yet. Work and other shit interfered with our grand plans for a Sunday post.  We might still get another one up later today, but for now, feast your eyes on the barrage of metal headed our direction.

What we do with these installments of METAL IN THE FORGE is collect news blurbs and press releases we’ve seen over the last 30 days (or in this case, the last 27 days) about forthcoming new albums from bands we know and like (including updates about releases we’ve included in previous installments of this series), or from bands that look interesting, even though we don’t know them yet. And in this post, we cut and paste the announcements and compile them in alphabetical order.

This isn’t a cumulative list, so be sure to check the Category link called “Forthcoming New Albums” on the right side of this page to see forecasted releases we reported in previous installments. This month’s list begins right after the jump. Look for your favorite bands, or get intrigued about some new ones. There’s some awesome shit on the way. Continue reading »