Mercy Brown - Mercy Brown
'Mercy Brown' is the self-titled debut studio album by metal band Mercy Brown. Believe it or not, I found out about Mercy Brown through a 'Mary Poppins sings death metal' video on YouTube. So, when I went to the contributors's Bandcamp, I was expecting some awesome death metal. I did get awesome death metal, but I got a lot more then just death metal. I got a wide range of different styles.
Mercy Brown is one of those bands that is simply impossible to categorize. From death metal, to thrash, to black metal, to Gothic-esque clean vocals, and to droning intros and outros, this is one eclectic album. The first song I heard was 'Red and Yellow', which was one of the songs you could sample before the album came out. It is an amazing song, perfectly combining brutal death metal blasts with melodic passages. The album begins with the apocalyptic intro of 'From the Sky'. This is such a great intro, the echoing sounds and wind combined with marching guitar and double bass just give an apocalyptic feeling. It soon flows into black metal instrumentation that opens up the next track 'Birds'. The chaotic double-bass barrages, crushing guitar, and Sera Hatchett's low growls and snarls flow perfectly straight into melodic passages with Hatchett's beautiful clean vocals.
I think atmosphere plays a key role in the album. Like I mentioned with the intro, there is a kind of dark, apocalyptic feel from the beginning to the end. The song 'Where the Fire Is' opens up with great menacing bass-lines, which really adds to the atmosphere. Very often songs will start out slowly and quietly, before crushing guitar, pounding drums, and Hatchett's menacing vocals or growls come in.
Sera Hatchett is an amazing vocalist, having a very wide range of vocal styles. She can go from low growls as heard in 'Red and Yellow', to snarls, to raw clean vocals, and to melancholy vocals which are heard best in 'In the Dark'. Speaking of that song, it's probably my favorite on the album. The way it combines the machine-gun attack of the double bass, the droning atmosphere, and Hatchett's melancholic vocals and high screams is just amazing. Another favorite of mine is 'Codependent', which starts out with crushing guitar and menacing vocals from Hatchett. Like a lot of the songs on the album, they switch sounds often, this song eventually having a unique combination of pure black metal instrumentation and melodic clean vocals. Hatchett's growls on 'Red and Yellow' feel like they're crushing along with the pulsating blast of the guitars and drums.
Overall, this is one of those albums that is so unique and combines so much that it's simply impossible to put it in one genre. It's an album that I grew to absolutely love listen after listen. Definitely one of my top releases of 2015 so far, and I highly recommend it if you want something unique, eclectic, and just different. Hope you found this review helpful.
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