MERCENARY — Architect of Lies (review)

MERCENARY — Architect of Lies album cover Album · 2008 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
Architect of Lies is the 5th full-length studio album by Danish melodic metal act Mercenary. The album was released in March 2008 by Century Media Records. Since the release of The Hours That Remain (2006), bassist/ vocalist René Pedersen has been added to the lineup. This means that there is a more varied vocal style on this album compared to the vocal style on the predecessor.

The music on the album continues the power metal/ melodeath style of The Hours That Remain but as noted above the addition of René Pedersen to the lineup means that the harsher type vocals are back in the band´s sound. A positive feature IMO. The music is still very melodic and keyboard heavy. Great melodic guitar solos, lots of guitar harmonies, loads of keyboard layers, a powerful rythm section, the strong clean vocals by Mikkel Sandager, a great polished production and a very professional approach to songwriting are some of the ingredients on Architect of Lies. Mercenary´s strength lies in the fact that they are not merely a power metal act or a melodeath ditto. They borrow heavily from both genres and the outcome is, while not completely unique, very succesful. The 10 tracks on the album are all well written, well played and my only complaint is the same I had with the predecessor and that is that I don´t think enough of the songs stand out. There are simply not enough highlights on an otherwise really strong and consistent release. The opener New Desire, Embrace The Nothing and the power ballad type closing track Public Failure Number One are the exceptions where the band branch out in other directions. This is only slightly though and even those songs stay very close to the known formula.

All in all Architect of Lies is another high quality melodic metal release by Mercenary and a 3.5 star rating is deserved. The next release by the band might be quite different though as the Sandager brothers, lead vocalist Mikkel and keyboardist Morten have both left the band. I suspect this will have a vast impact on the band´s sound.
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