MERCENARY — The Hours That Remain (review)

MERCENARY — The Hours That Remain album cover Album · 2006 · Melodic Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
The Hours That Remain is the 4th full-length studio album by Danish melodic metal act Mercenary. The album was released in August 2006 by Century Media Records. There´s been a notable lineup change since the release of 11 Dreams (2004) as Kral ( growling vocals and bass) have left Mercenary. This has a significant impact on the sound on The Hours That Remain. As the band didn´t manage to find a suitable replacement before the recording of the album, producer Jacob Hansen recorded all bass parts on The Hours That Remain.

The music on the album is melodic and quite epic metal. A kind of power metal/ melodeath hybrid. Because of Kral´s departure from the band, there are no death growls on The Hours That Remain though and lead "clean" vocalist Mikkel Sandager is given a lot of room. He has a dominant role on this album. He has a strong voice and is a skilled vocalist, so the fact that he has taken over most of the vocals ( there are a couple of songs with guests vocalists who provide harsher type vocals. Björn Strid from Soilwork is one of them) isn´t necessarily a minus. Personally I miss the variation that Kral´s growls gave the music but I´m sure that´s an aquired taste. The music is generally very melodic and synth heavy. Strong melodies and a wall of epic harder edged power metal. The album is very consistent and all songs are quality compositions allthough I think they sound a bit too much the same. A bit of variation wouldn´t have hurt. It´s only after several listens that I´m beginning to be able to tell all the songs apart. There are of course instantly memorable tracks like the opening Redefine Me and the strong My World Is Ending on the album but there are also too many tracks that lacks the memorability factor.

The production by Jacob Hansen is very polished and clean. The sound suits the music well.

The Hours That Remain is a quality power metal/ melodeath album and there´s no doubt that the album at least deserves a 3.5 star rating. The fact that not enough songs stand out is a minor problem though and that´s why I won´t give a full 4 star rating. It´s a very consistent album though.
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