|Review: Mercury Tide - Why?|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: February 10, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Rated 4/5 (80%) (6 Votes)
So I downloaded a short clip of the title track from their official website, heard the piano intro and as soon as the trademark Angel Dust styled guitars and drums came invading in on the piano's territory, I decided to go get myself the CD without even listening to the two other clips available on their website. After all, it was just too similar to Angel Dust and hence I really gave it no second thought. After I got the disc and listened to it, I realized that this is not really the AD knock off as I had hoped it to be. Although similar, the sound is quite distinguishable.
Most people are calling this power metal; as am I…primarily because Dirk Thurisch is also the vocalist for Angel Dust and well….he does pretty much have a great power metal voice. But don't be fooled however, there are just way too many gothic imprints in here at the same time. Quite frankly, this album is a great depressant! Take a good chunk of gothic metal, add an even greater dose of power metal (due to the vocals and keys), some heavy metal and a pinch of hard-rock, will give you Mercury Tide's debut – Why?. With some filler, and pretty much useless cover art and booklet with photos of some trees and some grass, and one black and white photo of the band which looks like they all just woke up together in a prison…but aside from that, this is a great album overall!
Why? is quite a way to make a debut! If you are into power/melodic metal, then I'm assuming you are only human, and henceforth have no choice but to be sucked into this album once listening to it. The choruses especially, are awfully well-written. The guy can really write some choruses! Although I didn't care for about 2 songs on the album, the rest of them are absolutely beautiful. Beautiful is the word required here because the music is not the unforgiving ear-bleeding metal we all usually crave, but rather it is elegant and harmonic. The keyboards actually play a significant role in pretty much all the songs. Don't get soured on it just yet! This is how you incorporate keyboards into metal without getting into the absurdities of keyboard galore that are quite common these days. It almost seems that the keyboardist and guitarist sat down together for about a year and made an elaborate game plan on where to place each and every single note together in perfect harmony with each other. "Set Me Free", "Why?", "Souls Of The Ocean", "Another One", "Lost and Torn" are my personal favourites from the album and are all consistent with the enchanting keyboard and guitar interplay that I love so much about this disc. The songs are all pretty much sad cries which probably come straight out of Thurisch's personal diary or journal and will create a depressing atmosphere; but in style!
My biggest beef with this album however, is that there could have been so much more done with certain songs. One of my favourites – "Souls of the Ocean" has without a doubt one of the best choruses I have heard (hmmm….). But at the same time, the rest of the song (the verse) is pretty much a snore-fest. It just really pisses me off that the song had so much to work with, but didn't quite deliver what it could have. It is still a great song nonetheless. There are actually a few songs here where the choruses are just out of this world and defy you not to sing along to them, but their verses are almost equally uninteresting.
Why? is a spectacular debut and if you enjoy metal that is not too heavy and carries a lot of melody in it, this album is the definition of such music. It doesn't deliver much of any monster axe-work or head-banger intensity, but if you are willing to listen to softer but dark melodic metal, then this disc will be a pleaser!
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