Metalcamp - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

At the end of the day we were faced with a choice, Mercenary on the main stage or Alestorm on the second stage? The choice was really no choice at all, it was of course Mercenary who was to be seen.
Actually the bands were supposed to play back to back, but the delay on the main stage had pushed Mercenary’s gig back so the two now played almost simultaneously...

”Tolmin, we are Mercenary, and you are fucking awesome!”
- René Pedersen (vocals/bass)

Quite surprisingly, due to said delay, the band still opted to play a very long intro before beginning the actual show, but when they finally did kick off they did it hard and fast with World Hate Center, and more and more people quickly gathered round for this piece of bedtime punishment. It never got very crowded though, and I’m guessing it was because of the changed time, and several of the festivals guests had headed over to the Scottish pirates instead, but as this only meant more place for the rest of us I was fine with it, however a bigger turn-out would most likely have been more fun for the band...
Not that they were letting such trifle a matter affect their performance notably, and they were rocking well and with a good amount of energy despite the lateness of the hour. In the beginning at least, but as the show went on, the energy level did drop bit by bit, never more than what was needed to allow them to keep delivering a good and catchy show however. Something which was lifting it, except for the driving music that is, was the posing-happy guitarist Martin Buus Pedersen who gave the concert a small but well-directed kick in the ass.

For this, Mercenary was rewarded with a very good response from the people who had shown up. Maybe they weren’t many, but they were dedicated, and by the time we had reached The Follower, the third song of the night, everyone was gladly clapping along to the music.
René Pedersen wanted more though, and so he tried to instigate a circlepit, something which didn’t completely fall out to his favour, but he did at least get a decent moshpit going, and that worked pretty good as well.
Musically, Mercenary concentrated mostly on their latest album, Metamorphosis, and no less than five out of the eight songs they played were taken from this one. There was of course made some room for older fan-favourites as well, and thus The Endless Fall helped things along quite nicely in the beginning of the set and the everlasting Firesoul rounded the show off when the time had come to leave.

I don’t know if it was something special in the air or what it was, but Mercenary were displaying a rawer, thrashier side to themselves than what I have grown accustomed to over the last couple of shows and this newfound aggression became them, making this the best show I’ve seen so far with them this year. A very positive and welcome change which I hope they can keep up in the future.


World Hate Center
The Endless Fall
The Follower
In Bloodred Shades
The Black Brigade
Through The Eyes Of The Devil
In A River Of Madness

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