Sound — 9
Mercenary are somewhat of an odd band. Everblack was the first album released with Mikkel and Morten Sandager, and is all around, quite awesome. The music is sort of a dark blend of melodic death and power metal, leaning toward the former. There are numerous excellent riffs, and some really excellent soloing provided. And one of my favorite parts of the album, is the sparsely added acoustic and piano sections, at just the right sections. Also, the keyboards from Morten Sandager are perfectly employed. They aren't overly used, and, are never invasive to the band at all.
Lyrics — 8
Mikkel Sandager is one of the best singers in all of metal, as far as I'm concerned. Kral, while he may not have been great live, has a pretty damn nice growl on record. Kral's lyrics seem to be rather dark, and all around good, and this fits quite well with the music.
Overall Impression — 9
All around, this record is a thing of beauty. It may not be the best Mercenary record (I think The Hours that remain beats this barely), but it's still excellent, and slightly more concise than other records (Mercenary songs regularly stretch to the 7 or 8 minute mark). All of the songs have merit to them, but my favorites are probably Everblack, Screaming from the Heavens, and A Darker Shade of Black.