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Mercury X: Imprisoned
Mercury X - Imprisoned Album Art

Mercury X: Imprisoned

Progressive Metal
3.0/5.0

Mercury X was formed some eight years ago by high school friends in Norrtälje Sweden, outside of Stockholm. The band established themselves in the Swedish metal underground with two albums That's Blasphemy in 2014 and Between Worlds in 2017. Now the band makes their Frontiers Music premier with their third long-player Imprisoned.

Mercury X - Click For Larger Image

Mercury X

The album title refers to the quartet's writing and recording during the COVID-19 pandemic (which is, unfortunately, still with us). The title track, a more than 20 minute opus, was intended to be released as an Extended Play (EP). Instead, Mercury X wrote four additional songs to complete the album for a full-length release.

In capsule, musically speaking, Mercury X's is simply progressive metal defined by epic riffs, strong polyrhythmic rhythm and groove, clean vocals and decent vocal harmony, synths underneath, and a spotting of guitar solos with all things wrapped in a heavy, dark, and modern metal feeling. The shorter songs, such as Until The Break Of Day, The Light In Your Eyes, and Lonely, often have a simple formula which is sharp heavy riffs and fast rhythm groove in a rambunctious start. Then the arrangement continues to move rhythmically and steady by those same parts.

You'll find some respite or, best said, moments of more complexity, and so creativity, in various places. One of the best is the instrumental breakdown within The Light In Your Eyes, around four minutes, featuring piano and a fine guitar solo. Another comes within The Sound Of Nothing wherein around four minutes again the segue features a strong bass line, almost jazz-like rhythm, and a sublime guitar solo. The basic conclusion from this is that you have to listen for those technical nuances. This I did not discover, so much, within the title track. Revolving mostly around riffs and rhythm and groove, the song seemed more like a self-indulgent, navel-gazing, exploration of heavy prog musicianship. Perhaps, it simply seemed to long and repetitive for me, and perhaps you might hear differently.

Nevertheless, there's little doubt: Mercury X is complete with fine musicians and some skillful songwriting, both of which can only get better. Otherwise, prog fans might find Imprisoned somewhat average in comparison to other current fare. Check out the video and support the band!




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The Take Away

There's little doubt: Mercury X is complete with fine musicians and some skillful songwriting, both of which can only get better. Otherwise, prog fans might find Imprisoned somewhat average in comparison to other current fare. Check out the video and support the band!

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