MERCURY FALLING is a German Progressive/Power Metal band, formed 15 years ago. After the demo “Impression Of A Dream” (1998) the band could put out their debut album “Phanta Rei” in 2003. The preceding demo from 2001 was also titled like that. “Human Nature”, the follow-up that came out in 2006, was made with the help of Piet Sielck (IRON SAVIOR). Earlier this year, on the 2nd of May 2012, album no. 4 is out: “Into The Void”. Co-production for bass, guitars and drums was handled by EDGUY guitarist Jens Ludwig, while the vocals were taken care of by Piet Sielck, who also mixed the album. Andy Van Dette from Master Disk Studios in New York again mastered the album, like he did with the previous one. “Into The Void” also contains contributions from guest musicians: Oliver Palotai (KAMELOt, SONS OF SEASONS, DORO), Piet Sielck (IRON SAVIOR) and Jens Ludwig (EDGUY). Like DAWN OF DESTINY and AXXIS, the band signed with Phonotraxx Publishing for the release of the album.
“Into The Void” begins with “Days Of Redemption” a filmic intro creating a setting of mystery, horror and so on, where you get the typical atmospheric sound pallet, strings and a soft piano line. A speech adds to the dark and unhappy feeling. The bombast breaks loose after that. Directly connecting with that is “Into The Void” itself. The song contains heavy grooving, but also sharp cutting guitar work and pounding drums. To be honest, it sounds like older work from BRAINSTORM. Even Michael Pope’s vocals sound similar to Andy B. Franck’s, only lower. The bridge is melodic, in vein of CONCEPTION, the Norwegian Progressive Metal band, while the chorus comes pounding out of the speakers. The keyboards, obviously, fill the melodic holes. The grooving guitar layers dominate, though. You get an obligatory guitar solo over halfway, followed by a very nice instrumental passage. After that the band heads towards the end by repeating the chorus a few times. It’s a dark song and not the only one at that, and MERCURY FALLING sure delivers the goods.
“Stranger In Us All” begins in a rhythmic way via riffing and marching beats. The melodic and Progressive feeling are added later, resulting in a song that sounds very similar to CONCEPTION and KAMELOT. No Andy B. Franck here, but Roy Khan. Or better, Michael’s singing sounds similar to Khan’s. The chorus, very catchy I have to say, is coloured with symphonic input and backing vocals. Keyboards are very important in this track, even if the power of guitars and drums is not to be seen as trivial, not in the least. There’s a spooky piece halfway, advancing towards the solo. This adds an Eastern touch to the whole. The solo parts are divided between guitar and keyboards. Great stuff, overall!
For a more dramatic touch, there’s “Book Of Hate”, set in by the keyboards, while guitars (i.e. guitar and bass) and drums counter. The beat is simple and the song pretty straight. The music is dark and the backing melodies add a touch of spookiness. Halfway it’s nice to hear the unison of guitar and keyboards, before the solo. The song had something reminiscent of e.g. CIRCUS MAXIMUS, DGM, VANDEN PLAS, and so on. “In Dark Waters” also begins with keyboards, albeit atmospheric ones and a clean guitar lick. It sounds mysterious until *BAM!*, the Metal kicks in, rising to a climax and then slowly plodding onwards. The transition into the grooving, mighty verses is powerful. The bridge thunders with Piet Sielck’s guest vocals, while the chorus lets out a high dose of melody and progressiveness. You could compare it to DARKWATER and BRAINSTORM, to name two examples. The solo part is also Progressive with lots of keyboards, which again take turns with the guitar for the solos.
“Us” is the shortest song on the album and very straight-forward. It begins with an Industrial-like intro, also featuring a heavy groovy guitar, similar to RAMMSTEIN. When the vocals are added, the style gets Gothic. The grooves are added in bursts while the piano delivers the melodies. Again CONCEPTION comes to mind. The atmospheric bridge flows neatly over into a slow chorus, containing floating (by lack of a better description) music. Halfway the solo is played, while the keyboards become more dominant later. Then again, the music is more dramatic, emotional. “Queen Of Pain” lets out a scream via the guitar, similar to how RED CIRCUIT did it on their last album. Thundering Power Metal follows with sharp grooves. The verses are in vein of (old) KAMELOT and CONCEPTION with atmospheric backing keyboards, while the dark bridge connects with a very powerful and melodic chorus. A massive and bombastic one. The solos (guitar and keyboards) are guided by your typical Progressive Metal, which changes into Power Metal. The song ends with the sharp grooved Metal of before.
Another spooky intro is delivered in “Wash Away My Sins”. The Metal bursts sound as if there’s danger ahead. The guitars and drums dominate, while electronic waves try to float along. It sounds like EVERGREY meets CONCEPTION. Yes, CONCEPTION again. It could be my ears, though. Dark atmospheric verses link with a more melodic chorus where full power is unleashed, but the whole sounding a bit dramatic. And catchy, not to forget. Before the solo, a dark, grooving piece is played, laden with electronic touches. “When Worlds Collide” indeed begins with a thunderous collision. It sounds like a hearbeat or kodo. Relaxing music follows. It’s atmospheric, it’s got percussion, a piano melody and clean vocals. More volume and power is reserved for the chorus. Are we dealing with a power ballad here? As usual, keyboards play a crucial role.
“Revolution” re-introduces the sharp grooves of before, and the thundering drums. This rocks!! Melody plays an important role, from the front or the back. Especially the epic/bombastic (especially in the vocal department) chorus stands out. This is one massive song! For the sake of change and variety, the band made the middle section very attractive: atmospheric, percussion and a keyboard solo. Business as usual is resumed with the guitar solo. And more soloing occurs, during which rhythm and tempo changes take place, going into slow mode to then rise again for the chorus. Another song well done.
Last there’s “Long Way Out Of Hell”. An atmospheric, Eastern intro with chanting and the typical percussion are to clear the road for the piano-led verses, in vein of CONCEPTION and KAMELOT. Slowly the whole, vocals and music, grow in power; The singing becomes more aggressive and the bass gets a more prominent role. Full option is activated in the chorus, which may be slow, but sounds weighty. A wild guitar solo seperates the first part of the song and the second, where the music is proper Progressive Metal. As if, looking at the title, Hell was left behind. The solos are again divided between guitar and keyboards. All in all, this is another good song, although to my impression it feels stretched.
I had never heard of MERCURY FALLING until their newest release, “Into The Void”. I like how the guys put together the good stuff from several Power, but mostly Progressive Metal bands. Not only on a musical level, but also vocally. So if you’re looking to expand your collection, and part of that are bands like BRAINSTORM, CONCEPTION, KAMELOT, EVERGREY, DARKWATER, and similar, then hesitate not to support MERCURY FALLING and their newest output “Into The Void”. Because this is one very solid album!
- Days Of Redemption
- Into The Void
- Stranger In Us All
- Book Of Hate
- In Dark Waters
- Queen Of Pain
- Wash Away My Sins
- When Worlds Collide
- Long Way Out Of Hell
Michael Pope – vocals
Tobias Galmarini – guitar
Daniel Galmarini – keyboards
Paul Quarter – bass
Maicel Panitz – drums