MERCURY X – Imprisoned
BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/MercuryXofficial
This talented Swedish quartet offers an interesting take on prog metal and delivers an impressively heavy slab of colorful and dynamic music that is anything but short on emotional intensity and passion. While there are obvious parallels between Mercury X and Dream Theater, the former is a much more intriguing and rewarding listen to these ears, which primarily has to do with the strength of the melodies, the fantastic song arrangements, and the slightly bleak atmosphere that underpins it all. There is a heartfelt quality to these lengthy compositions and something about the way in which they are akin to embarking on an inner journey when immersing oneself in them that appeals to me greatly. Everything ebbs and flows throughout and there are immensely powerful passages consisting of roaring riffs that slide into much mellower territory, but things are constantly propelled forwards and there is an immediacy and energy to the tracks that is delightful to experience. The use of keyboards is rather sophisticated and emphasizes the dark and occasionally mournful tone of the songs in a subtle manner while the vocals courtesy of Denis Diaz and Martin Björklund complement the shifts and nuances of the music splendidly.
“Imprisoned” is an inspired and vigorous effort that boasts some truly robust song material and an excellent production, and I could easily see fans of Symphony X, Fates Warning, and Circus Maximus getting a kick out of it. Along with Terra Odium’s “Ne Plus Ultra”, which was released earlier on in 2021, Mercury X have spawned one of the more original-sounding and musically adventurous outputs in the Frontiers catalogue and one that warrants careful listening.