Mercenary (band)

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Mercenary performing in 2010
Mercenary performing in 2010
Background information
OriginAalborg, Denmark
Years active1991–present
MembersJakob Mølbjerg
Martin Buus
René Pedersen
Martin Nielsen
Past membersHans Jørgen Andersen
Henrik "Kral" Andersen
Nikolaj Brinkman
Andreas W. Hansen
Jakob Johnsen
Mike Park
Signar Petersen
Mikkel Sandager
Morten Sandager
Morten Løwe
Rasmus Laulund Jacobsen
Peter Mathiesen

Mercenary is a Danish melodic death metal band that was formed in 1991. The band incorporates a lot of power and progressive elements in their songwriting.


Formation and first releases (1991–2003)[edit]

Mercenary formed in Aalborg, Denmark in 1991 as the brainchild of Henrik "Kral" Andersen. The band name was taken from a lyric in the Slayer song, "Ghosts of War". After the release of two demos, Domicile (1993) and Gummizild (1994), they were able to sign with Black Day Records, and released a four-song EP, Supremacy (1996). In 1997, they were signed to the Danish label Serious Entertainment, and in 1998 they released their full-length debut, First Breath.

In 2002, the band decided to expand their sound with the addition of pianist Morten Sandager, who greatly contributed with his keyboard as well as his brother Mikkel, who helped expand their songs with vocals into their songs. This new line-up added new dimensions to their sound, blending more melody into their more aggressive heaviness.

That year, Mercenary played at the ProgPower music festival in the United States and released their second album Everblack. It was after this that the band fired drummer Rasmus Jacobsen, thinking he invested too little time into Mercenary and too much into other projects. During this time, guitarist Signar Petersen also left the band, due to personal reasons. Two old friends of Kral's (drummer Mike Park Nielson, whom he had met in 1993 at a concert in Copenhagen, and Martin Buus Pedersen, whom Kral knew since he was seventeen years old and working in a music store, when Martin was testing a guitar) would soon fill in the two spots, and with this new lineup, Mercenary were signed to Century Media Records.

Continued success and the departure of Kral Andersen (2004–2006)[edit]

In 2004, Mercenary released their third full-length album, 11 Dreams. This proved to be their most commercially successful album, earning much international attention from fans and critics alike. That year, Mercenary toured as a supporting act for Evergrey, and then later with Brainstorm who were on their first headlining tour in Europe. They also played on the 16th Wacken Open Air in 2005, and supported Nevermore on a European tour later that year.

At the end of March 2006, that the band announced that Kral left the band. Mikkel Sandager said in an interview[1] that Kral's departure was due to "being away from his family and...trying to make it with the band for 15 years. I think that he simply got tired of trying and trying."

The band went about writing and recording their fourth full-length as a five-piece, with Mikkel Sandager performing all vocals, and the album's producer Jacob Hansen handling bass duties. On 7 April 2006 the band finished the recording at Jacob Hansens Studios. Shortly after this, the band managed to employ bassist/vocalist René Pedersen to fill in the void left by Kral.

At 19 and 20 May 2006, Saegfestival (held in Greding, Germany), Mercenary had their first live performance with Pedersen. It was at this show that they played "Soul Decision", a song from their upcoming fourth album. On 1 August 2006, Mercenary released a compilation of their early demos, Retrospective, and on 22 August, their new album, The Hours That Remain, was released.

In September 2006, Mercenary joined numerous other bands such as Evergrey, Epica, and Jørn Lande in the ProgPower USA festival. It was there that they covered Pantera's "Cowboys from Hell" at the request of the show's promoter.

The Hours That Remain and lineup changes (2007–2009)[edit]

On 21 October 2007, they announced a follow-up album to The Hours That Remain was being recorded and produced. On 12 December 2007 the band announced on their Myspace page that the new album is complete. Eight days later, the band announced the title of the new album to be Architect of Lies. It was released on 25 March 2008.[2]

Mercenary in 2007

On 11 November 2009, it was announced that Mikkel, Morten, and Mike had left the band. According to Jakob in a press statement: "we no longer share the same vision and enthusiasm about the direction and the future of the band".[3]

New lineup, Metamorphosis and Through Our Darkest Days (2009–2013)[edit]

On 23 November 2009, the band announced via Facebook, that a new complete line-up had been established.[4]

On 23 December 2010, the band released a song from their upcoming album, Metamorphosis.[5] They released the complete album Metamorphosis in 2011.

On 26 July 2013, the band released their Through Our Darkest Days.[6]

Hiatus, new band member and Soundtrack for the End of Times (2013–present)[edit]

On 15 January 2020, Mercenary announced the addition of Martin Nielsen as the bands new drummer, replacing Peter Mathiesen.[7]

On 9 March 2020, the band teased a new release after almost 7 years of hiatus.[8] The new single From the Ashes of the Fallen was subsequently released on 10 April 2020,[9] followed by Where Darkened Souls Belong on 25 February 2022.[10]

Following these releases, the band announced they were working on their 8th album,[11] later to be named Soundtrack For The End Of Times,[12] which would be supported by a crowdfunding campaign. The new album would be produced by Jacob Hansen.[13] A new single from Soundtrack For The End Of Times, called Heart Of The Numb, including vocals from Trivium vocalist Matt Heafy was released on 14 July 2023,[14] followed by the release of the full album on 22 September 2023.

Band members[edit]


  • Jakob Mølbjerg – rhythm guitar (1994–present)
  • Martin Buus – lead guitar (2002–present), keyboards, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • René Pedersen – bass, unclean vocals (2006–present), clean vocals (2009–present)
  • Martin Nielsen – drums (2019–present)


  • Jakob Johnsen – drums (1991–1993)
  • Hans Jørgen Andersen – rhythm guitar (1991–1994; died 2012)
  • Andreas W. Hansen – bass (1991–1994)
  • Nikolaj Brinkman – lead guitar (1994–2000; died 2002)
  • Signar Petersen – lead guitar (2000–2002)
  • Rasmus Jacobsen – drums (1993–2002)
  • Henrik "Kral" Andersen – bass (1994–2006), unclean vocals (1991–2006), lead guitar (1991–1993)
  • Mike Park Nielsen – drums (2002–2009)
  • Morten Sandager – keyboard (2002–2009)
  • Mikkel Sandager – clean vocals (2002–2009)
  • Morten Løwe – drums (2009–2011)
  • Peter Mathiesen – drums (2011–2020)



Studio albums[edit]


  • Supremacy (1996)


  • Mercenary (2006)


  • Domicile (1993)
  • Gummizild (1994)

Music videos[edit]


  1. ^ "Mercenary". Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  2. ^ "New Album Update". 21 October 2007. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
  3. ^ "Mercenary parts way with drummer, singer and keyboardist". Archived from the original on 14 November 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Mercenary Official Facebook". Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Mercenary Official Youtube". Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Mercenary Official Website". 29 July 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  7. ^ "Mercenary announces new band member". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  8. ^ "From the Ashes of the Fallen teaser". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  9. ^ "From the Ashes of the Fallen release". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  10. ^ "Where Darkened Souls Belong release". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  11. ^ "Crowdfunding announcement". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  12. ^ "Soundtrack For The End Of Times announcement". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  13. ^ "Soundtrack For The End Of Times production". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  14. ^ "Heart Of The Numb release". Facebook. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Mercenary - Through Our Darkest Days". Metal Storm. Retrieved 7 August 2013.

External links[edit]