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Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult: I Declare- Treason

The newly (and very quickly) formed Norwegian 'supergroup' Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult's debut I Declare: Treason arrives amid much hype. Featuring members of Turbonegro, Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, Satyricon, Celtic Frost, and many more, expectations are high. Running the gamut of every subgenre each member has been involved in, the album reflects the combined heritage of its members and is an album brimming with huge riffs, catchy melodies and choruses, and plenty of hooks. Hard-hitting, their sound has the darkness of industrial goth, the steady stomp of Rob Zombie's attempt at shock rock, the anti-establishment defiance of hardcore punk, and the riffs of thrash and classic metal. With a suitably grandiloquent opening dubbed 'You are God', followed by 'Sign My Name' and the title track, the band's brazen stance is firmly established in the huge riffs and rebellious lyrics. However, for the remainder of the album there is little fluctuation from the formula hammered out on these tracks and is fleshed out by too many fillers to be considered anything unique. The vocals are laden with attitude akin to Iggy Pop, yet Hank von Helvete's range is limited, his melodies relying on precise on-the-beat accents, which, combined with rhyming dictionary-lyrics make the songs predictable in their unadventurous rhythms and form. Call it punk simplicity, but I Declare: Treason is more style than substance and too contrived and polished to be considered raw rock 'n roll. Once denoting something great, the 'supergroup' label has come to be attached to any collection of people that features someone – anyone – that has served time in a semi-successful band, whether as a hired hand or replacement for a key member and so this modern interpretation of the term could be no better applied. More a "Who?" than a "Who's who", Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult's 'supergroup' status will be a little more ephemeral than most. Maybe we'll see them on Eurovision…

Track Listing:
1. You Are God – Intro
2. Sign My Name
3. I Declare: Treason
4. Bleed Idiot Bleed
5. (Don't) Waste It
6. Blame Is The Game
7. OK (We're Just About To Die)
8. Misconception
9. Glory (Throw The Axe)
10. Revenge
11. Victorious

Added: November 22nd 2011
Reviewer: Jason Guest
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 4262
Language: english

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Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult: I Declare- Treason
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-11-22 22:55:02
My Score:

Featuring members of Celtic Frost, Satyricon, Extol, Shotgun Messiah, Marilyn Manson, and many more is Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult - a new supergroup hailing from Norway. I Declare: Treason is their debut effort, and angst-ridden, punked-out, and thrashy heavy metal is the name of the game here. Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult's entrance into the scene is far from terrible, but it's a fairly mediocre experience when all is said and done. The uninspired songwriting just isn't that memorable, and the multiple production-related issues set things back even further. I Declare: Treason may be worth a passive listen for the curious reader, but it's hardly a recommended purchase.

Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult offers a pretty eclectic style of modern metal. Lots of nods in the direction of traditional metal, thrash metal, goth rock, and alternative metal are found throughout I Declare: Treason, as well as a strong punk influence (especially in the vocals). While the style that Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult offers is mildly interesting, the songwriting is very formulaic and unmemorable. The linear compositions are problematic enough as it is, but the fact that there are hardly any memorable choruses or anything of that nature makes this a rather puzzling experience. Hank von Helvete's raw vocal delivery also does little to impress me, and the way the whole album is produced (especially his vocals) is a fairly big issue. I appreciate the raw, punk-styled simplicity of the sound, but it comes across more as an inferior gimmick than a beneficial aspect of the music.

Though most folks probably have high anticipations for I Declare: Treason, I've been really underwhelmed by this mediocre effort. The middle school-level lyrics parred with formulaic songwriting and muddy production values really leaves a lukewarm taste in my mouth. Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult may have potential, but it's hardly shown on this weak debut. 2 stars are the most I can give here. This is only worth a shot if you're extremely curious what this new supergroup has to offer.

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