Being rather fond of Angel Dust’s “Enlighten The Darkness” and “Of Human Bondage” albums, but not having paid much attention to lead singer Dirk Thurisch’s career since then (he left the band in 2002) I was keen to hear his latest offering.
Having started as a side project, Mercury Tide has now grown into a fully fledged band and this is the follow-up to their 2003 release “Why?”. With a gap of 9 years one would hope Dirk and co were bursting with ideas for this latest outing.
Sadly, there’s not a great deal to recommend “Killing Saw” and despite me really wanting to like it, and having given it several spins, it just hasn’t grown on me.
There is nothing bad about it, but neither is there anything remarkable about it. Dirk’s voice is distinct and powerful but he seems to have lost some of his range and tone. The riffs and melodies are decent, but no more than that. After several listens none of them are lodged in my brain like Angel Dust used to.
This is goth-tinged power metal by numbers with no flash or flair and some genuinely mundane musicianship. Even the closing ballad is derivative, sounding like “Gutter Ballet”-era Savatage and borrowing a Green Day riff rather blatantly.
There are enough decent ideas here for a four song EP, but not a full length album and it is a shame to say that a lacklustre production also adds to the rather lifeless feel. Carsten Rehmann, who has engineered for Kreator amongst others, is at the mixing desk here and fails to add any power to the metal.
After a failed attempt to reunite with his Angel Dust bandmates in recent times, I am ever hopeful that he will patch things up and return to former glories soon because “Killing Saw” just doesn’t have the punch or the hooks and leaves me with only one option: to dig out “Enlighten…” again and play it at full blast.