Mercury Rising

Upon Deaf Ears

Mercury Rising - Upon Deaf Ears ©1996 Dominion Records
1. Upon Deaf Ears
2. Light To Grow
3. Halfway To Forever
4. Minute Man
5. Zeros And Ones
6. It's War
7. Prayer
8. Where Fear Ends

This one just does not do it for me. I've read a lot of the raves and reviews that heap effusive praise on this disc. I go back and listen again thinking I must be missing the point. No matter what I try, I can't like this disc.

Upon Deaf Ears is the debut from Mercury Rising. It is a power metal disc that takes the speed of Labyrinth and turns it up a notch. The power and the speed are certainly there. The pace is relentless. The lyrics are intelligent, above the usual stuff that makes up power metal. I think that's why I despair at not being able to comfortably listen to this disc.

The guitars are a constant chop, chop, chop in your face affair with swirling shredding solos. But they are way to far in the front of the mix drowning out everything else. The vocals are another sore point for me. The singer has a good voice when he stays within his range and reach. But he doesn't. Time and again we are screeching into the stratosphere with so much vibrato you'd think he was riding a mechanical bull while singing the songs. Meanwhile the monotonous chopping of the guitar is like someone jack hammering away. The overall effect is annoying in the extreme.

After the third or fourth track, I'm looking at the display on my player expecting this to still be track one or two. There is not enough variety in the songs for me to be able to discern the track changes. As I listen, I start thinking that I've just heard this song give or take a few notes and bars.

Review by Matthew Braymiller

Review date: 07/2000

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