Mercenary has announced that they have parted ways with vocalist Mikke Sandager, drummer Mike Park and keyboard player Morten Sandager. A message from guitar player Jakob Molbjerg reads as follows:
"Well, well, changes that have been underway for a long time can sometimes come about in the blink of an eye. Last week, Mike (Park, drums) told us that he wanted to leave the band permanently. The rest of us did some serious thinking and soul-searching, sat down and had 'the big talk' and came to the agreement that the only way to continue the band was to part ways with Mikkel (Sandager, vocals) and Morten (Sandager, keys) as well. During the last year we have been working on a new album and it has become clear that we no longer share the same vision and enthusiasm about the direction and the future of the band. Martin (Buus, lead guitar), Rene (Pedersen, bass/vocals), Mike and I wanted to play faster, heavier and more modern (yet old school) material, but for the band as a whole this evidently didn't work out.
"In many ways this is a painful choice. But it also allows us to close a chapter in the band's career and our shared lives, that we're all immensely proud off, in a dignified way that doesn't let ourselves or our fans down. Nobody would be better off if we released an album that we didn't all truly believe in and felt as fiercely passionate about as we have done about all of our past albums.
"Rest assured, however, that René, Martin and I will continue Mercenary in the best way we possibly can and with a newfound sense of integrity and purpose. So far we have had an immensely fruitful songwriting process with lots of mutual inspiration, understanding, synergy – and most importantly – good, plain, old fashioned fun, which is what it all ought to be about. We feel that we're finally all in agreement about the future direction of the band and that this will be the strongest and most united incarnation of Mercenary ever. In terms of creativity, motivation and the everyday-practical-getting-shit-done-aspects, the band remains fully intact. The new Mercenary will be back to shatter everybody's balls in 2010.
"On behalf of all of the guys, we'd like to give our most humble and sincere thanks to all the fans, bands, press, promoters and others who have supported us throughout the years and made this one hell of a damn fine ride. As a final nod from the old incarnation of Mercenary to the fans, we've included a video from our tour with ARCH ENEMY, where Mikkel joined them on stage in Italy for the track 'Burning Angel' as this tour and this experience was in many ways the highlight of what we managed to achieve together."