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Mercenary - 11 Dreams (2005) Century Media

Track Listing
1. Into The Sea Of Dark Desires
2. World Hate Center
3. 11 Dreams
4. reDestructDead
5. Firesoul
6. Sharpen The Edges
7. Supremacy v2.0
8. Music Non Stop
9. Falling
10. Times Without Changes
11. Loneliness
12. 11 Dreams (3D edit)
13. 11 Dreams (radio edit)
If you wanted to place this one into a category for descriptive purposes, you'd find that it's not so easy. On their new release "11 Dreams", Mercenary plays like a jack of all trades with elements of practically all the metal styles you can find--power, progressive, black, etc. I like a lot of bands that ride the edge of genres (Childen Of Bodom, Biomechanical) innovating the metal landscape where others are content to be second rate recycling the same old sounds and songs like inbred families that grow uglier each generation.

Powered by the clean vocals of Mikkel Sandager and the extreme-ish vocals of Kral, who really isn't too harsh for those with a picky taste in vocalists, "11 Dreams" is a killer record with a dark edge that is consistent throughout. After an dramatic keyboard instrumental, "World Hate Center" powers forth as one of the heavier numbers with rapid drums and a generous blend of post-modern black metal vocals. The title track then sets the tone for the mixture of tasty confections that follow.

Mikkel is simply phenomenal with the mid-range, full bodied confidence of Zak Stevens (Circle II Circle, Savatage) and the power of Manowar's ace vocalist. He's one of the strongest vocalists I've heard in years and when you hear him hit the notes in "Firesoul" or the light "Times Without Changes" you'll be as convinced.

There's a lot less going in here musically than you think though, but Mercenary and the excellently layered production envelopes you in a wash of sound that takes many, many listens to be able to pull out and concentrate on some of the simpler guitar riffs and patterns. A few of the numbers feel a bit stretched ("Loneliness"), but there's the capability to splice them up (blasphemy!) for single-play with the excellent vocal deliveries and harmonies.

If you like simple, classic riff-metal or party anthems then this may not be to your liking, but if you get into hybrid crosses with disparate elements that speak to the discerning listener, then give this one a chance and see if you also think they are not masters of none, but masters of all.

Score: 9 of 10

--Nailer 03.08.05
About this Writer:
Frank Hill // Frank Hill has been at this site since its slimy, crying birth in '03. He was born on National Metal Day--11/11 and will turn his hearing aids up to 11 when he's 111. He secretly listens to a lot of old Country and Doo-Wop tunes and wants to start a cyberband with lead vocals by Robot Plant. He is still trying to figure out what Judas Priest meant by "paratamize you". If you read this, then he salutes you.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: MERCENARY
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
11 DreamsMercenary
2005
Ken Pierce1/2/2006
11 DreamsMercenary
2005
Frank Hill3/9/2005
11 DreamsMercenary
2005
Eric Compton1/28/2005
MetamorphosisMercenary
2011
Eric Compton4/14/2011
Through Our Darkest DaysMercenary
2013
Greg Watson10/31/2013


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: MERCENARY

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: MERCENARY
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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