F U L L . R E V I E W S


Every so often a Metal band comes along with a CD that could possibly change the direction and level of quality in the genre. With the release of “11 Dreams” on Century Media Records; Mercenary has proved themselves to be one such band. As you listen to this piece you will find yourself surrounded by a wide variety of textures and feels. Is it Black? Is it Progressive? Is it Traditional? To be honest there is a fine mix of all these aspects of the Metal genre which makes it very difficult to define under one label or criteria. After a brooding keyboard intro the game is on with “World Hate Center” which thunders in guitar and drumming and even in one’s living room or desk at the office you will find the fist raised in Metal support. Taking a page from the Soilwork book the guys in Mercenary use two vocal styles to some positive effect. Most of the piece is growled through by bassist Kral yet the clean and powerful voice of Mikkel Sandager take you through the darkness. At times Mikkel reminded me of Midnight from Crimson Glory with his pure and passionate vocal lines.

There are a lot of strong musical expressions on the CD and I admit that my very favorite tracks comprised the earliest section of the record. “11 Dreams” and “Firesoul” are excellent and in each of them the band performs admirably. These guys are a talented bunch and it’s clear from this album. After this offering I feel that we are only seeing the start of what the group is capable of. It’s the kind of band that fans of Soilwork might really enjoy because it is very in your face like they are yet they also venture off into different musical feels that one does not always find in a Heavy Metal band. The use of keyboard is impressive and the appearance of them on top of the big harmonies the band introduces in choruses brings a lot of these songs to life very well. Keyboards are delivered with finesse by Mikkels Brother Morten. There are a couple of epic numbers running at 7 and 8 minutes each and the band does not get boring in them by any stretch of the imagination. One sometimes dreads the extended artistic expression for it can lose something by being too long. Time seems to fly by in the case of Mercenary.

The bonus tracks are different renditions of the song “11 Dreams”. I felt that the radio mix is pointless since radio people get their specific copy of the release but the 3-D mix is unique. I suggest you wear headphones for this one as the effect with the recording aspects is very interesting. This truly has to be one of the best Metal releases in 2005, and given it came to us in February this was not an easy judgment call to make. It has my highest of recommendations and I think many will be on the same page with me very early in their listen.

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

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: MERCENARY
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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