Mercenary – 11 Dreams

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Reviewed: October 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Hailing from Denmark, Mercenary began in the 90’s then as a melodic death/thrash act with current members Kral (lead vocals, bass) and Jakob Mjölberg (guitar) plus two other guys. It wasn’t until 2002 that they were to take a huge leap forward with the release of the album EVERBLACK. Prior to that they had only released one MCD called SUPREMACY from 1996 and the debut album FIRST BREATH in 1998. EVERBLACK earned some really good reviews world wide and the band recruited the Sandager brothers to join them. One brother took care of the clean vocals and the other brother keyboard and piano. EVERBLACK brought them a deal with Century Media.

11 DREAMS sees more changes for the band as Mercenary took in a new drummer with Mike Park and the guitar is now handled by Martin Buss, making Mercenary a six piece. Jacob Hansen (Invocator, Raunchy, Hatesphere) produced the album and he’s done a really good job bringing out the best in these guys. The sounsdcape is very fresh and new and a lot of space is left to the keyboard, the guitar and the lead vocals. It sounds both hard and aggressive yet melodic in some parts. The album cover is done by Niklas Sundin (Naglfar, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity) and it looks like Century Media actually puts down some money for cover art.

What kind of music do these Danish guys plays then? The bio describes this as a mix between progressive classical Swedish melodic death metal with atmospheric passages and strong choruses, all this combined with a lot of aggression in the music and two singers. Usually I don’t agree with promotional bios but they have done a good description I think. I think these Danish guys have managed to really create their own sound with their heavy metal/melodic death metal. The music sounds a little melancholic on parts of the album but that’s just typical for us Scandinavians. They have help from a female vocalist and she adds some strength and depth to the music.

The title reveals how many songs there are here but I don’t know who’s written those songs. They have put down ten original songs and one cover of the Swedish pop song “Music Non Stop”.

This Danish act really impresses and I have nothing to complain about. The music is well played, they have nice arrangements, they have well written material and two singers that really take the songs to another level. They have really managed to create something new with their unique mix of melancholic Swedish melodic death/thrash/heavy metal. I can’t quite understand why they had to put two ballads on this otherwise stunning album and that drags down the rating some. They could also have done something more creative with the cover than just play it straight off as it is. But altogether this album is absolutely worth the money and I suggest you go and buy it straight away.


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Track Listing:
1. Into The Sea Of Dark Desires (intro)
2. World Hate Center
3. 11 dreams
4. reDestrucDead
5. Firesoul
6. Sharpen The Edges
7. Supremacy
8. Music Non Stop
9. Falling
10. Times Without Changes
11. Loneliness

Lineup:
Mikkel Sandager – lead vocals
Kral – lead vocals, bass
Jakob Mjölberg – guitar
Martin Buus – lead guitar
Mike Park – drums
Morten Sandager – drums

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