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Mercenary - 11 Dreams (CD)

11 Dreams
by Makis Kirkos at 09 August 2004, 10:06 AM

Emerging initially in the '90s as a midpaced melodic death-thrash metal four-piece around songwriters Kral (bass & vocals) and Jakob (guitars), it wasn't until the year 2002 which saw Danish outfit Mercenary take a leap forward with the release of the album Everblack.
Recruiting additional clean-vocalist Mikkel Sandager and his brother Morten on keys changed the band's sound drastically towards a new and rather unusual combination of melody and aggression, which lead to praising media feedback all over the globe for their challenging and quality delivery.
Marking the debut of newly recruited drummer Mike Park and lead guitarist Martin Buus, the new Mercenary album 11 Dreams showcases a newfound band energy and crystal clear production courtesy of Jacob Hansen (Invocator, Raunchy, Hatesphere) as well as suitably atmospheric artwork courtesy of Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Naglfar).
Hearing Everblack a couple of years ago I thought this band can make it all the way and thank fuck I was right. Seems that the boys gradually evolved their sound into a fusion of diverse inspirations ranging from progressive and classic metal to (Swedish) melodic death metal. Balancing memorable atmospheric passages and choruses with equal amounts of drive and aggression, the band took a definite turn towards focusing on songwriting rather than plain riffing.
Multi-layered vocals and intricate ideas merge into simple, catchy song-structures, while delivering by far the band's most aggressive and powerful expression and production yet. By weaving a touch of almost symphonic Scandinavian melancholy into their particular blend of atmospheric aggression, Mercenary has blown my head off.
I can hardly find any highlights on this release, you know why? Because all the songs are too damn good, including a cover version of Kent's Music Non Stop. The mixture of these individual different approaches into an integrated whole, displays the band's development as songwriters and defines the uniqueness of Mercenary's sound. Great material, a really excellent album I can tell you that.
European Street Date: August 23rd, 2004.

4 Star Rating

Into the Sea of Dark Desires
World Hate Center
11 Dreams
Sharpen the Edges
Supremacy v2.0
Music Non Stop
Times Without Changes
Mikkel Sandager - Vocals
Kral - Vocals, Bass
Jakob Mølbjerg - Guitar
Martin Buus - Guitar
Mike Park - Drums
Morten Sandager - Keyboards, Pianos, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Century Media


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