Mercenary
11 Dreams


4.0
excellent

Review

by Chrome54 USER (2 Reviews)
May 9th, 2007 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite some nagging flaws that keep it from true greatness, 11 Dreams is an excellent album with some amazing songs, worthy of your time and money.

Mercenary have remained a relatively unknown band in the melodic metal scene since their inception. Life really began for them in 1998 when they released their debut, aptly titled First Breath. The album was met with relative critical acclaim... at least if you could find a critic who had heard of them. The problem was that, at the time, melodic death metal was coming into its prime, and Mercenary just couldn't rise above to take their place among the bands in the higher echelons of the genre, such as your In Flames and Dark Tranquillity. For their 2002 effort, Everblack, they spiced things up. They hired a clean singer, which had the effect of giving their brand of music a Nevermore-ish flavor, something that fused well with their melodic death metal roots. Once again, that album was met with praise from the critics, or at least the ones who had the opportunity to hear them.

If Mercenary's life began in 1998 with First Breath, then they sure grew up fast, as their 2004 album, 11 Dreams, marked their ascension into adulthood. 11 Dreams is an album filled with a very mature brand of melodic metal. Everything comes together to create the mood that they aim for, be it the relentless pummeling of songs like World Hate Center, or the massive melodies of the title track, or even the slow, sludgy, doom-like vibe of Supremacy V2.0.

Where Mercenary excels most is making their instrumentation always feel like part of a greater cause. This is an album filled with great guitar riffs and awesome drum work, but it never comes off as being excessive, it always serves the song. The solos feel like natural extensions of the songs themselves, rather than something thrown in to fill time or show off.

Songwise, there are a good few highlights on this album. It all starts off with Into the Sea of Dark Desires, a keyboard based instrumental that I think we could have done without. However, that song leads into World Hate Center, a massive low end thrasher that will have you headbanging furiously. After that, they throw us a curveball and give us what I believe to be the best song of the album, the title track 11 Dreams. This song is all about melody. The instruments work together to create a sort of musical landscape, the sonic equivalent of a mountain range. The singer, meanwhile, is singing to you from the top of the highest peak.

Other highlights include Firesoul, a song with a distinctively Maiden-if-they-were-melodeath approach in the guitar work and vocals, and Supremacy V2.0, which is a slow brooding monster that somehow manages to sneak up on you and devour you whole. Music Non Stop is actually a cover, and it's where Mercenary shows they have a bit of a sense of humor, cause it starts off pretty quirky.

The biggest problem with the album is that, while the highlights are extremely strong songs, the others aren't so much. Some of the songs, such as Redestructdead and Falling, just aren't enough to hold your interest, and have you pressing the "Skip Next" button on your CD player, computer, or what have you. The songs have a certain sameness to them that's just too difficult to ignore.

Despite some nagging flaws in some of the songs, 11 Dreams is still a great album worthy of your time. This is music you can truly get lost in, for its magnitude and ambition.


user ratings (96)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
jrowa001
May 9th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent review for a top notch album. i bought this album just cuz my friend who is crazy metalhead told me to, and im glad he did.

NightHunteR
May 9th 2007


52 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Funny thing is I had almost completely forgotten about this album until recently, when a friend asked me for some recommendations and I told him about Mercenary. So I listened to the album yesterday after many months and visited the site to give it a rating.. and today i see a review pop up at the latest reviews on the front page! Great stuff, Mercenary fuse my two favourite metal genres - dark power [a la Evergrey, minus some progressiveness] and melodic death metal - so i totally dig it

kalkal50
May 13th 2007


2386 Comments


vocals kinda suckThis Message Edited On 01.26.08

Crimson
August 23rd 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Just got this album, superb.

ZapatoDiablo
August 23rd 2007


167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I agree with the reviewer, there are a few duds here. My favorite song has to be Sharpen the Edges. Good review--

Crimson
August 24th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I honestly don't feel like there are any duds in the album, at first I didn't like Sharpen the Edges but afer a couple more listens I liked it.
I even like 'music non stop', don't ask why, I just do.

ZapatoDiablo
August 24th 2007


167 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh yeah Music Non Stop definitely rocks. I'll go back and listen to it again this weekend on my sweet new JBL's . I think some of the vocal melodies just didn't grab me before (Loneliness, Falling).

Crimson
August 24th 2007


1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I love Loneliness

jrowa001
December 22nd 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the intro to this album is sick. decided to listen to this after a long break. forgot how badass it is

Xxplosive
December 12th 2008


126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album. But I lost it somewhere and I can't find it :/

KjSwantko
December 31st 2011


9446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album surprised the shit out of me, it's really good. Considered 4.5ing

Lunarcheese
February 14th 2012


33 Comments


MFW Redestructdead and Falling are my favourite songs on the album. the have the most awesome, thrashy, and crushing riffs on the album. If the riff at the end of Redestructdead doesn't get your head banging, there must be something wrong with you.

Scoot
February 14th 2012


17883 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fucking firesoul man

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

FrozenVain
February 15th 2012


2469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review!!

Firesoul is such a freaking terrific song. Gives me da chillz.



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