Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 2/8/2005
posted on 12/2004 By:
Has anyone else noticed that all the bands coming out of Denmark seem to be merging together with the same sound? Along with Illdisposed's latest release, bands like Mnemic and Raunchy all share similar qualities, incorporating epic melodies into their music while using synth/keyboard tracks. Odd that there seems to be an influx of these bands - perhaps Danish metal will become such a mainstay that the term might even stick. Although this album has been out for a fair while, the US release of 11 Dreams comes with the title track edited for radio, and also mixed in the three-dimensional audio format.
Highly progressive, Mercenary draw influences from bands like Soilwork, In Flames, Nevermore, Sentenced, and pretty much anything Scandinavian and influential, as well as ocassionally throwing in a bit of thrash. Shifting back and forth between aggressive and anthemic, they're basically playing melodic death metal with traditional heavy (almost power) metal leanings. After a shaky instrumental introduction, "World Hate Center" makes a dramatic entrance with it's dual guitar melodies and backing keys. The vocals sound like a chorus of angry and overproduced goblins, while the drumming has a mechanical feel to it. The clean sung part, handled with plenty of talent to spare, is ironically only a few notes away from the chorus of Ozzy Osbourne's "Perry Mason". The basswork contributes to the song structures, deviating from the standard rhythm guitar back-up that so many bands seem to enforce the role of. To give an indication of how great the musicianship is, the guitarwork is first-tier concerning skill, rivaling even a lot of solo artists who rely strictly on their ability to sell albums. The title track, utilizing some of the more powerful and stable clear vocal-work i've heard in a while, is written fantastically. There's obviously a reason there's a radio edit for it, included. Taking the best parts out of Swedish death metal and combining them with forcefully sung high-pitched parts, "Firesoul" even houses a few great solos.
The thing I'm probably most displeased about concerning 11 Dreams is the volume of the synthesizers. While usually decent, at times they're overpowering and draw attention away from the rest of the instrumentation. Otherwise, everything sounds phenomenal. Some of the vocals border on Europe quality in terms of cheese, like on the cover of Kent's "Music Non-Stop" and the almost power-ballad, "Times Without Changes".
I'm also bothered over the fact that while it's cheesy and Danish, it's not a cheese danish creatively packaged, with cover art by Dark Tranquillity's Niklas Sundin.
I salute Century Media for signing Mercenary. Although 11 Dreams is an album I would expect to come out on their label, it's more of the quality that caused them to be noticed by the rest of the world in the first place. Although personally, I'm unhappy with the ratio of clean sung and easy listening passages to the truly heavy parts, it's hard not to recommend this record. It's definitely something to be proud of. Fans of the aforementioned bands should take notice.
Register to post comments.