Mercenary - _11 Dreams_
(Century Media, 2005)
by: Aaron McKay (5 out of 10)
It seems like this new release is getting its fair share of critical acclaim; maybe more than they deserve. Arguably my seven years with Chronicles of Chaos might not count for much, but my lifelong passion for metal must on some level. Be that as it may, I'm still patently lukewarm on Mercenary's _11 Dreams_, released in February. I am not so blind as not to see the In Flames / Dark Tranquillity carry-over in their style, but that in itself is not an instantaneous checkmark in the positive column for a band.

While Mercenary carries the layered, multi-textured vocals from Mikkel Sandager forward on _11 Dreams_, they've evolved the less-than-captivating riffs from 2002's _Everblack_ into decent guitar work on this effort. Still falling short of spectacular, songs like "reDestructDead" offer a distinct glimmer of hope. The remaining ten cuts of the disc are purely hit and miss however.

Brother to vocalist Mikkel, Morten Sandager's keyboards present on the album are a worthwhile addition, as they are used appropriately in a complementary nature supporting the larger efforts of Mercenary's two guitarists, Jakob Molbjerg and Martin Buus. "Supremacy v2.0" is a good example.

On the whole, _11 Dreams_ should have been released without the addition of the highly discombobulated track eight, "Music Non Stop". It is as out of place as NARC at a NORML rally. While "Times Without Changes" is painfully slow and comes off like a piece from White Lion's _Mane Attraction_, the song behaves as a conduit to the energetically stimulated sound found on "Loneliness".

The disc comprises the debut on Century Media for this six-piece Danish outfit. The bottom line to this effort lies in a more mature approach to incorporating the vocals into a captivating song structure that could turn these eleven dreams into a fantasy instead of simply a nocturnal episode.


(article published 9/6/2005)

10/14/2006 K Sarampalis 9.5 Mercenary - The Hours That Remain
9/1/2002 A Lineker 6.5 Mercenary - Everblack
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