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Review: Mercenary - 11 Dreams
11 Dreams

Label: Century Media
Year released: 2004
Duration: 61:44
Tracks: 11
Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 25, 2010
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
11 Dreams

Rated 4.05/5 (81%) (20 Votes)

Album number three from genre-transcending Mercenary shows them hitting their stride as a band, reaching their creative pinnacle – fortunately enough it would turn out 11 Dreams wasn't the only ace up their sleeve. Forging the heavier, riff-laden side of Melodic Death Metal with the sprawling arrangement seen in Progressive Metal is the main idea of Mercenary's sound. Besides arrangements, the mix vocal styles too. For the most part the vocals stick to melodic much in the vein of Jacob Hansen (funny he produces and provides backing vocals on "Sharpen the Edges"), with raspy death vocals seen throughout – often the two styles of vocals are layered which works really well. The musicianship is top notch, everything handled very professionally. As aforementioned Jacob Hansen produces and mixes 11 Dreams, and as with anything the bloke has put his name to you just can't fault it – one of the best.

After the generic album intro, things kick off in superb fashion with "World Hate Center", boasting some downright furious riffage that never fails to get the head banging. Best thing is there's a lot of this kind of thing to be seen throughout the album – no matter how widespread the composition there's always a smoker of a riff around the corner. Throughout 11 Dreams acts like Disarmonia Mundi, Assailant, Scar Symmetry, Raintime, and Anubis Gate spring to mind – fans of any of these acts should definitely look into Mercenary. Personal highlights for me are the title track, boasting brilliant arrangement and composition – the verses are really cool, adding keyboards to great effect. "Redestructdead" is another highlight – the first proper three songs certainly stand as the best. However the magic isn't spent on these three tracks. "Supremacy v2.0" and "Falling" prove they can maintain quality throughout a full-length. The only real problem with 11 Dreams would be that at over an hour in length it feels longer than it should – and although nothing major, there is as slightly noticeable dip in quality towards the later half of the album. For the most part, 11 Dreams is a very good album that I have no problem recommending – it's the not the masterpiece some believed, but is still completely worthy of your money. Recommended.

Other related information on the site
Review: 11 Dreams (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
Review: Through Our Darkest Days (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
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