MERCENARY – 11 Dreams

MERCENARY - 11 Dreams


Century Media
Release date: August 23, 2004

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

This is my first encounter with this band, which as far as I’m concerned origins from planet Earth (I do not know which country on this planet, though). They perform a relatively varied form of Metal, which is centered around a base of Melodic (Swedish) Death Metal, but with parts leaning more towards both Skinny Bargirl sounding Black and more Gothic sounding Metal.

It’s a pretty ambitious project these guys have embarked upon both musically and lyrically; this seems very much like a concept album based on the title and the eleven tracks with (at times) political sounding titles; and they haven’t completely managed to pull it off properly. Five out of ten full-length tracks are seven minutes or more in duration, and substantial parts of the album come out as a bit anonymous, unfortunately.

Things start off very good, though, with a promising intro and “World Hate Center”, the title track, and to some extent “reDestructDead”, which all are among the more Swedish sounding tracks of the album. Cool riffs, well-crafted melodic choruses, pounding drums, and great lead guitars can all be found here. “Firesoul” too has a good chorus with cool falsetto vocals and a groovy main rhythm, as well as nice guitar fills, but the length (7:36) kills this track, as it does with several others. There are not enough hooks to hang on to, and the music just flies away without you really noticing.

“Sharpen the Edges” is maybe the most Power Metal sounding track here, with quasi-Geoff Tate vocals (sounds a bit like his Italian twin brother if he ever had one) during the calmer parts and choirs in the chorus. “Supremacy v2.0”, on the other hand, has a more modern touch to it, but unfortunately this tastes more like corn than Korn, to put it in a not-so-rice (nice?) way.

Metal has shown its true hit potential again, with bands like Nightwish, Metallica, and HIM paving the way, and the poppy “Music Non Stop” is probably Mercenary’s attempt at a hit single. This is way more Swedish-band-with-Noel-Gallagher-kind-of-hairstyle music than Heavy Metal, and although this would be okay if the song was good, but this song ain’t, and thus it becomes rather boring. Boring is also a word to use to describe the album’s next track: “Falling”. Once again, this song is too long, and fails to entertain.

“Times Without Changes” is a calm piano/synth-led ballad, very reminiscent of Evergrey, but unfortunately there is nothing along the way of Tom Englund’s voice nor compositional skills here. The main part/verse is not bad at all, but during the chorus the vocals fall through and the melody isn’t strong enough. “Loneliness” starts off good, with powerful vocals over interesting chord changes, and it also shows some potential throughout. The attempts at Black vocals are admirable, and the chorus has a nice drive to it. Again, imagine this track two minutes shorter …

In the end, there’s no doubt these guys have potential; they are great musicians (You’ll DIG the lead guitar sound!), the production is good, and at times they show good song writing talent, but please shorten your songs and focus more clearly on an own identity and include fewer ideas, please. Mercenary just isn’t capable of making Music Non Stop yet…


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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