Mercenary

Rating: 92/100

Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen, August '04
Label: Century Media
Style: Dark Progressive Metal

11 Dreams

After reading a lot of great stuff about my fellow country-men from Mercenary I thought I would give them a shot. And after a short intro I was almost blown away straight away by the sheer intensity of the opening track: "World Hate Center", a fast and heavy track with mostly aggressive vocals - damn are they going to keep this pace all through the album .... not quiet, the opener represents their aggressive side of metal.

The title track follows - a classic power metal track like Evergrey could have written it, with wonderful clean vocals from Mikkel Sandager, excellent riffs, great guitar-solo and with the ever-present keyboards complimenting the song excellent.

One of my favorite song on the album has to be "Sharpen The Edges", which starts with a nice acoustic guitar and Mikkel's wonderful vocals, leading into a great gothic middlepart before finishing ugly (positive) almost black metal like.

Another track I have to mention is "Loneliness", which finishes off this more than an hour of great metal, and like on all the tracks on this album Kral and Mikkel is sharing the vocals to perfection, with Kral's aggressive approach complimented perfectly by Mikkel's clean voice. This track sort of represents everything Mercenary is all about, aggressive music with both clean and aggressive vocals, great guitar-riffs and soli, a tight rhythm section and subtle keyboards, always present never dominating.

This album is filled with high quality metal thru and thru, I have only one small complaint about the cover-version of Kent's (Swedish rock band) "Music Non Stop", which is a good cover-version in it own rights, but they should have put it on the disc at the end, because it spoils the flow of the album.

This is a total package with an excellent artwork done by Niklas Sundin (Dark Tranquility, In Flames etc.) and with Jacob Hansen taking care of the production, which is crystal clear and absolutely top-notch, then there is nothing but a shortage in your cash-flow, that should keep you from rushing out to buy this excellent album. This has to be the best release from a Danish band in a very long time, and really sets the bar very high for future albums from Mercenary.

Recommended tracks: "11 Dreams", "Sharpen The Edges" and "Loneliness"