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Mercenary’s 11 Dreams was a huge disappointment upon first listen and didn’t get any better on later listens. My first Mercenary release was The Hours That Remain and it was an excellent melo-death/power metal release, so I decided to buy 11 Dreams because of its high ratings. Unfortunately 11 Dreams fails at everything The Hours That Remain succeeded at weaker riffs, much less entertaining or emotional choruses, more simplistic and slower songs and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Mercenary’ style is quite unique on this release as well as on The Hours That Remain combining melodic death metal with power, progressive, and even some thrash metal tendencies. Unfortunately 11 Dreams doesn’t entertain nearly as much as it’s follow up and is boring on most of the songs. Each song is much more melodic and more mid- tempo besides the excellent album opener World Hate Center with its thrashy riff work.
Most songs are too long and repeat the same riffs too many times boring me out of my mind (if they were solid songs it would not be a problem). Keyboard usage is present though it only provides atmosphere and background notes.
The band’s performance lacks the passion and intensity of The Hours That Remain. Mikkel Sandager’s vocal performance is top notch he sounds like a mix between power and classic metal’s high pitch vocals with a lot of mid-range usage. Unfortunately Mikkel doesn’t use nearly as good choruses or his awesome screams/growls like on The Hours That Remain. The two guitarist’s play mainly uninspired lead work with much more of their attention focused on their equally boring mid-tempo riffs (the solos are good especially when they go semi melodic/shred happy). The bass guitar is somewhat audible only providing rhythm and not risking doing anything out of the norm (the bassist does provide background vocals though they are average). The drumming is great really showing what he would do on later releases, he uses lots of double kick bass and great fills throughout 11 Dreams. The keyboard just provides atmosphere and background effect.
Overall 11 Dreams is a highly disappointing release that could have been much better if, Mercenary focused more on the actual songwriting instead of writing something that is unique but of poor quality. Best songs are World Hate Center, 11 Dreams, Redestructdead, and Loneliness. I only recommend this disappointing release to big fans of Mercenary who just want to complete their collections.
-10points most songs are boring and are hard to listen to
-10 points uninspired songs with much more attention to uniqueness than quality
-10 points choruses and intensity is much weaker on 11 Dreams
-2 points 11 Dreams is much slower and lighter in terms of heaviness than on The Hours That Remain