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The third studio album by mercenary is nothing new regarding the alluring quality they have produced in their first two full lengths. After some great feedback from the metal music community, and achieving a mass number of fans, this album came up the way everyone was expecting; very melodic, catchy and progressive. Though, it was the bend point when mercenary started to turn their style to more power melodic death. However, there is either progressive element here enriched the release and made it a standout among the typical melodic death metal releases. The production here is very good. 11 Dreams has been recorded at Lund and Hansen studios, and managed by the mastermind Jacob Hansen, which he did a remarkable job. The instruments are well heard individually and the sound is so clean, leaves you listening clearly and just focusing on the music.
Instrumentally, this is very unique for several reasons; one of those reasons is definitely the vocals. They could be described as one of the best performances so far. You might wonder why? Actually, because this is like you’re having Pyramaze and withering surface at once. Mikkel and Kral can do this job perfectly. Mikkel’s powerful straightforward singing leaves you amazed, combined with Kral’s deep and aggressive growls will smash you off, creating great back to back job throughout the album. The songs Firesoul, Redestructdead and 11 Dreams are some unique examples. Also to mention the additional sweet female vocals, particularly in the track Firesoul performed by Monica Pedersen the former vocalist of “Sirenia”.
The other instruments are fairly competent here. The guitars are very melodic and catchy, highlighted by great solos. Everyone has a big hunger to enjoy powerful solos right? So definitely this release is the best place to feed up this lack. The guitar solos here are great and majestic and added significant thatch in each track. One of the best are the ones on Loneliness, Supremecy v2.0, Redestructdead, and the top of the top is the one on world hate center from 04.11 to 04.43, fairly it has caused me goose bumps. The bass is a very good contender here as well; Kral is as his brutal voice as his brutal bass lines, makes this album very enjoyable for extreme music fans. Park Nielsen is one of my favorite drummers, and his doing a significant role here, double bass drumming and an awesome percussion through. The keyboards are beautifully added without encroaching in the music, left in background and supporting the other instruments. Morten provide us great piano melodies, to cite some examples: Firesoul, 11 Dreams and Times without changes, in addition to driven atmospheres fits incredibly with the sound made.
That's being said, mercenary guys have showed the world that they are one of the best metal bands in the last decade. They are skilled and have great lineup to reach the highest levels of professionalism. Unfortunately, 11 Dreams was the last effort of Kral with the mercenaries; indeed it’s very big lost to the band and to the fans that have enjoyed his unique vocals throughout his career. However this release is essential for every metalhead. Give yourself a “chance” and buy this masterpiece as soon as possible, and if you don’t, then you are punished by nature, because this is more than just a melodic death metal band you hear everyday.
Written for Encyclopaedia Metallum 16-03-2010