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Swedes re-invented the steel in 90's, and saved the whole heavy metal genre. Classic heavy/power metal titans HammerFall were the ones to end the false metal reign. Power metal legions like Sabaton, Bloodbound, Saint Deamon, and the new classic heavy metal bands like Steelwing followed. Dream Evil is one of the followers too, but I wish I could say that they are as great as the bands I mentioned. In fact, they are not. This is not that bad, but it's not great at all. Almost every song, not just from this album, but from their entire discography is full of crappy lyrics, uninteresting ambient, unmemorable riffs, sometimes annoying singer's voice, specially when he sings like a girl. Niklas Isfeldt has really great voice, but if he sang more often like he sang in the song Back From The Dead from United album, that would be some major ass kicking.
Into The Moonlight, Chapter 6, No Way and The Book Of Heavy Metal (March Of The Metallians) are not just highlights of this album, but the highlights of their entire discography. Although they have only few more excellent songs from their other studio albums, this one has them most. These songs show great potential and the talent which band members possesses, but they lack creativity. Neither Gus G could have done anything better in a band where the band members don't work great as a team. Into The Moonlight is a hell of an awesome song which sounds like a battle anthem, with these powerful and blazing riffs, dark and doom symphonic background, epic drum pounding and excellent soaring vocals supported with strong backing chorus. Chapter 6 is darkened by the wicked organ and Gus' evil legato. It's really heavy and mainly fast song, but the tempo slows down a bit in some parts.
Other memorable excellent songs do not have any symphonic arranged parts. No Way is really heavy song, and singer sounds a bit like Ozzy Osbourne, can you imagine that? But Ozzy can only dream of singing like Niklas. Song is fast, it has excellent drum work, and guitar solo rapes. The Book Of Heavy Metal (March Of The Metallians) is the absolute highlight of this album, and first thing you will remember after listening to it. Why? Those monster heavy, unique and blazing riffs, incredible slow and fast tempo combination, insane vocals, specially when singer starts to scream like legendary Ralf Scheepers, are the answer. However, these four songs are not enough to make Dream Evil have special place in any book of heavy metal. The Enemy and Only For The Night are two very good songs which raise the rating of this studio album, but they could have been improved.
The Enemy could have had better lyrics, and singer could have done better job, while the rest of the song (riffs, tempo, ambient, guitar solo) is totally ok. The same thing for the song Only For The Night. The rest of the studio album is not memorable and anything special at all. That is the bitter truth, and that's the same thing with their other studio albums. There are few good riffs here and there, some good parts of the songs, but nothing worth mentioning. Chosen Twice is the only memorable mediocre song. It has strong chorus and great ambient, but tempo doesn't fit well with that, power chords are nothing special, lyrics have some painful parts to read and singer sounds lazy, and annoying when he repeats certain words in the song.
Good sides of this release:
This studio album has few, but monster mind-blowing songs. Band members have great ideas, talent and skills, but they lack creativity. Creativity is one of the most important factors.
Bad sides of this release:
Lots of mediocre songs, and few songs which could have been improved. Unfortunately this is not special classic heavy metal band. Sweden has much better heavy metal bands to offer.
Into The Moonlight, Chapter 6, No Way and The Book Of Heavy Metal (March Of The Metallians).
One thing I will definitely concede to this band, they picked a great album to name themselves after. Although one might expect this to listen like a Dio tribute band, the actual sound that Dream Evil puts forward is sort of a hybrid of “Screaming for Vengeance/Defenders of the Faith” era Judas Priest; early 80s Scorpions, and a strong helping of Saxon and Manowar worship. Niklas Isfeldt’s vocals are mostly a dead ringer for Klaus Meine, although he seems pretty capable of doing some Halford style acrobatics and can dirty his voice up more effectively than Joacim Cans, to whom he is often compared.
“The Book of Heavy Metal” was clearly the most hyped of their offerings, as it was difficult for me to visit any metal oriented website that gave credence to their genre that didn’t feature rave reviews of it. Suffice to say, if you are lactose intolerant, I’d suggest loading up on extra Pepto Bismol if you plan on giving this a try. Between the Metalium style metal worshipping lyrics and Gus G’s somewhat cliché rock riffs, you’ll either run in fear of having your manhood questioned by the elites, or become indoctrinated and party like it’s 1985.
The songs themselves are definitely catchy enough to have staying power, but I’ve heard this style done better 5 or more years before by equally competent acts, most particularly Axel Rudi Pell and Dungeon. If I had to pick the most worthwhile sing along anthems from this collection I’d go with “Into the Moonlight” and “Crusader’s Anthem”, the latter of which has that classic Heaven and Hell/Holy Diver rhythmic groove that consistently works and is almost impossible to screw up. Isfeldt’s vocals and a solid production carry most of weight on these and most of the rest of the music, and although Gus G takes a more restrained soloing approach than his work with Firewind he also gives a little extra punch to what would ordinarily be pretty generic cheese.
Some other songs are quite blatant tributes to other bands in both sound and subject matter. The title track is loaded with Judas Priest worship, perhaps a bit heavier than anything that exists in Priest’s Halford catalog, but the vocal work is clearly Painkiller inspired. Likewise, “Chosen Twice” sounds like one of those bombastic guitar harmony driven numbers the Scorpions were known for, while the closing ballad “Unbreakable Chain” can’t help but sound very similar to “Still Loving You”. I can’t fully knock them for their choices in influences, but sometimes these guys lose their own identity between their various chosen idols.
All in all, you can’t really go wrong with a band like this if you want a well packaged power metal sound with no apologies. Personally I’d check out Firewind for something a bit more exciting, more vocally and musically original and less concerned with paying lyrical homage to their genre. And if you still have room in your budget after checking them out, you’ll probably want to look into their first two releases, which present a good deal less pomp and a bit more intricacy in the riff and songwriting department.
Dream Evil is one of my favorite power metal bands, for some reason. A guilty pleasure, if you will. Their combination of catchy, powerful vocals of Niklas Isfeldt with heavy rock riffs, great drumming courtesy of Snowy Shaw of Mercyful Fate fame, and a full, modern sounding production that actually doesn't bother me too much here just...works for me. Dream Evil is the product of producer/bassist Frederik Nordstrom and (now ex-)guitarist Gus G, and this was their third outing. It gets shit on a lot for being too blatant, childish, and overly cheesy, and maybe it is all of those things. But I like this for the same reason I enjoy Edguy's 'Rocket Ride'---the fact that it is more fun then a fucking barrelfull of monkeys. Dream Evil may have outmatched the Metal Gods Manowar in terms of cheesiness and bluntness, but I like it anyway.
On this album, they took a new direction to their sound, going for a much more 'party-metal' oriented approach, and with about four songs out of the crop being dedicated to the greatness of metal/rock music. The songs are mostly midpaced with very heavy riffs for a power metal band (I take it that this is due to Snowy Shaw handling so much of the songwriting, as this is different from the other three albums they have), and all the instruments are played very well. Gus G.'s guitar shredding is amazing as usual, but here the riffs are much more rock-oriented, feeling slightly 'drier' then on previous releases. The choruses are arena rock fare, and they're quite a lot of fun, different from what I usually listen to at least. Some fans of more serious metal will be utterly repulsed by this goofy monkeying around, and it does have quite a lot in common with 80s hard rock, but if you just want a good time, then you should be able to listen to this without complaints or grievances.
The CD is pretty inconsistant, and that's what I don't like about it. We have some total killers like the title track with it's monstrous riffs and fun, singalong chorus, and the very solid and midpaced "Into the Moonlight." We then dip into mediocrity with "The Sledge", and then we get another good one with "No Way", which still isn't even THAT spectacular. We come up for a breath of air with the best fucking song the band has done to date, "Crusader's Anthem", a fantastic midpaced melodic number with a stomping, hypnotic chorus and some great somber guitar lines. It's also the most serious song, lyrically, they've ever done, and I wish they tried this more often. Alas, most of their songs have this really joke-y vibe, such as the next one, "Let's Make Rock", which is surprisingly my second favorite song here. It's cheesy, with extremely stupid lyrics, and it's remniscent of the dark side of 80s glam metal, but it's catchy and full of this...attitude, that I've come to love about Dream Evil's music. It's hard to explain in words, but these songs are just so damn full of themselves and so completely arrogant that you can't help but grin on hearing them. "Unbreakable Chain" is a good ballad, maybe a slight step above the rest of the ballads Dream Evil puts out.
We then descend into more filler-ish stuff with "M.O.M.", "Only For the Night", and "Chosen Twice" (a ripoff of "The Chosen Ones" from the debut, just weaker). "Tired" is pretty good, but it's not the best the band can do. While "The Mirror" isn't great, it's got a cool chorus and some surprisingly good lyrics (well, for this band at least). So, that's the real problem with this album...the songs are catchy and fun, but nondescript. Every Dream Evil album has been like that, with a few great tracks and then a bunch of fillers, but this album is by far the worst example and the least consistant to date. They could've done much better, really, as I don't see the point in having so many lackluster fillers on every damn album these guys put out. Try harder, please.
I like this album, though, as overall it's quite a fun listen. It might not be serious and it may not have philosophical, thought provoking lyrics, and maybe it's not kvlt and underground, but Dream Evil is the band I turn to when I want an easy listen, something that gets my head banging, my fist pumping, and puts a grin on my face. This album may be inconsistent, but I can overlook that, as it also has some of the band's strongest material. Highly recommended to Dream Evil fans and to those who can take a joke.
From the very first word on Dream Evil’s The Book of Heavy Metal, you know exactly what this band is all about. They care about two things, playing heavy metal and the preservation of metal.
Dream Evil is, of course, the brainchild of Fredrik Nordstrom, one of Sweden’s most prominent metal producers, having done work with In Flames, Dimmu Borgir and the Haunted. Dream Evil is basically Fredrik’s dream come true, an 80’s style power metal band who not only has all the heavy parts in place, but a certain flair for melody in their style as well. Thus, with a producer putting the band together instead of the members, Dream Evil almost seems like the metal equivalent of a boy band. The difference is though, unlike American pop boy bands, this collaboration of musicians doesn’t suck.
In their third album, The Book of Heavy Metal, they have certainly proved that they can riff, solo and scream with the best of ‘em! The album is a testament to the power of heavy metal, and the band’s obvious love for their preferred genre. The album won’t win any awards for its lyrics…
Let me hear - it loud and clear
A sound of steel that pierce my ears
This is my Achilles heel
I want an overdose of steel
A lasting first impression
right there I was crushed
By the sledge of rock (rock!)
But it’s clear that this band is truly talented and not together to write masterpieces that will be forever cherished as “classics”, but a band that just wants to get together and have a little fun with metal. A combination of songs that praise rock music, traditional 80’s style metal love songs and other similar styled songs draw a heavy influence from the works of classic rockers like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and the other metal gods from the time when metal ruled the airwaves.
The album begins with “The Book of Heavy Metal”, the album’s title track. It kicks off with a Halford-esque scream followed by a grinding, aggressive guitar riff that any metal fan needs to love. This will set the tone for the next twelve tracks you are about to hear. The song itself is simply about how the band wishes to only be remembered for one thing, to be written in “The Book of Heavy Metal”. It’s this kind of masochistic love of metal that makes DE (Dream Evil) truly “charming” in their music. The song itself is very catchy, aggressive and hokey all at the same time. If this song won’t get you hooked on the band, then I fear nothing will. For five minutes it hits you with its relentless metal assault, with a slow, driving beat, a high-soaring vocalist complemented with the aggressive roar of “In the book of heavy metal” makes for a wonderful balance that any fans of the genre should be able to at least get a little smirk out of, and it also happens to be my favorite song on the album and a nice one to use to hook your buddies into Dream Evil’s world of power metal. I know it hooked me pretty well.
The second track, “Into the Moonlight” is a traditional power metal romp. It starts with an aggressive riff and some nice complements. The song is cookie-cutter power metal at its best. Slow lyrics combined with an aggressive beat and a catchy yet beautiful refrain comprise this nice little tune. Not the best on the album, but certainly one of the tracks that will be stuck in your head when you’re done listening to the album.
On “The Sledge”, Dream Evil shows their true inklings. A short, fast, aggressive song about the band’s love of rock. This is quintessential Dream Evil. A nice headbanging rock that will have you yelling “ROCK!” in response to the refrain. It’s just a fun song, nothing more nothing less.
Two songs about how great rock music is in a row? Have I died and gone to metal heaven? “No Way” is another typical short and fast DE song, but that isn’t bad in the least bit. This song definitely has a throwback feel to it. With one of the best Ozzy Osbourne impressions I’ve ever heard with riffs and solos I could imagine being on a Megadeth album in the 80’s, Dream Evil truly shows off their devotion to their craft.
They turn it down a few notches on “Crusader’s Anthem”, harkening for a slower rhythm and a bit more technical sound than the previous frantic tracks. It’s a bass driven song that sounds like it could be taken from the Iron Maiden playbook. The lyrics are much more poignant and meaningful than the average DE song. Although at a only 4 and ½ minutes, this definitely has a more epic feel to it than the most other DE tracks with a strong, almost choral sounding refrain and a more melodic, emotional feel to the entire song.
With a title such as “Let’s Make Rock”, you should know exactly what you’re about to get. Almost sounding like a heavier version of earlier Kiss, this is another song which praises how great metal music is… do we see a trend here? This is just another simple track, but very catchy and will stick into your head long after it’s over. Surely after hearing this you’ll agree that “making rock” is a worthy pursuit.
“Tired” is the next track, and probably one of the best on the album. It kicks off with a nice solo that should have you headbanging immediately. After that, it turns into your typical 80’s love and loneliness themed song, but it’s got a great combination of quieter and heavier parts, and Niklas’ voice fits the song perfectly, along with their powerful backup vocals. The song also has some very nice guitar and bass work all through it. It really is a fine song.
The choirs of metal arise for “Chosen Twice”. Seriously, what is an 80’s metal CD without some track where a choir sings the refrain? This is one of the slower tracks, starting with a much more melancholy sound than the other songs on the album. It keeps the downtrodden feeling throughout the entire song and is probably one of the least energetic, but still aggressive song on the album. A much deeper, slower piece than most of the album. It’s really strays from the rest of the album, and is a unique track. Not one of my favorites, but something that will appeal to more prog metal crowds than the rest of the album.
“M.O.M” is your heavy metal war anthem, in the tradition of Accept’s “Balls to the Wall”. A classic progression of vocals/guitar/vocals/guitar and a catchy war cry of “Are you a man or a mouse?” and this old school metal romp is complete.
“The Mirror” is another excellent track, and definitely one of my favorites. It begins with a deceptively calm tone before the song breaks out into its metal fury. What proceeds is a plethora aggression, anger, self doubt and metal. I believe this song has more emotion in it than most of the others on the album. From the tone of Niklaus’ voice to the almost haunting guitar solo, this song is definitely one to remember.
An awesome riff starts off “Only for the Night”, but don’t be fooled, this is another one of their kinder, gentler pieces. This song is a nice mix of slow, calm, soothing heartfelt music and vocals followed by a high soaring refrain. Everything about this song sounds very sincere. It’s a very nice example of how the theme of a song doesn’t have to be aggressive just because it’s metal.
The album, in this reviewer’s opinion, ends on more of a whimper than a crash though, as “Unbreakable Chain” pulls the album to a close. After 11 tracks of the best tribute to 80’s style power and thrash metal, I don’t think this slower, calmer monster ballad does the band or the album justice. It does have a few heavy parts, but if this song had appeared early on in the album, I think it may have been more effective. Ending the album with this song just doesn’t feel like the proper final chapter to The Book of Heavy Metal.
Overall, this album is a testament to how a positive sound can come from the general negative energy of heavy metal. These guys just sound like they want to have fun and rock, and that’s where my true attraction to this album comes from. It’s just a fun album to pop into your CD player, get a few smirks from the lyrics, sing along with some of the cool ones and bang your head to. It’s not the most technical, heavy or intense album to come out this year, but it’s just good fun rock & roll.
Well, this latest album from Dream Evil has got me scratching my head. Is it the same band doing all these songs? The vocalist sounds like four different people in one. The Book has chapters of party rock (Let’s Make Rock, Only For the Night), traditional metal (title track, No Way) and power metal (The Mirror). When you open the booklet, these guys look so tough and metal and … something else. That face paint really ruins their image, dear Lord I am gonna puke, just had a Mudvayne flashback.
The opening title track is a thumping mid-paced Ac/Dc-like headbanger, also released as a single. The guitars rip the place apart, then there is a nice break with “to be or not to be”. The vocalist delivers so much power in his voice and electricity in his screams detonate on impact with the speakers. “Metaaaaaaalllll”. Fuck yeah.
The spectacular entries are the ballads. They have a similar vocal delivery and here is where Dream Evil demonstrate their uniqueness. Crusaders’ Anthem – catchy anthemic track with slow pace picking up into a sing along chorus. This is a song that will be most likely to stay with you after the first listen. Two tracks down- Tired, opens up fast, again the instruments slow down for the verses, and reappear at the chorus. Really catchy stuff, the vocals carry both tracks, a la Avantasia. Also, the closer Unbreakable Chain – this one is a pure ballad, with soaring vocals and instruments somewhere in the background, however the whole thing is so well orchestrated that it turns out as the epic track on the album.
The album is consistent; there are no glaring skippers. It sometimes does feel that some tracks do not belong due to different vocal styles adopted and due to not bad music in places, just a mediocre and pedestrian one (see party rock tracks). The overall result is that the gut-wrenchingly beautiful is placed so close to simplistic and a little too simplistic, and right now I am pissed off at what could have been.
Recommended, I am left intrigued with Dream Evil and will check out more of their work.
By now I'm sure you know who Dream Evil are but just in case you don't I'll say this, cheesy metal with big name metal producer Fredrik Nordstrom, ex-Mercyful Fate/King Diamond drummer Snow Shaw, and guitarist of a million bands Gus G.
This new album is the obvious progression for Dream Evil. The band started out on Dragonslayer in 2002 playing straight up power metal with moments that harkened to the 80's that was much too cheesy for some (Heavy Metal Jesus anyone?). Last year the band came out with their new album, (less than a year since the first was released) Evilized, which pushed the more traditional 80's metal elements to the forefront, sounding less like Hammerfall and the like. Now here we have The Book of Heavy Metal, there is NO power metal here. Yes, that's right, none whatsoever.
This album is pure straight up 80's heavy metal. Think early 80's Judas Priest, with a heavy leaning towards British Steel with some touches of Manowar and Def Leppard (most notably the track Let's Make Rock). The lyrics are still cheesy as all hell too, I mean just look at Let's Make Rock, The Sledge, and the title track. The cheese isn't really a bad thing and I know I never hated that element of their music but I know MANY people who find the cheese element too overpowering.
Another thing to take notice of with this album is the lack of speed. There are no fast double bass songs here. For some this might make things a bit boring but there is still dynamics on the album and it never feels like the songs are running together.
I think this review is long enough already but just to give a bit better idea I'll say that with this album you will get a solid heavy metal album. From Judas Priest to Ozzy (some of the vocals in No Way) to even a touch of arena bands (Let's Make Rock).
It's a good, no frills heavy metal album that you can lose yourself in, headbang, and feel the power of metal.
Dream Evil was my favorite power metal band back in 2002 when they released their debut Dragonslayer. They used to be an heavy/power metal type band wiho would differentiate itself from other such bands by their impeccable musicianship and especially their vocalist Niklas Isfeldt who would sing much lower than most power metal vocalists (read: Hammerfall's, Blind Guardian's, Stratovarius', etc.) Their sound evolved into an heavier form with Evilized and pursued a similar direction with The Book of Heavy Metal.
The title is not lying, this album is real heavy metal, the underlying powerish side of the band resurfacing only in the few ballads. Other anthems like 'Let's Make Rock' and 'The Sledge' go all out worshipping classic 80's heavy metal. What is there else to say? They stick to the tried and true formula and dish out some solid songs album after album. Accomplished drummer Snowy Shaw keeps it interesting (especially in 'No Way'), guitarist and producer Nordstrom knows how to make every instrument sound clear and this is how this kind of music sounds best. Gus G rips out some interesting solos. He may be the only young member of the band but he sure sounds as experiences as the rest.
So while this band really impresses me with the quality of the guitars and drumming, I'm a little disappointed that Isfeldt is singing higher than in the previous albums in the Book (though he keeps it varied - he has a nice range), and it doesn't look like the band has someone with a talent for writjng lyrics - they're as cheesy as ever. Not necessarily in a bad way though as Dream Evil are obviously not taking themselves seriously and are just about playing solid classic heavy metal like very few bands play anymore today. They're not better than Priest or Maiden or Jag Panzer on Ample Destruction, but it's always nice to hear a fresh new band playing heavy metal like it should be played.
Overall, this loses points for having so many ballads but this just means there's room for improvement and as long as Dream Evil churns out some of these solid riffs and melodies they can count on my support. I wouldn't say that the Book is an essential of its genre but it's an album that anyone who likes classic and power metal should get - I don't see anyone being disappointed.
I dont know how I got hold of a copy of this album so far before its apparent release date, but I did.
Ive never been a huge fan of power metal...more of a black metal or thrash metal fan myself...but when this came into my hands and I stuck it into my CD player due to pure intrigue...."METAAAAAAAL" blared from the speakers and sounds reminiscent of Pre-Horror Show Iced Earth and Jag Panzer stuck in my mind.
Singing of Heavy Metal and the life the music makes in its first track "The Book Of Heavy Metal" is cheesy, but its the kind of cheesy that makes you smile and be damned thankful youre a heavy metal fan. the guitar solo, and expect alot of them throughout the album, is excellent on this track, much like the other tracks and it blares through the speakers in a fashion that you will either love or hate.
Songs such as said track and "Sledge Of Rock" are pure, unadulterated tributes to the heavy metal genre, Iron Maiden may have lay the walkway for these Swedish power metallers, but they are without a doubt set to light that walkway on fire with their sledges aflame.
If you like Power Metal, the odd Metal ballad and a full on guitar solo or 8 then this is for you, if you however are more keen on the screaming and riffing of Disgorge, Skinless or Pig Destroyer then stay well away. This CD opened my eyes up to Power Metal, I like it alot...I mean its no "In the Nightside Eclipse" but its not meant to be..this is meant to get your head banging, your pulse racing and your air guitar playing at high speed.....ROCK ON MOTHERFUCKERS!