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Dreamtale are a peculiar act, plagued with numerous line-up changes over their career. I was interested in their first two releases, and I still spin those albums from time to time, although I lost interest in the band around the release of their album Difference, which I didn't really like and thus stopped caring. When World Changed Forever came out I heard a few good things, and felt it might be time to see how Dreamtale are doing.
I'd say relatively little has changed since their older albums, Dreamtale still play that sugary style of Finnish power metal, clearly taking their cues from the likes of Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, and Nightwish. I'm particularly reminded of earlier Nightwish here on World Changed Forever, with opener "Island Of My Heart" having a distinct Wishmaster vibe to it. Sadly keyboards largely take precedence over the guitars here, and I know this factor can be sore point for many. I can live with it, as the material is energetic and fun, although I would have definitely liked to see a little more than the open chords and pedaled route notes which comprise the majority of the guitar work.
The whole album is ridiculously cheesy and in your face, rainbows and candy canes rammed down your throat; you'd think with song titles like "Tides Of War" and "The Heart After Dark" they would be at least be the slightest bit menacing, but really World Changed Forever could make the happiest of power metal bands wince. At just under an hour, I do think this can get a little bit much, but for the most part I'd be lying if I didn't say the album was enjoyable.
Despite being undeniably fun (almost to the point of hilarity), I will say that the World Changed Forever is hideously derivative. I'll often mention that you'll have heard an album before, but not since Heavenly have I heard such blatant plagiarism. From the aforementioned Nightwish-worshipping album opener "Island Of My Heart", as well as further nods to Nightwish throughout, there are moments strewn across the album that you will swear you've heard from acts such as Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, Freedom Call, and even Finntroll.
Even with its flaws and overt saccharine, I still kind of like this one. The album is hardly going to change the world (ho ho ho) but it's a fun listen. This won't appeal to anyone outside of the power metal circles, but if you have a love for the more syrupy Finnish bands then I'd say World Changed Forever is certainly one to give a few listens. At its worst it will at least give a couple of laughs, and sometimes this kind of happy-go-lucky, keyboard-drenched power metal can be just the order of the day.
Originally written for http://www.metalcrypt.com