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World Domination really surprised me with how well it has held up over the years, but the same can't necessarily be said concerning Dreamcrusher. Another ancient review that needs to be revised, but this time I found myself putting it off because I couldn't find the motivation/spark to experience the album front to back again. This album is definitely a disappointment following the debut, but I still love more than a few of these songs. I just wish that Freyburg didn't try to sell out in such an overt manner, even though he pulls it off more often than not.
Furthermore, the clean vocals are seriously pushed to the forefront this time around, and they just don't sound very good at all. Freyburg's performance in this regard has always been spotty, but there are some real dud vocal lines scattered about, like whatever that caterwauling mess is on the refrain of the title track. Does it need to be layered in such an irritating fashion? Dan certainly has that whole nasal sneer thing going on, but something interesting struck me when I was listening to this again, particularly, how much it reminds me of Peter Tägtgren's Pain at times. The industrial/electronic effects remain strong throughout, although this time tailor made to propel the hooks forward as opposed to the more ambient approach on the earlier material. Puikkonen has always impressed me, and this streak is naturally continued here. When it fires off on all cylinders, Dreamcrusher is pretty enjoyable Soilwork worship, distilled through a slightly less alternative template. Songs often open with a true earworm hook, and return it to it to "cash in" multiple times throughout. "Silent Fall, "Save Your Breath" and "Like I'd Care" are all interchangeable in this regard, and are definitely worth checking out.
Then we get a few abnormalities, most notably the instrumental "Deep Under the Stones," which has enough cool keyboards to remain interesting throughout. "Lame" is pretty decent as well, sort of a halfway point between both extremes tinkered with on this album. I did find myself pining for more technicality and stronger individual riffs, and although Jukarainen is a superior drummer to Heikkinen, he only really tests himself on the opening of "P.I.B." I dunno... Dreamcrusher works well enough I guess, but I would definitely recommend World Domination over it. "Like I'd Care" is probably the greatest song here, so insanely catchy. Give it a whirl.