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Savage Circus - Dreamland Manor - 74%

padshiyangel01, June 14th, 2011

One of the main discussions that can occur is considering the possibility of two or three bands jamming together, and what would emerge. They could be as crazy a combination as Public Enemy and Anthrax, or they could be slightly more realistic like the birth of Savage Circus. The creation of (now ex-)drummer of Blind Guardian, Thomas Stauch, this debut also includes creative input from Persuader and Iron Savior. On paper, it sounds like a sensible suggestion, if executed correctly...

So what is to be expected? Power-metal riffs flying everywhere, keys either matching them or setting the atmosphere in the background, with galloping bass and pounding drums to keep the rhythm going. And that's exactly what this album delivers on most of the tracks. Strong opener “Evil Eyes” exemplifies this, and Stauch's choice of Jens Carlsson immediately becomes apparent due to his ability to sound almost identical to Hansi Kürsch. To give him credit, though, he does showcase a range of styles taken from his own band as well as Blind Guardian, most prominently in “Between The Devil And The Seas”.
Unfortunately, the lyrics could do with a little reworking. I realize that power metal lyrics generally delve into the realm of fantasy and magic, but lines such as “I close my eyes and I make a wish/Bring me home to Tomorrowland” do not lend much credibility to the band. That said, the delivery makes the lyrics a lot more bearable than solely reading them.

From the first to last moment, this band do not beat about the bush in wearing their respective bands on their sleeves, although in terms of production the drums come out strongest in general. The rhythm guitars are occasionally lower in the mix, although the leads and solos come through well. Bass, as can be expected, does not make much of an appearance aside from during “Tomorrowland” and the solo section of “Beyond Reality”, but gets the job done elsewhere too.
Not being overly familiar with Iron Savior, I can't speak much for Piet Sielck and Yenz Leonhardt, although their guitar- & bassplaying fit in smoothly with the others, there's never a moment of clashing.

When not galloping along at high speeds, the band do slow down half-way through with a semi-ballad. Laden in orchestral and acoustic sections, and with a slightly lackluster performance from Carlsson, this song ends up being one of the more forgettable ones on the album, lost amidst the faster-paced ones. Also interesting to note is the transition throughout the album from a Blind Guardian influence to a Persuader one, the ballad marking a turning point.

Aside from the slight lack of originality in the album, there are a couple of things that stop me from truly falling in love with this project and keep it to an occasional spin when in the mood. Firstly, the production really does get overbearing on the drumming front, especially on “Ghost Story”. There's also the factor of song length, and sometimes I find myself impatiently waiting for a repeat chorus to end, or for the extended drum outro on “Born Again By The Night” to end. Even my favorite track, “When Hell Awakes”, is marred by these problems, although they don't stop me from headbanging along.

So in short, if you are an avid fan of either Blind Guardian or Persuader, and need something to tide you over, then this will surely appeal to your musical taste buds. For an avid fan of the genre, give this album a try as a worthy addition to your collection. For a casual fan looking to get into this sort of power metal, check out the original bands instead for something more authentic.

Originally found on:

I still prefer the original, sorry guys - 50%

Tio_Mac, May 26th, 2010

I'm a big fan of Blind Guardian's earlier years, I have first to admit that. Since I heard news of Thomen moving on to do something he was happier with musically speaking and was recruiting two Persuader members I was expecting something good to listen to, even though I wasn't prepared for this in any possible way.

The things I like about Savage Circus are obviously at sight knowing I love Blind Guardian's first six releases, and that's of course the similarities in the sound between the two bands. Jens' vocals are really good, really in the style of Hansi, but hell, even though they had Thomen in the band at this moment they're not Blind Guardian, just pretty much a look-alike thing.

The riffs, the solos, the easy sing-along vocal lines and choruses, the energy, the power... They're there, but the context lacks the magic of the original phormula. A masterful execution still can't match the spirit put on by Blind Guardian in any of their releases before 2002. Anyway, some certain moments of the album send shivers down my spine thinking back of the glory days of Blind Guardian when I listen to "Between the Devil and the Seas" or "IT - The Gathering" to set a few examples. Even the production imitates the one made by Fleming Rasmussen in the now far "Imaginations from the Other Side" which I still refer as one of my capital albums of all time.

Maybe, just maybe, if I was fourteen (as I was when I listened to Blind Guardian first time) I would have loved this album. This is certainly not the case. Even though I like it and I can give a thumbs up for the effort and because of some elements of "Dreamland Manor" I really like, I still rather buying the original stuff than the carbon copy (and this one is really good).

I wish Blind Guardian were still doing this kind of albums.

Execution makes up for lack of innovation - 70%

Twistedeyes, April 25th, 2010

Savage Circus, a band featuring very competent musicians from Iron Savior, Persuader and Blind Guardian. Dreamland Manor sounds exactly how you would think it does. A mixture of Iron Savior and Persuader, a vocal style by Jens Carlsson which is a bit toned down, not as aggressive nor as good as his excellent Persuader/Dark Empire work and of course lots of Blind Guardian mannerisms that Thomen carried over from that band.

This is definitely a power metal album that doesn't try to hide that fact. It splits the difference between the heaviness of your typical German and American power metal bands, having quite catchy/melodic chorus but and being quite fast and aggressive for this genre at times. If you have had heard any of Blind Guardian's first five albums just think of power metal infused with speed elements styling they have shown you there and you will have the groundwork of this album under wraps.

Now everything on Dreamland Manor is performed at top execution and musicianship. There are some fantastic segments e.g the solo in Evil Eyes, incredible catchy chorus of Waltz of the Demon and many more noteworthy parts, but there isn't much in the way of new and unique ideas in the mix. It gets to the point where they either try to purposely or they subconsciously emulate several elements of Blind Guardian albums most specifically Somewhere Far Beyond and Imaginations From the Other Side e.g rhythm/lead guitar tones and ideas, identical backing vocals and of course the drum work of Thomen Stauch. Lyrical themes and even some of the lyrics themselves have either been directly lifted or spliced with some their own original lyrics as well e.g Blind Guardian's Black Chamber and Savage Circus's Between the Devil and the Seas.

Vocally I think Jens Carlsson doesn't sound like a Hansi Kursch clone in Carlsson's other band endeavors, I mean they were comparable at closest there but here I will perceive the point of his vocal delivery was to resemble Kursch as much as possible due to the calmer tone and multiple layered vocal parts.

If you're looking for high quality power metal and are a fan of any of the other bands that Savage Circus members have been in then you would benefit from a listen of Dreamland Manor. The glaring problems that make this not get a much higher rating are lack of uniqueness and inability to find it's own musical identity but if you can get past those issues then you have much to look forward to. The execution in Dreamland Manor makes up for it's severe lack of innovation.

Savagely Entertaining - 81%

DawnoftheShred, February 18th, 2009

Power metal is kind of dead to me. Most of the old-style bands (Blind Guardian, Yngwie Malmsteen, Manowar, Helloween) have fallen into redundancy, making way for a lot of new-style bands that have never known anything but redundancy (Masterplan, Edguy, Twilightning). But every once in a while a fresh face comes along and delivers a nice performance that gives me hope for the genre. In this case, it’s Savage Circus. They don’t deliver anything new on their debut, Dreamland Manor, but what they do deliver is solid.

For a latter-day power metal release, Dreamland Manor is surprisingly intense. Rather than utilize the power of modern production to cover up their own inadequacy (as a lesser band might, see Demons and Wizards), Savage Circus use it to add an extra layer of brutality to their already devastating sound. “Brutal” and “devastating” are not typically words used to describe music by a band that features elves and goblins on their album covers, but they’re fairly applicable here, making Masterplan sound like Whitesnake by comparison. Guitars and drums are the predominant instruments in the mix, while keyboards are less so. There’s a fair amount of integration present in the form of harpsichord, violin, and other effects, but the songs rely on the rhythm section and the vocals. Speaking of vocals, Jens Carlsson strikes me as a second-rate Russell Allen, but he does manage to pull his weight and covers a broad range while maintaining a darker tone than many of his peers. This helps to legitimize some of the more derivative lyrics and upkeep the image that this isn’t your average power metal group.

But really, this album is a treat for guitarists and drummers. Thomen Stauch is a monster behind his kit and the production lets every hit rattle around in your head, while Emil Norberg and Piet Sielck’s classically inspired riffage is both intimidating and ear-pleasing. The songs produced by this group are also ear-pleasing in that while they never overstep the bounds of what is acceptably power metal, they manage to be genuine. The band has their own sound, despite bearing similarities to other genre mainstays, and a lot of times it resembles old video game music (a lot of Mega Man melodies come to mind), which for me is always a good thing.

That the lyrics are predictable and the choir vocals get a bit annoying are about all I can complain about this release, which means it’s pretty fucking good. Perhaps not a legendary album, but how many of those do you find that were released in 2005 anyway? Definitely worth looking into.

*DISCLAIMER* - I'm not familiar with later period Blind Guardian, so if this album's sound is copped directly from their stuff, I apologize for the high score.

The EPITOME of Power Metal !! - 99%

Emporium, May 23rd, 2008

Recently registering, though by no means a novice in the metal evolution (with 20 wasted years of metal mania), I had to meticulously select a special album for my first review.. I hope it doesn't suck...

Simply put, Dreamland Manor is one of the BEST albums in the history of power metal.. The talented quartet speaks the ultimatum of power - the catchy melodies of Blind Guardian, the insane intensity of Persuader, and the clean riffs of Iron Savior..

This album is a mixture between speed and power metal but the power metal section is more dominant than the speed metal section There are no highlights in this album. Every song is a masterpiece. The first 30 seconds of Evil Eyes covered me in sweat from head to toe. I knew this was no ordinary album. Between the Devil & the Sea pumps the adrenaline into every vein as you hear Carlsson's screams touch every nerve in your brain. It's needless to go on complimenting every song as they are flawless.. with special mention to Born Again By the Night - an all-time favourite with perhaps the best chorus in the album..

I only disagree with SC being the clones of BG.. Though there are similarities, I must say, albeit shyly, that I find SC more direct and less meandering through various musical compositions with their riffs more powerful than BG's. Looks like Jens has found his perfect buddies - His voice cuts are better than Persuader's.

In short, this is a must-have-die-if-you-don't piece of art

Everybody loves NEVERLAND RANCH! - 12%

cinedracusio, January 23rd, 2008

Has Jacko turned power metal? I'd rather say that power metal has turned Jacko! Not only Jacko, you just have to wait to hear worse.

First time I saw the Savage Circus name, I saw laudative reviews. And again. And again. And again. I hadn't listened to power metal for some time, since I was fed up with Sonata Arctica, Rhapsody and other titans of metal. Thus, my curiosity determined me to give this album and this band a try.

And it felt like my ears had to swallow a Winnie bear with a giant fake dick. I had given up on power metal because it became too artificial and perfectly conceived for my taste. And this time it was even more horrendous. That crystal clear recording, THAT chick gazing at my hairy chest from the album cover, those themes derived from Peter Pan, granted to have a lethal dose of success when speaking of Swedish-looking rock disco predators or young girls who got subjected to rape tactics at least three times.

I deeply apologise if I wasted some space with this paragraph, but it is just the beginning. The content, which is the music itself, is nothing else than power metal. The guitar tone is very well-balanced and the rhythm guitarist's performance is flawless, while the riffs could play a key role in contemporary Pokemon/Eurovision-inspired productions. Speaking of riffs, Savage Circus (and their brethrens they emulate) are unparalleled masters. I mean, when they play, they play Cindy Lauper stuff, and when they play menacingly, they play crap. It is nothing remarkable, just dramatic and nonsensical fantasy build-ups. Waaaank thiiiis waaaayyyyy...

Which is the blandest species of drummer on planet Earth? Why, of course, it's the power metal Robocock! All the pedals that a human could fill in and the neverending story of the militaristic stop-start and start-run till you die time signatures are included within his memory stick, along with the slammin' heavy metal bonus! Not a trace of innovation! And Robocock doesn't even do Robocoke, it would've sounded better!

The keyboard sound was and is awful. Awful, when talking 'bout those freakin' keys, means that you boast the standard pop stuff, and some "mean" synth effects bring the ultimate stink in a music that was anyway irritating.
And the castratus (or should we say castratis, cause there is more than one voice) in this truck of poop is the tough guy who wants to fly towards Valhalla or fuck knows what unearthly environment and save the blonde chick from a nigger's boner. Lyrics like the ones in Tommorowland are extremely relevant for this aspect.

Aside from the faultless musicianship, you won't find trace of anything artistic or authentic in this. It's programmed, politically and economically correct, it's made to sell and grab the attention of people who have no idea about what art or music should be. There is a fine line between professional musicians who follow a trend, and musicians who may be not as professional or skilled, but want to show something truly original.

Not bad, but what's the point? - 55%

L_H, January 8th, 2007

Every now and then, there are albums that don't really do any wrong, but somehow still completely fail do do any right at the same time. This is one of them.

Savage Circus is, as we all know, the new band of Thomen Stauch of Blind Guardian fame which went public shortly after his leaving the band due to musical differences. With this band he wanted to return to the style he had been playing back in the 90s, mid-90s in particular. Joining him are the singer (who happens to be a Hansi soundalike, albeit not half as trained and versatile as the original) and lead guitarist of Persuader, a swedish Power Metal band that had been doing - surprise, surprise - much the same thinh for a few years (albeit, so I found, not very well). Comparisons with Thomen's former band are thus not only inevitable, but also perfectly justified.

And, well, to be frank, it doesn't compare. It sure manages to sound totally like circa "Somewhere Far Beyond"-era Blind Guardian, with the odd leaning to "Imaginations..." here ( "Tommorowland", "Between the Devil and the Sea") and a little nod to "Tales..." there ("Evil Eyes", most notably). It's all heavy, ballsy Power Metal, generally catchy and singalong, with the odd Speed Metal tendencies. The singer does remind one a lot of Hansi, although he does not have his range and certainly not his soft voice for ballads - pretty much, he is used to the gruff, mid-ranged shouting of Hansi's, which he does very well, but cannot do much else.
There are some moments where this even sounds too overtly like some of the early Blind Guardian albums - for instance, the melody to the chorus of "IT - The Gathering" is totally taken from "The Last Candle", and I'll be damned if the intro riff to "Evil Eyes" doesn't remind me of one "Lost in the Twilight Hall".

Yes, this is totally 90s Blind Guardian, except for one thing - it's just not anywhere near as good. While Thomen and Company can certainly pull off the style, they cannot manage to go beyond decent, fun singalongs and up to the songwriting brilliance and sense of melody portrayed by, say, "Imaginations from the Other Side", "Bard's Song" or "Traveller in Time", to name but a few. This is more or less overt throughout the album - most definitely so on the ballad "Beyond Reality" which is five minutes of going nowhere and not even so much as on the same plane of existence as *insert any Blind Guardian ballad here*, failing to conjure the mystic atmospheres of medieval fantasies that Hansi has gotten us so used to expect. This particular release manages to be completely useless, not by virtue of sounding shitty, but rather by being a carbon copy of something indefinitely superior.

By having set itself up for the comparison through being stylistically identital without so much as a tiny grain of difference, this album sets itself up for the question: What does it have that should make me listen to it, rather than putting on "Somewhere Far Beyond", "Imaginations From the Other Side" or "Tales From the Twilight World" for the however many hundredth time?


A new manifesto for Power Metal. - 94%

hells_unicorn, September 8th, 2006

As we reach the halfway point of the first decade of the new millenium, the world of metal is enjoying the threshhold of a renaissance. This began when a series of older bands and musicians began recruiting talent from the younger generation of the metal faithful and forming alot of new bands, as well as some of the new generation taking the initiative themselves. Savage Circus represents a unique combination of these two developments in the world of metal.

As far as the band itself is concerned, it is essentially a coalition of 4 highly skilled musicians, 2 of them rank veterans, the other 2 are relative newcomers. Piet Selick, Iron Savior frontman and veteran producer, does a good deal of the ground work on here as well as some of the brilliant lead themes that dominate the content of this album. Thomen Stauch makes an incredible racket on his set, taking us back to the glory days of "Somewhere Far Beyond" and "Imaginations from the Other Side", as well as offering up some of the earliest compositional works on here such as "Beyond Reality" and "Evil Eyes". Emi Norberg, younger brother of Nocturnal Rites axeman Nils Norberg, shreds it up and rips out a beautiful melodic line with the highest of intrigue. And Persuader frontman Jens Carlsson both emulates Hansi Kursch almost to the point of impersonation at times, and rips out some grunts and high wails that go beyond what I think Hansi has ever launched out of his vocal chords.

The production on this album is masterful, going the route of a tight metal wall over an overdone set of rhythm tracks, resulting in a very aggresive take on the melodic power metal genre, almost sounding more like Speed Metal. Even the ballad has a sense of solid unity, avoiding the looseness that can often arise when arrangements get progressive. The Keyboards are a prominent part of the mix, but do not dominate the field. The vocals are clean and clear, free from any garbled clashes with each other during the dense harmonies during the choruses. Now for the individual tracks.

1. Evil Eyes - Essentially this song is a heavier evolution of a song that could be found on "Tales from the Twilight Hall", it reminds me quite a bit of "Traveler in Time" during the chorus, though with some more intricant interplay between the lead and backing vocal lines. The drums on this one are fast paced and rapidly switch up between blast beats and more military feel. It is obvious that Thomen's goal of re-capturing the spirit of middle era Blind Guardian is well realized here.

2. Between the Devil and the Seas - This is classic, high power, mid tempo genius straight from the "Imaginations from the Other Side" album. Very powerful chorus here and some inescapable hooks in the primary lead themes.

3. Waltz of the Demon - Lyrically one of the darker tracks on this album, with a spooky acoustic intro to match it. The musical arrangement of this one is a bit dense, as it mixes alot of keyboards and an acoustic guitar track with the thundering distorted rhythm guitars. The primary strength of this one is the rapid changes Jens Carlsson utilizes to bring out the neurotic nature of the words. Some of his most evil sounding grunts and wails can be found on this rather long winded epic of terror, in addition to some rather poignant sounding clean singing at the introduction.

4. Tomorrowland - Another fast paced crusher, although not quite a stereotypical Blind Guardian track. Although lyrically this fits in quite well with the Fantasy storytelling that BG is famous for, the music is a bit more involved. At times I almost think I'm listening to a collaboration between Hansi Kursch and Michael Romeo of Symphony X.

5. It - The Gathering - Another classic BG sounding track pre-empted by Thomen's sense of nostalgia, this one loaded with plenty of lead themes. If nothing else, it can be plainly said that Piet Selick and Emil Norberg work quite well together pumping out great guitar lines. The song that it probably reminds me the most of is "Somewhere Far Beyond", mostly due to it's highly epic scope, although it has it's share of "Twilight" moments also.

6. Beyond Reality - The token ballad on this album, with a rather sweet guitar and piano intro. At times, it reminds me of "The Eldar" from "Nightfall on Middle Earth", yet it also contains the same epic spirit of the older BG ballads such as "The Bard's Song" and "A past and future secret". Jens really delivers a passionate performance here, and Piet proves once again that he knows how to turn a pile of vocal tracks into one unified, triumphant choir of voices.

7. When Hell Awakes - Another fast and heavy one with some spooky keyboard lines creeping in and out of the mix. The overall instrumentation here functions as one towering colossus, over-powering enough to blow your speakers out. On top of this, yet another memorable chorus with more brilliant interchanges between the lead and backing vocal parts. Not one to be pushed aside by the rhythm section, Emil gets his high speed licks in as well, in between Piet's thematic harmony lines.

8. Ghost Story - The second departure from the BG emulation tone set on this album, this one almost sounds like it could have been a rather amazing B side to Persuader's "Evolution Purgatory". There is a highly different character to the guitar themes, as they take on a more elongated feel and avoid being overly catchy, yet still memorable. The one exception to the more progressive feel to this one is the chorus, which has a hook to it that sounds almost like it could be BG influenced.

9. Born Again by the Night - We close off this amazing album the same way we began, with a high tempo cooker that reeks of Mid-90s era BG. The intro and outro has the same military snare beats that Thomen pumped out often in the past 10 years. Another highly memorable chorus, with a bit of added prominence to Piet's backing vocals. This track also gets my pick for best guitar solo, not only for the amazing lead job done, but also for the brilliant changes the rhythm section goes through to accent the musical drama at work.

In conclusion, in a time where metal is once again starting to become the establishment, Savage Circus is a band that will ensure that the genre keeps to it's roots. Dreamland Manor, in many ways, is a reminder to the more Progressive side of metal that it would be wise not to forget it's roots. Although I would dub this album a "New Manifesto", I do so not because it neccesarily seeks to break amazing new ground in the genre as more progressive acts like Pagan's Mind would, but in that it re-emphasizes the foundation upon which all metal is built.

Imaginations From the Other Side Pt.2 - 80%

Emperor_Of_Ice, August 30th, 2006

Oh... My... God... That pretty much describes it all. For fans of older Blind Guardian, this will surely be a wonderful journey to the past. Back in 1995, when I was a wee lad of 6, Blind Guardian released one of (if not) the greatest metal albums of all time. Imaginations From the Other Side was amazing. It brought many new things to the table. It is by far, Blind Guardian's greatest achievement. This album, is just as good.

When I first heard this album, my initial reaction was to look for toilet paper, because I'd just shit my pants. This album perfectly recreates everything that made Blind Guardian one of my favorite bands. The sound of this album, from guitars and keyboards to vocals and drums, is a perfect mimicry of IFtOS; thanks in part (to say the least) to Thomen Stauch. That's right, even the vocals were strikingly similar to those of IFtOS. Every song is an absolute power metal masterpiece. Powerful, fast, and beatiful.

Ironically enough, the only reason I'm not giving this album a perfect score is the same reason why it's so wonderful: It sounds just Like IFtOS. In my book, no album gets a perfect score for mimicking another; be it by the same band or another.
I'm eternally grateful to Thomen for leaving Blind Guardian, otherwise we wouldn't be blessed with such an amazing album. If you enjoy power metal and/or Blind Guardian (and you'd better! ::shakes fist::) go out and buy this album.

Best Tracks: Tomorrowland, When Hell Awakes, Evil Eyes.

[Score reduced to 80 following re-evaluation of rating system and album.]

Savage Guardian – Tales From Dreamland Manor...? - 86%

Neowulf, March 15th, 2006

Maybe have you already heard about this band, and in that case what you have heard is pro-bably that it reminds about Blind Guardian. This is wrong. It does not remind, it sounds so similar that I almost forget which band wrote which songs, and nearly think a Blind Guardian-record from the 90:s is what is spinning in the stereo.
The drummer Thomen Stauch left Blind Guardian because he didn’t like their more recent sound. He claimed that his favourite period of that band was the mid-nineties, and that that was the kind of music he wanted to play. Now he is able to do just that in this newly formed band. Stauch’s band mates are not a bunch of greenhorns exactly, with the quite well-known Piet Sielck and two guys from Persuader they make an at least on the paper strong team.
Bu this is not true merely on the paper. Let’s start with the vocals: Jens Carlsson reminds a lot about Hansi Kürsch (which is by coincidence the reason why Stauch picked him), even though I think the latter is better. Still, Carlsson’s voice is powerful and mighty, and it sounds excellent. The lyrics are (naturally) fantasy-based, and (again) remind a lot about Blind Guardian’s. They are mostly perfectly enjoyable, but for some reason the track “Tomorrow-land” has some really ridiculous lyrics. It may be some kind of conscious irony though, so I will not flame them too much.
As for the guitar work, we find a lot of palm muted speed metal-ish riffing with an over layer of melodic leads. It has much in common with a certain German band that starts with Blind Guardia and ends with an N.
To sum it up, this is a damn fine album, that could well have been Blind Guardian’s latest instead of their disappointment A Night At The Opera. Let’s hope that Savage Circus will re-lease more albums in the future, even though all band members are in other bands.

Savage Circus - Dreamland Manor - 100%

DarkDryad, September 6th, 2005

Well when people complained that Persuader sounded awfully a lot like Blind Guardian and Iron Savior, what did they do? They said screw them, went and teamed up with Blind Guardian’s ex-drummer Thomen Stauch and Iron Savior’s Piet Sielck on bass, guitar and backing vocals. And of course, from Persuader you have Jens Karlsson (vocals) and Emil Norberg (guitar). Together they created a masterpiece which is their debut album with a refreshing sound. Even though the resemblance with Persuader is patent, the album is more melodic and Sielck’s backing vocals create a great effect misleading us to think at times that the band hired an orchestra (which is not the case).

The loveable thing about Dreamland Manor is that it is intense from beginning to end. As seen in Persuader, there isn’t any crappy ballad to come and ruin the atmosphere. The only slow stuff on Dreamland Manor would be the intro to The Waltz Of The Demon and Beyond Reality which are two great songs. The guitar riffs are in the exact same style as Persuader, catchy as hell, clean, new and incredibly melodic. One after the other you let yourself be enthralled by its melodies and by the very nice and soothing solos. But everyone will agree that what compliments those great guitar riffs are Karlsson’s brilliant vocals. It seems like his vocals are even better on this album where you even have the chance of hearing him doing clean vocals (Waltz Of The Demon) which sound fantastic. And everyone will be very happy to see that Karlsson keeps on doing his signature move; when he sings and then the instruments go dead leaving only him and his semi-harsh screams. This is done nicely in Ghost Story when he screams “Let me die” and is present in every other songs too. Bass lines are also very pleasant (when the sound is put up that is), but could have been a bit heavier in order to have this contrast between the high vocals and guitar melodies.

In no case would anyone be displeased by this album. Every criterion for an album to be called a masterpiece is fulfilled with this album. The gathering of these four amazing musicians truly created something great in the veins of Persuader. And whoever still complains about Karlsson’s vocals resembling those of Hansi Kursch should get over it, because Karlsson’s vocals are much better than Kursch’s. I could not have asked for more, this melodic blast will probably be 2005’s greatest album. Highlights of Dreamland Manor? Well everything, there’s absolutely no filler song. This gets a perfect rating 100%, Persuader’s vocalist and guitarist truly are young metal gods.