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Why are unknown bands so good? - 89%

PorcupineOfDoom, November 24th, 2014

This is an interesting band as they choose to infuse some hard rock influences with the melodeath their music mostly is. It's unusual to hear riffs like this band seem to throw in as well as a type of clean vocal that wouldn't normally be found in melodic death metal. I actually found it to be attention grabbing though and most of the time it doesn't turn out half bad.

For the most part the guitars and drums are fairly uninspiring, although the solos that are thrown in are always of a high-quality. It tends to be similar riffs along each and every verse, but what I will say is that they don't need to do anything spectacular when the keyboardist is doing what he does here. In a way similar to Fear of Domination, the keyboard seems to be the main assault here. They have a futuristic feel to them which doesn't really tie in with everything else, but I'll give him points for style anyway. At least for this band we can say that both the guitars and drums are solid, unlike quite a number of bands I've recently discovered.

I'll admit that the vocals are actually quite enjoyable. There aren't many vocalists out there that I feel should stick with their cleans, but Daniel Freyberg has quite a nice tone to his voice. I'm not usually one for the kind of rock vocals that he deploys for the most part, but I find myself getting genuinely enveloped in them. The bark that he uses occasionally isn't as nice to listen to, but his cleans are of a really high order.

I'm not so sure I could pick favourites, but the song 'Lame' is definitely up there, despite its slightly off-putting name (to put it plainly, it sounds like it'll be poor). 'Like I'd Care' suffers the same problem in the name department but is also very enjoyable. The entire album is very convincing though, aside from 'Deep Under the Stones'. For what is effectively an instrumental, it makes virtually no sense to me for them to drag it out for a good two minutes longer than all of the others songs. That's just my opinion, maybe yours is different, but long tracks hardly ever do anything for me.

Overall though, this is a remarkably consistent album from an almost unknown band. The metal purists might not like the rock influences that the band choose to include in their music, but it detracts nothing and instead gives it an unusual feel that works very well. I would thoroughly recommend it.

Prepare for lockdown. - 65%

Diamhea, April 8th, 2007

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 TÃĪgtgren'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.

(Revised/Updated 5/25/15)