Dream Evil is a band comprised of Fredrik Nordstrom (Keyboards/Guitars, formerly of Hammerfall and In Flames), Niklas Isfeldt (Vocals), Gus G. (Guitars), Peter Stalfors (Bass), and Snowy Shaw (Drums, formerly of Mercyful Fate), and yes, you guessed it, it is a power metal band. Power Metal is gigantically huge over in Europe, much like "nu-metal" is in the States (however, I would rather tolerate power metal to the point of sickness as opposed to nu-metal, which isn't even METAL). To tell you the truth, I don't know a whole lot about this band, but I will say that power metal can get cheesy and annoying at times. However, this band attracted me in a couple of ways:
1) I'm a fantasy freak, and the whole album is actually a concept album about a knight who must save his king and kingdom from a fierce dragon. Dragons rule.
2) The band name, you guessed it, came from a Ronnie James Dio album, and Ronnie James Dio rules.
3) The album has some killer cover art.
So with that, I was intrigued, and off I was on a musical adventure in which case I wished I was a knight fighting in the Crusades or something. But enough nostalgia aside. Let's get on with the music.
1. CHASING THE DRAGON (A)
An awesome introduction, and one of the catchiest rockers I have ever heard in a while. Excellent guitar solos as well.
2. IN FLAMES YOU BURN (A-)
The song fools you in the beginning because it's an acoustic opening... but it BURSTS into a speedy number with some excellent vocals. The chorus is infectious. Ironic, given Nordstrom was in a band entitled "In Flames" originally.
3. SAVE US (B-)
Opens with a drum piece, continues on with some crunchy riffage. Has a catchy style like IN FLAMES YOU BURN, but far more positive sounding. Pretty good, although not as great as the previous two. However, it does sport a pretty awesome guitar solo.
4. KINGDOM OF THE DAMNED (B+)
Sounds like Hammerfall's HEARTS ON FIRE, although not quite so powerful. This one's pretty good still, and the chorus will stick in your head.
5. THE PROPHECY (A+)
AWESOME opening with guitar interplays. Some of the speediest guitarwork on the album is presented here. My second favorite on here not only because of that, but Niklas's vocals are at his best here. The chorus makes me have raging fists.
6. THE CHOSEN ONES (A-)
Excellent track that starts off with a melodic guitar piece, followed by some lowkey vocals by Niklas. Some keyboard elements are AWESOME in this particular song, and it builds up into a nice chorus. The rest of the song retains that same power.
7. LOSING YOU (B+)
A ballad that has a nice piano piece accompanying it. A guitar part is later on but doesn't detract away from the song. Very beautifully written, even if it takes three or so listens for it grow on you. For some reason it reminds me of Foreigner's slower music.
8. THE 7TH DAY (C+)
A galloping hard rocker with some infectious lyrics. Very crunchy in its guitarmanship and it's a good headbanger, but the chorus seems a bit heavyhanded, at least to me. All in all not a bad song but not nearly as good as the one's preceding it.
9. HEAVY METAL IS THE NIGHT (A-)
A cool song that reminds one of the old days of heavy metal. The guitarwork here reminded me of Dokken and Ratt, but seemed heavier than anything they've done. Niklas tries singing in a deeper Halford style of singing (minus the screeching) and it comes off surprisingly well. A pretty good anthem rocker.
10. H.M.J. (A-)
The three initials stand for HEAVY METAL JESUS. I kid you not, that's what the song's about: the knight being blessed by the Son of Man to kill the dragon for kingdom come. It's cheesy, corny, but it still rocks. It's not athiest by any means, and the song reminds me of the old days of AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd (imagine if they ever were metal bands). This can turn you off depending on your point of view, but it's actually one of the best songs on the CD.
11. HAIL TO THE KING (A++)
The "technical" closer of the album actually ranks as my personal favorite from the album. Very heavy, gallopy, and nice musicianship all around. The chorus is the most infectious on the CD. All in all, very good and a great way to end the album... well, sort of. Read on.
All this is is an orchestra preparing or something... it sounds like it's just at the end of a symphony. I might see what the band is going with here, but it would've worked better had they shifted Track 11 DIRECTLY into here (as if the whole album was a symphony and it just ended), but it's just "there," and it only lasts 15 whole seconds. This doesn't need to be here. I'm not counting it against the album, but...........................F
Overall, you might find this to be a pretty decent album. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be a cohesive concept album. Some power metal can be overbearing and cheesy, but this one is not. Check it out if you're a metal fan.