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Dream Evil - United - 2006 - Century Media

Track Listing
01. Fire! Battle! In Metal!
02. United
03. Blind Evil
04. Evilution
05. Let Me Out
06. Higher on Fire
07. Kingdom at War
08. Love is Blind
09. Falling
10. Back from the Dead
11. Doomlord
12. My Number One
Dream Evil’s previous albums have stirred some controversy for how they seemed to mock the heavy metal stereotype (see lyrics for ‘Made of Metal’ and ‘The Book of Heavy Metal’) even as they propagated it. However, as evidenced by the new album title, ‘United’, these Swede’s have now taken a less contentious lyrical stance. Their themes are still as cheesily hackneyed as ever—appropriate for Manowar, even—but their typical joking fun and games are saved until the album’s end.

Some fans may be displeased to learn that ‘United’ marks their first album without Gus G. as lead axeman and the curious Snowy Shaw on drums. Those two do make an appearance, though, for the final track on the album, ‘My Number One’, a tongue-in-cheek (yet seriously metal) cover of the 2005 Eurovision song contest winner from Greek pop star Helena Paparizou. Their replacements, Mark Black and Pat Power, are both talented enough to take up the slack, overcoming the canned sound of the drum kit and slight overproduction of the guitars. Mark does not sprinkle shredding interludes throughout each song as frequently as Gus chose to, but Dream Evil has always been about the choruses rather than the solos, and this new, more straightforward approach does ‘United’ no disservice.

Indeed, Dream Evil are as anthematic as ever, writing structurally predictable songs that merge traditional 80’s riffing with power metal’s infectious vocal melodies. Even a skeptic (such as this reviewer here) will be caught up in the rush of ‘Fire! Battle! In Metal!’, or any other of these consistently catchy rockers and power ballads.

They are undeniably formulaic and derivative, though. ‘Evilution’, among others, is eerily redolent of Saxon’s ‘Living on the Edge’ and ‘Let Me Out’ shares a lot with Helloween’s ‘I Live For Your Pain’, while Nocturnal Rites and Primal Fear are also both constantly coming to mind. But Dream Evil themselves acknowledge their dependence on the earlier generation, even embracing the comparison. They remind us that “heavy metal is fun!”, and that we should, “stop taking [our]selves so seriously.”

Many modern power metal groups (Freedom Call, Hammerfall, etc.) promote a similar agenda, but few possess enough of a songwriting punch to be considered anything more than lightweights or an afternoon tryst. Dream Evil have that talent. If they continue to gravitate away from the campiness of the older material such as ‘Evilized’ and towards the more focused, ‘true metal’ image found here, competitors will have a hard time keeping up with their energy and easy appeal.



--Etiam 02.08.07
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: DREAM EVIL
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
The Book Of Heavy MetalDream Evil
2004
Jonah Haze9/10/2004
UnitedDream Evil
2006
Etiam3/9/2007


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: DREAM EVIL

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: DREAM EVIL
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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