1. The Chance 2. Hearts Like Lions 3. A New Way 4. Breaking The Chains 5. Destiny 6. I Die Slowly 7. Fade Away 8. All For One 9. Dreamland 10. Future's Calling 11. Blank Mind 12. A New Dimension 13. Repeating Supremacy
Dockyard 1 recently gained some notoriety with their release of the critically acclaimed Savage Circus release "Dreamland Manor". Many, including myself, found their brand of power metal similar to that of Blind Guardian. Some fans like that sort of thing, and I can't really blame them considering that Savage Circus is probably more like Blind Guardian than the 'Guardian are these days. "Dreamland Manor" was more like the early days of the band and many like that particular era of the band. Why am I talking so much about one band sounding like another? Well it is simple you see. Dockyard 1 has released another album that is very much in the style of another famous metal act. The new act is Dreamland and the band they are tuned to is Hammerfall.
Sweden's Dreamland first gained notice with their appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2001. In 2002 the band released their first demo/single called "The Call". Famous Swedish power metal guru and Hammerfall vocalist Joacim Cans heard that call and started helping the young band produce their first album, lending his wise guidance to melody lines, vocal delivery, and of course the basic fundamentals of recording a debut. While Cans isn't directly in the band, his "touch" can easily be heard on this debut album entitled "Future's Calling".
I happened to hear this release in it's entirety before reading anything about the group. My first thought was of course, "this is like a new Hammerfall album". After reading the backstory I now see why that is. That really isn't a bad thing in my opinion. Many people complain that Hammerfall are too generic and that they lack any real identity. To this day I have yet to find a band that plays straight forward, catchy, melodic power metal that recalls the past so well. The only thing close thus far is probably Dream Evil. But let's talk about Dreamland in more detail, shall we?
For starters vocalist Joacim Lundberg is very much in the style of Joacim Cans. His register and delivery is one of clean, middle of the road range. He does occasionally hit some high notes, but for the most part he stays fairly mid-range throughout. Guitarists Johan Eriksson and Eric Rauti are really phenomenal, showing off a mentality that incorporates HUGE hooks and melody with fast leads and twin guitar exercising. Bassist Mats Rendlert drives most of these songs, with Cans' production job keeping a close ear to the loud bass line recordings of past legends like Accept and U.D.O. Drummer Marcus Sköld keeps everything in check with very tight drum patterns that really never speed up and rarely break into double bass beats. For the most part this band is like Hammerfall in the way that they are mid-speed, mid-range, and very "true metal fighting spirit" oriented with their songwriting.
Favorite numbers here are the very basic elements of "Hearts Like Lions" and "Breaking The Chains". The band does experiment some here, throwing in the slow ballad piece "Fade Away", and dabbling in some progressive moments on "Blank Mind". This is pretty solid Swedish power metal and occasionally you will hear that epic German sound, most evident with the furious cut "I Die Slowly".
Bottom Line - Those of you into the Swedish power metal vein will LOVE Dreamland. They have everything that they need to compete and lead in that particular genre. Those of you who cater to more epic and speedier pastures in the power metal landscape may find this album a bit too "weathered" and calculated. Personally, the "Future's Calling" is like a glimpse in the crystal ball. Dreamland will be successful for a long time to come.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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