|Review: Dream Evil - The Book Of Heavy Metal|
|The Book Of Heavy Metal|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: June 11, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:The Book Of Heavy Metal
Rated 3.65/5 (73%) (20 Votes)
I will come right out and say that I like this record, but I will also say it has some major flaws that keep me from liking it as much as I could. This is the third CD for producer Fredrik Nordstrom's pet project. I liked their first one, but not well enough to get their second, so I missed that one. Now I have numero three, and while some things about it I absolutely love, some other parts I really, really hate.
Dream Evil play heavy, chunky, catchy heavy hard rock, not quite a metal sound, and yet too heavy and cheesy to be completely un-metal. The truth is that this band's songwriting has way more in common with Damn Yankees than with Judas Priest. Now that is not inherently a bad thing, but for anyone who takes their metal seriously, this album is rife with pitfalls. I am one of those people who is pleased by the general graying of metal fandom, and by the fact that the average age of the metal fan is no longer 16. Therefore this albums "beer and party" metal ethos doesn't quite do it for me. Things start off well enough with the colossal riffs of the title track. Nordstrom is a famed producer for a reason, and the recording job here is simply amazing: pin-drop clear and yet heavy as fuck. GTR wiz Gus G slams out some Hellishly hooky riffs and solos throughout. And yet, awesome a song as the opener is, the lyrics are so unbelievably stupid I cannot bear to listen to it. I will forgive a lot of 'metal is so cool' cheesiness, but this goes too fucking far. "Into The Moonlight" is a better song, with lyrics that don't make me cringe. Other kill cuts include "No Way" and "Chosen Twice" (even if they ripped off their song "Chosen Ones" from the first CD – a much better song.) The problem is that too many of these songs are more Ted Nugent than anything else. "The Sledge", "No Way", and the monumentally retarded "Let's Make Rock" are good songs – if you like Great White, which I don't especially.
This is a good album, but it's way too much butt rock and not enough metal. You can put ass rock in leather, you can play heavy as fuck and sing about metal, but that doesn't make it metal. I happen to think bands that mix in a dose of ass (At Vance, Firewind, Mystic Prophecy – why is Gus G becoming my prime suspect all of a sudden?) are on thin ice as it is. This album crosses the line. Singer Niklas Isfeldt is amazing not so much for his pipes as for his ability to sound like so many different singers: Ozzy, Don Dokken, Vince Niel – the guy can do it all. Mostly he sounds generic. Good, but generic.
Musically this is the best CD Dream Evil have put out, but also the most commercial, and the title track in particular has 'radio friendly unit shifter' all over it. I would be mortified if any of my non-metal fans heard that song. Ugh. If you want a dose of heavy butt rock with some metal touches, then this is a good bet, but it does very few of the things I want out of a metal album. If you want metal that is dark, aggressive, inventive or compelling, then look elsewhere. And in case it needs to be said again: the lyrics are really stupid. Manowar were never so shameless or crass.
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