|Review: Jacobs Dream - Theater of War|
|Theater of War|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: March 15, 2005
Reviewed by: Pathfinder Hoyt
for:Theater of War
Rated 3.82/5 (76.47%) (17 Votes)
Hailing from the great state of Ohio, Jacobs Dream turns out to be one of several bands being hailed as the "Saviours of Metal". And rightfully so... From the opening riffs of 'Sanctuary', I am reminded of days gone by when Fates Warning could hold my full attention. David Taylor has a set of pipes that he's not afraid to use. The drums, lead guitar, bass, everything, is well-polished, without being over-produced. Straight-ahead power metal with no frills. That's what you're in for with this album, their second full-length effort.
The remaining songs fall in behind the first like clockwork. 'Theater of War' sings of the history of warfare from Cain & Abel through the metal age, then on to present day weapons of mass destruction. And then 'Traces of Grace' (a fave of mine) asks the question, "what's your defining purpose at this point of reality?"
'Wisdom' appears to be a re-make of an older song from the Jacobs Dream debut/demo. It's a great song also, again speaking of facing challenges and chasing your dreams. 'The Warning' covers the subject of Armageddon; another strong song with great hooks and leads.
'Sarah Williams' (actually the name of a great aunt of mine-no kidding!) is also a re-make from their first album. And it's a ballad. But this isn't one of your ordinary kissy-face ballads. It's a true metal ballad full of rage and sorrow. And it appears to be about a girl killed by the foolishness of a drunken driver ...pretty moving.
'Da Machina Est Deo' is an instrumental, but not just a space-filler. At any moment I expected some great lyrics to kick in, even though there weren't any in the book. Great song, full of solid drum lines, incredible leads, a tight rhythm, and even some keys thrown in at the right time. Lyrics would only drag it down perhaps.
'Black Souls' takes me back to old Fates Warning again. The lyrics I think are what does it, mystical and macabre. Also the rhythms. The album's closer, 'Critical Mass' goes back to the subject of warfare, covering the timeframe of WWII. The drums especially kept my attention here. This song is the high point of this album and a great song to close with, but all it does is leave you wanting more.
All in all, I have to agree that Jacobs Dream are on their way to helping reclaim Metal for America... True Metal!
"Hell on Earth had been released"~Critical Mass
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