Jacobs Dream - Drama Of The Ages
Metal Blade
US Power Metal
13 songs (70:48)
Release year: 2005
Jacobs Dream, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Ian

I must say that I wasn’t really impressed with Jacobs Dream first two albums. Despite the catchy songs, good riffs or strong lyrics, something always prevented me to reach to the heart and soul of this band. Maybe it was David Taylor’s high-pitched (sometimes annoying) voice, or the repetitive lines and choruses, or the lack of punch and aggressive playing, nevertheless I found their music pretty derivative standard heavy metal stuff rather than strong power metal.

Four years after their sophomore effort, I had almost completely lost sight of them and I thought that they have disbanded. To my surprise, this year Metal Blade released their third album and I decided to give it a shot just to see how the band has evolved in the 4-year absence. So, along with the four original members John Berry and Jon Noble on guitars, James Evans on bass and Gary Holtzman on drums, you could imagine my surprise when I found Chaz Bond (ex-Biogenesis) on the lead vocals. I can’t say what prompted this change, but in my book this was an excellent move, now the band has a real frontman with a deep and powerful voice, a power metal type of voice who sings with conviction and talent. I hear a bit of Eric Clayton (Saviour Machine) with partial young Geoff Tate and maybe just a hint of the maturity of Tony Martin (former Black Sabbath voice). His full voice puts power in the power metal style of the band, the deep tones mixing superbly with the moody atmosphere of the album and the high crystal guitar solos. Whether it’s power lines with deep tones, as in Spinning Leaf or Drowning Man, or the high notes in Stand Or Fall and At The Gates, or the mean and harsh vocals of Defender Of The Nation, Chaz Bond keeps the music moving along effortlessly and convincingly, feeling comfortably with the instrumental parts, especially with John Berry’s technical and varied guitar playing style. They complete each other very well, each of them picking up the lead from the other, shifting and switching the pace and the vibe.

The style of the band is a classic US power metal with deep roots in the 80s mixed with heavy metal tunes and progressive and thrashy elements. Classic heavy metal tracks like the opener Drama Of The Ages or Drowning Man with their mid tempo or slow paced rhythm with crunchy guitars, atmospheric synth guitar in the background and good bass drives, mix with power metal tracks (Third Way, Cutting Words) and dark moody atmospheric tunes with powerful vocals like the excellent Spinning Leaf or the crunchy aggressive style with excellent high vocal notes Victory. The beautiful structured Stand Or Fall has a modern sound with a power and emotional guitar solo, with Chaz Bond delivering one of the best performances on the album, showing his wide range and stands out as one the best songs on the album, together with the closer (if we don’t count the 13th hidden track) At The Gates, an uplifting, 7 minutes long power metal good paced song, with very catchy vocal lines, high ending notes sung flawless by Chaz Bond (Ripper Owens style) and extended double guitar solos. Another highlight of the album is the complex Forever Winter, which in its first three minutes is an instrumental early Maidenish NWOBHM with classic guitar riffs and fast furious solos, whereas the final part is a power loaded epic tune. Defender Of The Nation has some excellent intro dual axe solos, excellent supporting keys completing the aggressive vocals. Keeper Of The Crown and Tempest are classic mid-eighties power metal tunes with fast paced thrashy riffs (Keeper) and pace shifter, galloping riffs (Tempest) with aggressive but melodic guitar solos, excellent drumming from Gary Holtzman and power vocals.

Production of the album is top notch, with careful arrangements and securing a place for each of the five musicians. The atmosphere is pretty dark and moody, with deep and clean bass, solid drumming, allowing the vocals and the crisp guitar solos to emerge and shine like diamonds. Jacobs Dream are back and with the release of Drama Of The Ages I’m sure they reclaimed their spot at the top of power metal bands. Highly recommended for every metal fan.
Killing Songs :
Stand Or Fall, Forever Winter, At The Gates
Ian quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Jacobs Dream that we have reviewed:
Jacobs Dream - Dominion Of Darkness reviewed by Jerrol and quoted 78 / 100
Jacobs Dream - Theater Of War reviewed by Danny and quoted 85 / 100
Jacobs Dream - Jacobs Dream reviewed by Danny and quoted 85 / 100
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