Dreamland - Future's Calling
Power/True Hammerfall Metal
13 songs (49'56)
Release year: 2005
Dreamland, Dockyard 1
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Judging from what I've heard so far from Dockyard 1, the new label started by Iron Savior mastermind and ex-Blind Guardian producer Piet Sielck, they must in the business of signing copy-cat bands. The first release from the label was last year's pleasant surprise Savage Circus. The band featuring Piet himself as well as ex-Blind Guardian drummer Thomen Stauch and members of Persuader sounded much more like classic Imaginations/Tales era Blind Guardian than Blind Guardian themselves these days. For the most part, even with the vocals, this one could fool even the most die-hard fans. With Future's Calling, the debut full-length album from Sweden's Dreamland, the target of interest in the sound and style of the band is pure Hammerfall worship. Dreamland is also the name of a track on Hammerfall's Legacy Of Kings album and to make it even more authentic, Hammerfall lead vocalist Joacim Cans provides help with backing vocals as well as co-producing this album along with veteran producer Andy Laroque (King Diamond).

The first couple of listens left me wondering if there was a single original idea on this entire album that couldn't be found on any current or future Hammerfall albums and besides the acoustic flavored track Fade Away that features both male and female vocals, I really couldn't find any. On the other hand, this is an excellent album and one that is well worth listening to and will definitely appeal to Hammerfall fans. This album is solid with track after track of the classic Hammerfall power/true metal style. With Hearts Like Lions, Breaking The Chains and Destiny, we are treated to very solid mid-tempo, riff driven melodic power metal that has all the markings of Hammerfall songs; great riffs, melodic guitar fills and melodic choruses. The speedier Hammerfall sound is visited with the tracks A New Way, Dreamland and New Dimension, a track that also shows some similarities to Lost Horizon. A couple of tracks namely I Die Slowly and All For One feature some great galloping riff styles. The vocals of Joacim Lundberg (even has the same first name!) are very strong and besides being a dead ringer for Joacim Cans of Hammerfall, his voice also has similarities to Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) and Dirk Thursch (ex-Angel Dust). With almost all of the band members contributing backing vocals (an definite asset to their live shows), they in fact have a more richer and stronger melodic style than Hammerfall. The twin guitar attack of Johan Eriksson and Eric Rauti shows the kind of maturity and very strong grasp of the power metal/true metal genre that normally isn't associated with a young new band. The guitar lines are busy with lots of melodic fills and accents and sound almost perfect. The drums and bass are all mixed perfectly as well and overall, the band has a great and powerful sound.

I'm usually not too receptive of so-called copy-cat bands and it even took me a while to take Savage Circus all that seriously but sometimes one must look beyond any of those so-called short-comings as all too often, a very good band lurks underneath it all. Such is the case with Dreamland. With many memorable tracks and very little filler (O.K. there's a couple of short instrumentals), this one kicks serious ass and could've very easily been kept for Hammerfall to release as their new album. In fact, in comparison to the last few Hammerfall albums, this one's much better. It sits somewhere between Glory To The Brave and Legacy Of Kings as far as the overall feel and types of songs with the same sort of melodies and hugely melodic choruses. It seems weird to me that Joacim Cans would lend a hand with this band. Allegedly, he was the one that "discovered" these guys and his helping with the production as well as providing backing vocals is a bit like helping the competition don't you think? Hammerfall better be careful with their next album, unless they get back on track with a killer release, there's stiff competition barking very closely at their heels.....

Killing Songs :
Hearts Like Lions, A New Way, I Die Slowly, All For One and A New Dimension
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Dreamland that we have reviewed:
Dreamland - Eye For An Eye reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
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