Dream Evil - Dragon Slayer
Century Media
True (Heavy) Metal
12 songs (46:26)
Release year: 2002
Dream Evil, Century Media
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Untitled Document

We have a new player in the True Metal / Melodic Power Metal genre. Dream Evil hails from Sweden and was formed by guitarist/keyboardist Fredrick Nordstrom, who also has some impressive producing credits to his name (Hammerfall, In Flames). Rounding out the line-up is Gus G, guitar, (Mystic Prophecy, Firewind), Niklas Isfeldt, vocals, who provided background vocals for Hammerfall's Glory To The Brave and Legacy Of Kings albums, Peter Stalfors, bass, who also has a Hammerfall connection, being the co-writer of I Believe from Glory To The Brave, and last but not least, Snowy Shaw, on drums, who many may remember as being with both Mercyful Fate and King Diamond.

The music is very hard to catagorize as being any one particular genre of metal music. It fits very well into the Melodic Metal catagory for a few of the tracks but there are several definite True Metal tracks in the style of Hammerfall, Domine or Lost Horizon. It's very easy to dismiss this band as being a copy-cat band after the first listen, but the musicianship and quality of the songs on this release give the impression that these guys are seasoned veterans. I was very surprised that this was in fact a debut album. All of the tracks deal with the usual dragons, quests, glorious battles and fighting in the name of Heavy Metal type of subject matter that most True Metal acts write about these days. At times, some of the tracks have a very familiar sound to them and they use pretty much the same approach to song structure as most other True Metal acts and don't really break any new ground here. What was striking to me though was the quality of the songs and the sound. The vocals are very good with lots of backing vocal tracks for added harmony and at times remind me of Sonata Arctica or Mob Rules. After a couple of listens, quite a few of the tracks get stuck in your head.....always a good sign for me of a great album!!!!. Orchestration is used on a few tracks including the obligatory power-ballad called Losing You, in which Niklas Isfeldt delivers a very heart-wrenching performance. Most of the tracks are built around very solid guitar-riffing, much like other True Metal acts, but this band adds lots of fills between riffs and verses which really gives the songs a more intense, charged-up type feel to them. Chasing The Dragon opens the album and is a very solid mid-tempo song with great choruses. I question the decision to open the album with this track as I feel it doesn't represent the style of most of the other tracks on the album. The second track, In Flames You Burn, is an absolute killer!! and starts with an acoustic intro that quickly explodes into a very fast double-bass, guitar riffing attack with lots of cool fills and top notch vocals. The guitars have a great thick and sustained sound and move from slashing power chords to palm-muted riffs with stunning wizardry. Now THIS is the type of song you should use as an opener!! Another stand-out track is The Prophecy, a Hammerfall type of song, again with fast guitar riffing and drums and some stellar leads breaks. The Chosen Ones, an orchestrated epic about fighting for honour etc., etc., has chanting choruses very much like Hammerfall's At The End Of The Rainbow and also features some awesome lead guitar melodies. Another highlight, Fight For Your Life, is a great pounding heavy track with lots of double-bass drums and features a very anthemic Heavy Metal chorus. This track also features some cool Savatage style breaks mid-song which add to the overall atmosphere of the track. A couple of the tracks, Heavy Metal In The Night and H.M.J. (Heavy Metal Jesus), have quite a different feel to them and remind me more of a fist-pumping 80's style heavy metal with basic guitar riffs and drums and at times, it doesn't sound like the same band.

Although there's consistency in most of the True Metal type of songs, there are others that have a whole different style to them and fall under the Melodic Metal moniker. I can't give marks here for originality as I found most of the tracks, although very solid, had a "familiar" and very predictable structure to them. There are enough killer tracks on this release though to highly recommend it to fans of such bands as Hammerfall, Lost Horizon, etc. and I found myself liking it more and more after repeated listens. The quality of the production, musicianship, vocals and songwriting is top notch and being that this is a debut, I expect that with time, they will develop a style of their own and be a real player in the big leagues of Melodic/True Heavy Metal. This one's going to be in my CD changer for quite a while!!!!

Killing Songs :
In Flames You Burn, The Prophecy, The Chosen Ones, Heavy Metal In the Night
Marty quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Dream Evil that we have reviewed:
Dream Evil - In The Night reviewed by Marty and quoted 75 / 100
Dream Evil - United reviewed by Mike and quoted 76 / 100
Dream Evil - The Book Of Heavy Metal reviewed by Marty and quoted 85 / 100
Dream Evil - Children of the Night reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Dream Evil - Evilized reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
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