Dream Evil - The book of heavy metal 2/5

Reviewed: 3-25-05





Tracklist:

1. The book of heavy metal (March of the metallians)
2. Into the moonlight
3. The sledge
4. No way
5. Crusaders' anthem
6. Let's make rock
7. Tired
8. Chosen twice
9. M.O.M.
10. The mirror
11. Only for the night
12. Unbreakable chain


I have to start with the baseline that I always have a certain amount of minimum affection for a CD like this that is melodic heavy metal, with none of the features I dislike, with a good, strong vocalist, and talented band members, backed up with a very solid and powerful production. But given that baseline and those positive credentials, and the minimum enjoyment derived therefrom, this comes across as about as vapid, bland, uninspired and stupid as something in that category could be. I'm not expecting huge intricacy or dire complexity from something that might fall into the "true" metal category, but this makes Majesty look like old Fates Warning and Manowar look like Opeth by comparison. I'd heard praise that this surpassed their prior 2 efforts, but to my ears it is not as good as the first and in line with the same weaknesses of the 2nd. There are some undeniably good songs on here, but the writing structure is so simple and repetitive, and the subject matter is so dumb. We're moving on from true metal to true rock. Without being totally unfair and taking things out of context, just like on 'Evilized', there are some mind numbingly dumb songs.

For instance, here's a chorus:

"By the sledge of rock (rock!)
By the sledge of rock (rock!)
I just can't seem to get enough
Of the sledge of rock (rock!)
Of the sledge of rock
Hit me! With the sledge of rock"

Yep, that's pretty painful, in any era. Then, the very next chorus on the CD is:

"It is only rock'n roll
No way- it won't happen
No way- but they can try
No way- to kill my darling
Rock'n roll will never die"

This is followed by "Crusaders anthem", which at least has some cool lyrical basis to it, but this is then followed by "Let's make rock". This, is the chorus for that lyrical gem:

"Let's go crazy we won't stop until we make you go wild
Don't be lazy altogether now stand up and shout
Let's make rock
What are you waiting for
Lets make rock
I gonna give you more"

Yes, I am suddenly thinking of Def Leppard's "Let's get rocked", and Stryper's "Makes me wanna sing", and that is not a good thing. Yes, these are the worst examples, but they're pretty bad. 10 years ago, I wouldn't have been quite as critical about the failings of a CD like this, given the precious rarity of anything resembling pro-metal sentiment and any derivation of Manowar's metal pride. But we can certainly be a bit pickier today, and even back then, it would have been impossible to really get excited over. So it's a mixed bag, it is undeniably a well played, well produced, well sung classy European metal, and there are certainly some nice melodies in the songs, and leads. But it also feels so bland, dumbed down, and homogenized it makes Hammerfall seem like...well, you know what I'm trying to say.



CRAIG




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