|Dream Evil: The Book of Heavy Metal
Posted by Duncan Glenday, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-09-09 17:06:36
The point that many people miss about The Book Of Heavy Metal is that it is a deliberate spoof!
Frederik Nordström is Dream Evil's band leader, and has been the producer for some of the bigger Nordic bands, like Opeth and Hammerfall. His Studio Fredman has hosted such heavy metal luminaries as Arch Enemy, In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Tad Morose and Elvenking – among many others. In fact Studio Fredman has become an icon of prestige in Gothenburg, the metal 'Jerusalem' of the colder climes.
In a conversation with Frederik we learned that he is always telling the bands he works with that "According to The Book Of Heavy Metal..." specific elements need to be introduced at various points in the music. By this, he means that according to accepted convention in the world of metal, there needs to be (say) a power ballad here, a guitar solo there, a 3-part vocal harmony in this spot, not that one, and so on.
So - as an exercise in satire, Dream Evil applied all of these clichés to one album called – yup – The Book Of Heavy Metal.
The band's name is taken from the title of a Dio album, and this is their 3rd CD. The first two received favorable acclaim, and their Evilized went onto the top-20-of-2003 lists of many metal writers. The humorous Evilized put an interesting light-hearted spin on metal including self consciously silly lyrics that are a reflection of Nordström's irrepressible sense of humor. And in the same vein, The Book Of Heavy Metal is an interesting metal album with excellent playing, superb production and mixing, memorable melodies, and of course, it is drenched with all those formulaic elements that make metal as good or as bad as it can be. It's a send-up, folks. It's very well made parody, a take-off … but no question about it, that fact should have been made far more obvious in the overall CD package.
Think of it this way: This album is to metal what James Bond is to espionage movies. It isn't meant to be taken that seriously – don't analyze it, just wallow in it!