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Dream Evil: United

Sweden's Dream Evil are at it once again, here with their follow-up to 2004's The Book of Heavy Metal. Guitarist Gus G and drummer Snowy Shaw have left the band (although they do appear on the last track here, the cover of "My Number One"), replaced by guitarist Mark Black and drummer Pat Power. United offers no real surprises, and delivers the band's brand of 80's inspired classic and power metal in the tradition of bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Loudness, Saxon, Dio, and Manowar. Lead singer Niklas Isfeldt is once again at the helm here, and his powerful and histrionic vocals take center stage on tracks like "Let Me Out" and the kick ass title track. Musically, it's all about the guitar riffs, solos, and harmony fills, and guitarist/producer Fredrik Nordstrom, along with Black, snarl and shred on each and every song here. Tunes like "Higher On Fire", "Kingdom at War", and "Back From the Dead" is all about the crunchy riff-o-rama, while "Falling" is pure speedy power metal.

While all this probably sounds pretty enticing, and for the most part it should, after a few spins things tend to get a little formulaic, as if you've heard this all before. It's no mystery that Dream Evil intend to pay homage to the glory days of metal, and that's fine, but other than crafting some solid and well played classic styled metal, there's not much else here to keep you coming back for more. Still, the band has a boatload of fans who love this kind of thing, and there are some solid tunes here that guitar players will go ga-ga over, so United is definitely worth a listen. If you act quickly, the first pressing contains a bonus CD with 5 extra tracks, which will be a must have for the Dream Evil fanatic.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Fire! Battle! In Metal!
2. United
3. Blind Evil
4. Evilution
5. Let Me Out
6. Higher on Fire
7. Kingdom at War
8. Love Is Blind
9. Falling
10. Back from the Dead
11. Doomlord
12. My Number One
Disc: 2 (bonus)
1. Calling Your Name
2. Dynamite
3. Into the Unknown
4. I Will Never
5. Vengeance

Added: January 31st 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Dream Evil Website
Hits: 2709
Language: english

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Dream Evil: United
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-31 16:13:40
My Score:

Dream Evil is the type of band for those people who remember the sound of classic Heavy Metal in its purest form and with all the genres available nowadays it can be somewhat easy to forget at times. Yes, we still find that bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest are holding the banner of the music high but they are its forefathers and we cannot expect any less from them. In today's Metal Realm, we find so few choosing to adventure down this road and instead they explore the darker side with Death and Black Metal forays. With United, we find the Swedish rockers giving us a worthwhile journey in the present with music that sounds just like the long revered past from the genres most classic years. This is energetic and fun Power Metal that makes you once again want to raise your fist into the air, drink beers with friends and scream the chorus sections out at the top of your lungs. This five-member group certainly does a good job on this release and there are anthems all across it that will remind you repeatedly about the exhilarating feeling one gets when good Metal is blasting out of the speakers. "Fire! Battle! In Metal!" lines it out for you with a call to arms that will have you on your feet. United pretty much states the way the cause is defined best and "Falling" is probably one of the best numbers on the whole album. The group is comprised of Fredrik Nordstrum (guitars), Niklas Isfeldt (vocals), Peter Stalfors (bass), Pat Power (drums) and Mark Black (guitars) and United is their first recordings with the bands newest members. Original members Snowy Shaw and Gus G. had moved on in 2004/2005 respectively to focus on efforts with Firewind and Dreamland. For me as a listener I never get tired of this kind of Metal and seem to enjoy quality displays of it. Dream Evil might bore some by being so pure in the formula without any experimentation but I love it and find myself wishing more groups followed in this path than would do other aspects of the genre. This is Traditional in style of guitar and drums and loaded with tasty hooks and melodies that make for one solid effort when it all comes down to it. I think you will agree that this is a continually easy to listen to and enjoy type of release. The opening track has a great line that goes "I live for the Metal, I die for the Metal" and if that's not a battle cry then I don't know what is. Hails!

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