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Dream Evil: United

Album Reviews:

Alternative Press (p.136) - "[W]ith magnificently crafted power-metal anthems that pick up where '80s metal juggernauts like Dio and Judas Priest left off."

Kerrang (Magazine) (p.48) - "[T]his is a walk through classic metal history done to absolute, hell-bent-for-leather perfection."

Album Notes

After two albums which barely registered on most peoples' radars, Swedish power metal supergroup Dream Evil's third album, Book of Heavy Metal, gained widespread notoriety thanks to its title track's hilariously over the top promo video, which features bandmembers slathered in silver paint to convey just how metal they were, through and through. Not surprisingly, this perhaps unexpected success story paved the way for their next LP, and, just like the old Judas Priest anthem, "United," which no doubt inspired it, the title track epitomizes majestic marching metal at its absolute corniest, with unashamedly like-minded offerings such as "Kingdom at War" and "Doomlord," following right behind. Almost equally subtlety-free in their desire to replicate the more innocent qualities of heavy metal's early years are more energetic standouts like "Let Me Out," "Blind Evil," and the hysterical "Fire! Battle! In Metal!," which augur even broader public appeal thanks to their more streamlined, very catchy choruses. Even better is the album's centerpiece power ballad, "Love Is Blind," which manages to satisfy most of heavy metal's loftiest standards from any era (soaring voices, long-ringing power chords, etc.), and promises to stand the test of time particularly well because of it. Interestingly, United marks a distinct shift in attitude which may or may not reflect Dream Evil's transition from an informal group of musician friends, out to have fun with the sounds they grew up listening to -- and entirely in-on-their-own joke about it -- into a band with earnest intentions, very much wishing to be taken seriously henceforth. With often distracted, multi-tasking guitarist Gus G. and drummer Snowy Shaw now departed, it would seem that remaining core members, vocalist Niklas Isfeldt, guitarist Fredrik Nordström, and bassist Peter Stalfors, have come to entertain the sort of raised expectations (both for themselves and their as yet untested fan base) which may just as easily kill as empower Dream Evil moving forward. Future efforts will decide their fate, but for now, the group's loyalty to heavy metal continues to speak for itself, loud and clear. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia


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