Released: 2008, Dockyard 1/Sound Pollution
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Assailant comes from the northern parts of Sweden, from a town called Umeå which is a city that has brought forward bands like Naglfar, Nocturnal Rites and Persuader. The main man and leader of Assailant is another member from the well-known Norberg family. One of the brothers plays in Nocturnal Rites, the other in Persuader/Savage Circus and the third in Assailant. When the band was formed in 2004 they had problems with finding the proper line up however the band inked a deal and released their debut album NEMESIS WITHIN in 2006.
If you put together light melodic death metal and melodic power metal with progressive influences, you will have an idea of what Assailant plays. Despite heavy guitar work the band drops the guitars low in the mix so the music sounds really melodic instead of edgy. If you mix together In Flames, The Haunted and Evergrey you might have something that sounds a little alike Assailant. Their music is easy to listen to but unfortunately have the guys added a little too much keyboards for my taste.
The 11 songs stick in your brain and to be honest I didn’t think too many good thoughts about WICKED DREAM when I first heard it. However, the more I listened to it I found myself, if not loving it, liking it more and more. There’s nothing wrong with the music, the songs are jammed with catchy choruses and heavy hooklines and all other stuff you find in music of this kind. However, I feel there is something missing and I think it is the music is unfocissed. The guys want too much at the same time and the music and material gets too messy and pointy. They have a hard time deciding whether they should stick to the more melodic side of the music or if they should dig deeper into the harder influences. Keyboards and loops dominated the production where I really had wished for some edgy guitar playing to take place.
The songs are catchy and very easy to sing a long to so I guess they have a few potential radio hits going on. It’s easy to be swept away by the music and a few of the songs are actually really great but I had wished for more solid material and a little more focus on one musical genre at time. I’m really confused with what purpose Assailant has with this album. A few great songs don’t make an entire album brilliant and the band has a lot to improve in the song writing department. WICKED DREAM is also way over produced. The album had benefited from a more laid back and noisy production. As it is now everything sounds too polished and slick. The rhythm section is way to far down in the mix and the keyboards and loops are mixed too high.
I had wished so much more from Assailant and I really hope they can get their act together for the next album. They are young and hungry but that’s not enough. They have to improve on their musical skills and need to write more focused material. Better luck next time guys.
Killer tracks are “A Day Tomorrow”, “The Sin”, “Fade Away”, “Catch” and “The Cell”.