Released: 2003, Spinefarm Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Finland´s new Power Metal ´sensation´ Dreamtale has reached one crossroad in their very inductive way towards to the highest top of Power Metal world; the band´s 2nd full-length album titled OCEAN´S HEART (the title reminds me of Nightwish in some strange way..., eh?!) will be unleashed here in Finland 8th of September and it´s already been out in Japan for 2 months ago, gaining lots of raving reviews from the Japanese music press there. But I wouldn´t consider it any wonder ´coz with this much talent and skills to create an album full of catchy and quality speed-ridden Power Metal, you simply cannot hide too long from all the positive feedback, can you, eh?!
On the band´s 2nd full-length effort, OCEAN´S HEART, Dreamtale basically continues fully to amaze me once again by both song – and playing-wise. The band´s whole performance on their follow-up album is really strong; overall the atmosphere on OCEAN´S HEART is kind of relaxed - definitely more than on their debut and the songs just flow effortlessly and sound like they are really carefully thought-out in every respect. But in the same breath I can sense they are probably a bit ´calculated´ as well. Well, what I mean by this is that the band obviously hasn´t lost their ´magic (!)´ to remind us of bands like Gamma Ray (f.ex. “Chosen One” and “Two Hundred Men”), Running Wild (“Fool´s Gold”; just listen to a nicely rollin´ guitar part in the very beginning of the song and say it does not remind you of Running Wild...), Helloween and even Nightwish (especially a slower, slightly symphonic choir part in “Angel Eyes” has been composed in a true Nightwish –fashion, but otherwise the song sounds pretty much like a combination some familiar Helloween-elements). All these influences are definitely there, sticking out of their songs like sharp nails every once in a while. But I guess it isn´t an unforgivable crime to do music off which you enjoy mostly in your life? Or is it?
“The Awakening” on the other hand, also proves that Dreamtale isn´t completely limited their sound to Power Metal genre in its most pure form. The middle part of the song is actually far away from your ´typical Power Metal tune´, bringing on some aggressive, almost growling vocals (by courtesy of Rainer Nygård from the Finnish thrashers Diablo) that are spiced with some heavy guitar riffs in the background of the song. After this a song called “Tears” cuts the air in a familiar Nightwish-fashion again. Sanna Natunen, a guest female vocalist on the band´s both albums, obviously isn´t Dreamtale´s Tarja Turunen, but she´s got a great, ethereal voice and adds definitely a well-balanced contrast to Tomi´s lead vocals on OCEAN´S HEART.
“If You Will Go” is luckily OCEAN´S HEART´s only ballad type of song that I could have lived well without, too. I hate the song because... I hate ballads in general. Theses types of songs are simply not meant for me. “If You Will Go” turns out be a bit tedious and just boring... Yak!
“Rising Wind” wins easily the title as “The most powerful and epic song of the album” even if it´s not the longest song off the album (it´s “Return to the Sea” that clocks in over 7-minutes mark!). In fact, there´s a strong Iron Maiden-influence reigning the first 2 and half minutes through the song and then the whole song just grows into... ´something´. I have to say “Rising Wind” is my very favorite song off OCEAN´S HEART; very captivating and irresistible all in all indeed!!
As the final comment to state the most obvious, everything, naturally production-wise as well, has been done by a great care and a quality eye to make the album stand out as well as possible – and sure, I bet most of the goals these relatively young men in the Dreamtale-camp may probably have set for themselves and particularly for this album by keeping in their minds how well their debut was received in the whole world, I´d like to think that OCEAN´S HEART will be a true winner release in a bit oversaturated world of a modern Power Metal during a long run.
But anyway, yeah, here´s yet another album for all Power Metal fanatics to keep their wandering eyes out for in the later half of 2003...