Released: 2011, Scarlet Records
This album came out of left field and really caught my attention. DREAMTHERAPY is the bands second album but my first experience with them. This quintet from the Czech Republic have been kicking around for a few years and released their debut on the well-regarded Czech label Metal Swamp. Obviously the debut must have been strong enough to impress because they have been signed by the Italian label, Scarlet Records. I can hear what the people at Scarlet heard because DREAMTHERAPY is a very fine example of Power Metal.
The album cover looks very progressive, surreal and futuristic, which at first glance made me think Prog, but the steel logo and band name (inspired by Stratovarius perhaps?) made me think Power. Perhaps as expected Eagleheart is a nice blend of the two styles but learning more to the Power side perhaps a 70%-30% split.
DREAMTHERAPY has nine tunes, plus an intro and comes in at just under an hour. The album finishes with a 12-minute epic and the remainder of the cuts straddle that 3-5 minute range. So far so good. The production is fine. So all the standard minimum requirements are in place what about the music?
Eagleheart sound very accomplished for such a young act. The opening cut following the intro/build-up is a very fast double kick driven cut complete with choirs and a smattering of acoustic piano and naturally loads of classic metal riffs; a strong opener! The album climbs from strength to strength with vocalist Vojta Simonik leading the charge. He has enough grit in his voice to take him out of the pack of high-pitched singers, it’s more of a mid-range sound. The are some decent growly, gang-shouts laced through the songs as well.
In terms of tone, tempo and execution you could cite bands like (older) Edguy and Stratovarius or even a bit of Orden Ogan as touchstones. Is it extremely unique or original? Not especially but these bands who adhere to this sound live or die on the strength or performances and song-craft. I’m pleased to say Eagleheart has both. There are a few acoustic piano or synthesizer intro parts in the songs and hints of symphonic flourishes and some nice choral vocals, none of which are overused but added to enhance the generally fast powerful Metal based songs. While the songs are fun and upbeat they shy away from the ‘happy’ Power Metal sound.
There are literally hundreds of these types of bands roaming the planet and it could be hard at times to stand out from the pack. However, if you are a devoted fan of this style, as I am, then you will certainly want to add DREAMTHERAPY to your collection.