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Dream Evil
The Book of Heavy Metal
June 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

This brilliant band crushed the entire metal scene with their debut from 2002 called DRAGONSLAYER. Dream Evil then continued in fine shape and laid the world beneath their feet with the follow up EVILIZED (2003). Now it’s time to follow up these magical albums with their new one called THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL. This band from Gothenburg Sweden needs no further introduction; most of you should already know who these guys are.

Dream Evil started out as a power metal act but the more the band has grown together as a unit their sound has become heavier power metal. Their debut was brilliant and on the follow up you could hear that the guys had matured a great deal. Dream Evil are also a very creative and productive band, they have released three albums and one MCD over three years making one album/year. The first taste of this new album was the single THE FIRST CHAPTER which had two songs from the upcoming album and one bonus track. The single was released in April here in Scandinavia and contained “THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL”, “TIRED”, and “POINT OF NO RETURN”. The first song became a minor hit here in Sweden and the last song is a bonus track. The single gave a clear preview of what we had to expect on the album. The info that came with the CD says that Dream Evil didn’t want to limit their style only to power metal. They play straight, uncomplicated, heavy metal with hints of power metal. There are also influences of 80’s heavy metal with lots of keen guitar playing. All of the guys are very qualified musicians and everyone can be well heard in the sound picture. Dream Evil has put serious work into the cover art and it really captures the essence of the band’s music.

During the winter 2003/04 the band went to Mr. Nordström’s Studio Fredman to record this new album (they have recorded all of their stuff in his studio). As usual Fredrik has done an excellent job as producer. Vocalist Niklas Isfeldt has a remarkable voice and an incredibly broad vocal range. Drummer Snowy Shaw is an excellent drum player; he is both technical and fast. Guitarist Fredrik Nordström and the Greek guitarist, Gus G., make a steady front duo with their skilful guitar playing. The more anonymous bass player Peter Stålfors also shows that he really knows how to handle a bass on this album. The album begins with the first single release “THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL” representing the band’s brilliant heavy metal. This is heavy grinding metal where Mr. Isfeldt really shows what an enormous voice he has. This song is extremely memorable, at the end the tempo rises a bit and the young but talented guitarist Gus G shows off with a dazzling guitar solo. “INTO THE MOONLIGHT” is a semi-fast metal track with lots of razor sharp guitar tones by Gus and Fredrik signifying the Dream Evil sound. Mr. Isfeldt and the guitars are at the top of the mix and for anyone who has doubts on Mr. Isfeldt’s voice, you will re-think when you hear this. “THE SLEDGE”, “TIRED” and “M.O.M (Man or a Mouse)” provides the listened with more heavy power metal still with the focus on heavy metal. Mr. Isfeldt has lots of support of the other guys in the chorus. The second song is on THE FIRST CHAPTER single and it has a lot of tempo changes throughout the song. “NO WAY” sounds like an Ozzy song; it could of been on one of his early solo albums. On parts of the lead vocals it sounds like it’s Ozzy himself who sings. I don’t know if it’s really Ozzy or someone who’s just sounds like him but it doesn’t sound like Mr. Isfeldt. “CRUSADERS ANTHEM” begins with a screaming guitar, then the tempo slows down with just drums, bass, and lead vocals that for the first verse. ”LET’S MAKE ROCK” is a salute to 80’s heavy metal. The lead vocals and chorus is magnificent while the guitars really grind. Mr. Shaw and Mr. Stålfors have a steady grip of the rhythm section and I think this song is meant to be a tribute to all of the bands Dream Evil grew up with. “CHOSEN TWICE” starts with guitar before the rest of the band sets in. This is a ballad with a great hit-potential. It sounds like they have used a church choir and strings in this song - this being the only track where they used strings. “THE MIRROR” begins with a slow intro with only guitar and bass before the drums come in. The tempo isn’t so fast but it’s still incredibly heavy. At the end there is a longer guitar solo and Mr. Isfeldt has a very strong choir that backs him all the way. “ONLY FOR THE NIGHT” sets off right away with speeding guitar on the top of the mix. It’s heavy grinding metal before the tempo drops almost to ballad-like speed in the verse. “UNBREAKABLE CHAIN” is a ballad that closes this third album. Mr. Isfeldt’s voice dominates the sound once again. It sounds like the band has used acoustic guitar in some parts.

Dream Evil has done another genius of an album. This is one of this year’s strongest albums. The guys have found their own music style and they have refined even more when compared to their last album. Dream Evil is going to crush everyone in their genre this year. I really hope that they are going out on tour so everyone can have a chance to see this well-oiled machine in action. Personally, I wish for them to do a headlining tour so they can have the chance to play a full set and not a support tour as they did previously. The first pressing of the album will contain a 60-minute DVD with live and behind the scene footage! All fans of heavy metal with influences of power metal should check out THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL. The album is brilliant and incredibly strong straight through. One small thing that is a bit sad is they have taken away the strings that they’ve used so much before. However, there is only one rating to put on this stunning album and that is a straight 5!
Track Listing

The Book of Heavy Metal (March of the Metallians)
Into The Moonlight
The Sledge
No Way
Crisader’s Anthem
Let’s Make Rock
Chosen Twice
The Mirror
Only For The Night
Unbreakable Chain


Niklas Isfeldt – lead vocals
Fredrik Nordström – guitar
Gus G – guitar
Peter Stålfors – bass
Snowy Shaw – drums

Next review: » Dream Evil - The Book of Heavy Metal
Dream Evil
The Book of Heavy Metal
June 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Let’s all say it together…ready?, two, three,…”ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!” Finally moving away from the dungeons and dragons nonsense that plagued 2002’s DRAGONSLAYER and to a lesser extent, last year’s EVILIZED, THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL sees Dream Evil embracing good old-fashioned metal. As a child of the 80s, this is the style of music that I grew up with and that has made me into the metal maniac I still am today. Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions, Accept, Europe…these were (and are) bands that influenced an entire generation—MY generation! Dream Evil embraces those influences with vigor and plain old fun making this CD a real treat to listen to.

With enough bravado to shame Manowar, the title track kicks off with Niklas Islfeldt screaming, “METAAAAAAAAAAAL!” The song features lyrics like, “Don’t need a flashy house, no car or ugly wife” and other gems that boast the power and freedom of being a metalhead in this cold, cruel world. Gus G.’s solo here is something else and he is, in fact, the real star of this record. The guitarwork is absolutely stunning and with about 800 solos found here, it is a six-string fan’s wet dream. His playing on the title track, “No Way,” “Let’s Make Rock” and the intro to “Unbreakable Chain” are simply breathtaking, with riffs that are both technical and infectious. Isfeldt’s impressive range is also utilized to full effect. “Into The Moonlight” and “The Sledge” are great mid-tempo numbers, while the balladry of “Unbreakable Chain” and the power of “Let’s Make Rock” showcase one of metal’s strongest singers. Andy Alkman, vocalist of a band called Hellfueled (Nordstrom’s latest production), even does a bang-on Ozzy impression during the lead in to the chorus of “No Way!” Snowy Shaw’s hard-hitting metal drumming style is felt all over these songs, too. There is some serious double-bass at the end of “M.O.M.” and the middle section of the title track is just pulverizing. Peter Stalfors’ bass perfectly complements Shaw on “M.O.M.” and “Into The Moonlight” to create a jarring rhythm section. The recipe would not be complete without the stellar production of Fredrik Nordstrom. Once again recorded at his Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, Nordstrom has taken his own love of 80s music and mixed this album to all the highs that made that music great. Soaring guitar solos, pounding drums, a little keyboard here and there…this is a rich, thick production done by a person who has honed his skills on some of the biggest metal releases of the last ten years. As far as songwriting goes, this is a band effort and despite the endearingly cheesy lyrics, everything is in place and constructed by some veteran musicians who know their craft. EVERY SINGLE SONG is a headbanging, fist-pounding anthem filled with memorable choruses that will be in your head for weeks.

The CD features a killer video of the title track that is directed by esteemed videographer, Patric Ullaeus. Snowy Shaw looks like he fell right out a Mad Max movie while the rest of the band circles around this wasteland setting. There’s even a sky-bound god who does the spoken parts! The first pressing of the CD also comes packaged with a one hour DVD chronicling the recording the album.

This is by no means an oldies band or music that is filled with “lick my love pump” clichés. Like Three Inches of Blood, Dream Evil embraces the good parts of 80s metal and mixes them with modern power metal to create a brilliant hybrid of killer tunes that will appeal to any metal fan who likes melody, good songwriting and excellent playing. School is in and THE BOOK OF HEAVY METAL is the first assignment!

Track Listing

1. The Book of Heavy Metal (March of the Metallians)
2. Into the Moonlight
3. The Sledge
4. No Way
5. Crusaders' Anthem
6. Let's Make Rock
7. Tired
8. Chosen Twice
9. M.O.M.
10. The Mirror
11. Only For The Night
12. Unbreakable Chain


Niklas Isfeldt—Vocals
Gus. G—Guitars
Fredrik Nordstrom—Guitars/Keyboards
Peter Stalfors—Bass
Snowy Shaw—Drums

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