Originally written by Gregory Bradley.
I’m sure everyone’s pretty much happy about this fact, but here it is: power metal is dying. Some would argue that it’s been dead for quite some time, but to me it is definitely fading into the glorious history of metal. It would seem that Dream Evil has taken it upon themselves to ensure that power metal will live on. The band has everything: the pretentious, self serving lyrics, cheesy falsettos, and mind-bending solos. I would even go so far to say they are even cheesier than the masters of cheddar themselves, Manowar. All of these things make for great one liners (a good parallel for the genre itself, interestingly enough), but do they mean anything, and does this band’s latest album The Book of Heavy Metal have any place in today’s metal scene?
This shit is extremely fucking cheesy. I don’t normally use curse words while reviewing, but holy shit is this album cheesy. It’s almost suicide-inducingly cheesy. Allow me to recite to you some lyrical excerpts: “In life – I have no religion, besides the heavy metal gods, wear nothing but black skin tight leather, My skin’s clad with Metal studs”. And if you thought that was bad, try this on for size: “don’t need no flashy house, no kids/car or ugly wife, the only thing I want, is what my parents don’t, need no widescreen TV, No in all honesty, the only thing I want to be (to be or not to be) In the book of heavy metal!” The lyrics are absolutely HORRIBLE on the title track. However… this is done completely on purpose. They do it to get a rise out of people, to play into the stereotype similar to how rappers pretend to be murderous gangsters and people love it. I must say, it works. I was rolling on the floor laughing when I heard the title track.
My problem with this album is they aren’t this cheesy on every song. “Into the Moonlight” is a great song that is a semiserious song, but a bunch of other songs (such as “The Sledge”, “Crusader’s Anthem”, and “Let’s Make Rock”) seem very hollow. It’s almost as if they’re trying to be cheesy but can’t quite pull it off, and to top it off they can’t decide if they’re a rock band or a metal band. The title track is a killer metal song, so is “M.O.M.” and “No Way”, but half the other songs are just half-assed rock songs. I’m left confused and dissatisfied.
If Dream Evil just stopped pretending they were a serious band half the time and just went all-out Kraft sponsorship, they would be one of the best power metal acts around. It’s their indecision that brings them down a notch or two. I would love to see an album that was 100% pretentiousness. The awesomeness of the title track cannot be matched; never before have I enjoyed a song full of conceited, pompous, ostentatious bullshit. Everyone should love to hate this band as I do, it’s almost worth the money spent for the sheer enjoyment of it all.