“Dream Evil” CD REVIEW by Adam McCann
Six Century Media 2017
Six is the Antidote
Some things in life just go really well together, black and white, fish and chips, chicken and mayonnaise and heavy metal and cheese. Over the years, heavy metal has shamelessly adopted many clichés and we love them, sometimes, the cheesier the better and Sweden’s Dream Evil are up there with the cheesiest.
It has been seven years since the last Dream Evil album with the band insisting that they have not been on hiatus, but in their own words: ‘very busy’. This is hardly surprising really considering behind the pseudonym of Ritchie Rainbow is esteemed Gothenburg sound producer, Fredrick Nordström. It would take an entire article alone dedicated to the résumé of Nordström to list his achievements, but finally, this year we have a new Dream Evil album aptly titled ‘Six’.
No introduction is needed here, ‘Six’ storms into action with a crushing riff for ‘Dream Evil’ complete with hoo ha’s designed for raising your fist in the air and this feeling continues throughout the song with its almost hypnotically chanting cult like chorus. ‘Dream Evil’ fantastically kicks off the album, it is a perfect slab of balls to the wall heavy metal infused with power metal with the guitars of Nordström and Mark Black prevailing throughout. Listening to ‘Six’ is like being an acolyte at a devilish meeting, the large emphasis on an impactful chorus only serves to hammer each song home, ‘Dream Evil’, the superb ‘Antidote’, the party hard Manowar attitude of ‘Too Loud’ and the defiantly sombre closing track ‘We Are Forever’ give connotations of unity and strength in numbers against a common enemy, especially towards the end with the music fading out leaving nothing but the vocals.
As an album, ‘Six’ takes a much darker turn than other Dream Evil releases, many of the recurring themes throughout the album revolve around evil, darkness and the occult; ‘Dream Evil’, ‘Antidote’, ‘Sin City’, ‘Creature of the Night’ and ‘Six Hundred and 66’ all directly reference these themes. However, ‘Six’ never becomes boring, from fist throwing, soaring vocals and extremely catchy chorus’, Dream Evil will have you, yes, there are some songs on ‘Six’ that aren’t as good as the others; ’The Murdered Mind’ with its Megadeth style chug, ’44 Riders’ and ‘Broken Wings’ do not stand up as strong as some of the songs that come before them, but you can hardly call them filler, ‘Six’ runs exceptionally smoothly and clocking in at just over 50 minutes, it is the perfect length to fully enjoy.
Fredrick Nordström is a man who takes everything within his stride and obviously he does not only produce and mix, he takes little bits from each band he gets the pleasure of working and with Dream Evil, no band is more prevalent than HammerFall. At times there is such a scary parallel between Dream Evil vocalist, Niklas Isfeldt and HammerFall’s Joacim Cans that occasionally you feel yourself having to check that it isn’t a guest spot from the HammerFall frontman. From the heavy pounding of the double bass drums of ‘Antidote’ provide the perfect backdrop for Isfeldt to issue his best Cans impression whilst the Aleister Crowley inspired ‘Sin City’, ‘Six Hundred and 66’ and ‘Too Loud’ wouldn’t be out of place on any of the later HammerFall albums.
The best thing about ‘Six’ is that it is highly addictive and above all fun to listen to, it serves as a nice reminder that Dream Evil have been away for far too long. There are some people out there who do not like cheese and that is fine, however, cheese is the perfect accompaniment for heavy metal and for that, look no further than Dream Evil and ‘Six’. 8/10
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine