Release DetailsLABEL Century Media
RELEASED ON 10/31/2006
posted on 11/2006 By:
There have been enough shakeups in the Dream Evil camp to make fans seriously question their future, particularly how the changes would affect the band's sound. Gone are drummer Snowy Shaw and guitarist Gus G., while the temporary departure of vocalist Niklas Isfedlt and bassist Peter Stalfors threatened to leave guitarist Fredrik Nordstrom as the lone original member. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and the latter members returned. Whether all that turmoil was the direct cause of the diminished cheese factor of United is up to debate – as is the question of whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
The title “Fire! Battle! In Metal!” looks bad on paper, but what could have been laughably bad (remember “Made of Metal” from Evilized? Yikes!) is reeled back and turned into a solid battle cry. Of course anything about fighting for metal has an inherent cheesiness, but still this isn’t something you’d be ashamed to sing along with. The title works on a similarly anthemic level, a rallying call for metal fans everywhere, while “Blind Evil” takes the band into fairly straightforward territory, with a rhythm reminiscent of Primal Fear.
“Let Me Out” explores familiar lyrical territory, but is musically driven by double-bass, high-octane riffs, and powerful vocals (save for the “lighters up” section in the middle). Overall it’s easily one of the most memorable tracks here. The driving “Kingdom at War” is sadly sandwiched between the mediocre “Higher on Fire” and the ballad “Love is Blind”. Thankfully, the album closes out with three tracks that will make you forget those, most notably the proper album closer “Doomlord”. I say ‘proper’ because there is one more track here, a cover of a pop song that some girl used to win the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest. Lyrically, awful, as many pop songs are, but the track is notable because it was recorded with departed members Gus G. and Snowy Shaw. There is a distinct difference in sound between this and the rest of the tracks; maybe they should have remixed it to fit in better. Oh well, it’s a bonus track, who cares, right?
The fact that there is less cheese that sticks out and attracts all the attention allows the more solid tracks to stick out whereas they may have been lost in the mix of previous efforts. On that note, United is a nice bounce-back from the “this is getting old” feeling of The Book of Heavy Metal. It’s not too stale and not too over the top – it’s just good, traditional power metal with plenty of air guitar and fist-raised-in-triumph moments, devoid of any awkward moments wherein a band member’s spouse chimes in.
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The Book of Heavy Metal
7/13/2004 Dream Evil
3/25/2003 Dream Evil