Dream Evil


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Evilized is a shameless record, celebrating sacred heavy metal conventions with both passion and a touch of parody. Dream Evil still plays '80s-style power metal with plenty of soaring choruses and fancy fretwork, but they've dropped the Dungeons & Dragons lyrics in favor of songs about the genre itself. The use of lyrical clichés is inspired and witty in this context; singer Niklas Isfeldt's macho boasts of being "so f*cking metal" are self-consciously hilarious yet genuine enough to avoid condescension. Guitarist Gus G. delivers a batch of straightforward, biting riffs to fit Isfeldt's earnest sentiment, and together these two elements make these accessible metal songs more engaging than anything on their heavy-handed debut. Some purists will not enjoy the moments of absurdity, but that's to be expected. What those listeners might want to consider is that despite poking fun at heavy metal's clichés, Dream Evil is intensely loyal to their craft. Countless metal songs have been written about breaking chains and the minions of the night, but by embracing these tired song topics with a warped appreciation, they've made one of the more relevant power metal albums of the decade, and a loving tribute as well.

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