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Dreamland - Exit 49

Label: Dockyard 1
Format: CD download
Released: 2009
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7.5/ 10


Gothenburg based hard rock/melodic metal outfit’s third release. High pitched vocals, bouncy, light (some would say fluff) and poppy, the power metal tag adhered after the Hammerfall inspired (bassist Mats Rendlert is a friend of Hammers founder/guitarist Oscar Dronjak) ’05 debut "Future’s Calling" is now only partially accurate. The band even uses “glam” as the third adjective (behind rock & metal) to describe themselves on their MySpace. Don’t hear it (nor see it), but with the Swedish scene going through something of an 80s Sunset Strip upheaval these days, makes them seem topical.

 

The multi-part vocals of ‘Worlds Apart’ is straight out of the sappy late 80s power ballad heyday, but the acoustic begun ‘Song For You’ makes Nelson look like Slayer. Another reviewer compared it to the Backstreet Boys, who probably have something heavier! Conversely, the lively ‘So Weak So Feeble’ follows a gritty pattern similar to countrymen Sabaton, albeit with rough edges smoothed. The traditional metal begun title track (with modern, drop tuning) sports a guest appearance by the singer from Germany’s At Vance. With the odd, near-death metal vox, ‘Shortest Straw’ is a rousing mover, made all the moreso by the snail-paced predecessor and ‘Set The Heavens On Fire’ is similarly high-spirited. Widdling guitar introduces the otherwise mid-tempo ‘Curse’, while the disc concludes with a tasteful 1:42 prog-jazz instrumental interlude ‘Time To Exhale’.

 
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