DREAM EVIL
"In the Night"

(Century Media)

01. Immortal
02. In The Night
03. Bang Your Head
04. See The Light
05. Electric
06. Frostbite
07. On The Wind
08. The Ballad
09. In The Fires Of The Sun
10. Mean Machine
11. Kill, Burn, Be Evil
12. The Unchosen One

RATING: 8/10

In that place where power metal, traditional metal, and even melodic hard rock overlap (spare me the surgical classification), bands like FIREWIND, EDGUY, and DREAM EVIL all share an affinity for conventional song structuring, big ass riffs, and even bigger, fist-pumping choruses that glom on to the brain like a lamprey to a lake trout. Perhaps even more importantly though is that emphasis on keeping heavy metal fun and the making of music that flies in direct opposition to bands that take themselves way too seriously. Most would agree that EDGUY are the kings, not so much of fools (pun intended), but of seeking first to induce smiles and laughter, but DREAM EVIL is right there with them, maybe even more so on new album "In the Night".

What seemingly began as an outlet for rhythm guitarist and songwriter Fredrik Nördstrom's (a.k.a. "Ritchie Rainbow") inner heavy metal child continues to be just that, yet has evolved into a reliable, long running act that has five studio albums, including the new one, under its collective belt. I seem to recall some folks saying that the band had lost its fun factor at one point and while I never agreed with that statement because it's absurd, no one could accuse DREAM EVIL of losing its sense of humor or its concern with penning sing-along-with-a-smile anthems on "In the Night". It could be as simple as unashamedly shooting it straight with a shout-worthy, ACCEPT-esque number like "Bang Your Head" or the fact that the "The Unchosen One" is a tongue-in-cheek take on "The Chosen Ones" from the "Dragonslayer" debut (take note of vocalist Niklas Isfeldt's — a.k.a. "Nick Night" — utterance of "bitch!" toward the end). But nowhere iare tongues planted more firmly in cheeks nor sly grins wider than on a balled called simply "The Ballad", which is not only an addictively catchy, Bic-flickin' throwback, but the lyrics are downright hilarious (e.g. "sometimes we get tired of being metal stars", among many other great lines).

However, if it weren't for the fact that DREAM EVIL can write some seriously ass-kicking, hotter than hell heavy metal songs, no one would care about senses of humor. Even more so than 2006's "United" (a good album in its own right), "In the Night" is a cohesive, smooth flowing album from beginning to end that features many truly metal moments among the killer riffs, scorching solos, and catchy refrains, such as the old school aggressive backing vocals on the chorus of "Kill, Burn, Be Evil", the hard as nails solo break in "The Unchosen One", and the a cappella ending of "Immortal" on which Isfeldt truly shines.

SCORPIONS, DIO, and MANOWAR are just a few of the influences heard, so don't delay, grab your copy of "In the Night" today. And have a little fun once in a while. It won't kill ya.

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