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Jacob's Dream - Dominion Of Darkness (CD)

Jacob's Dream
Dominion Of Darkness
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 25 December 2008, 5:37 PM

This band from the US raised some noise with the debut and self titled album that hit the stores in 2000 under Metal Blade. This album sounds really addictive hitting the listener with straightforward US Power Metal and catchy melodies. I have to admit that even after eight years I cannot stop listening to the album's opener Kinescope that still haunts me. The year of 2005 found the band with a third album Drama Of The Ages and a new singer. The lineup change was very important since JACOB'S DREAM had connected their music to the Geof Tate meets Bruce Dickinson vocals of David Taylor.
Despite this change Drama Of The Ages turned to be a vey good album that actually gave birth to t band's second era with Chaz Bond. Chaz has a very wide vocal range that is consistent with the band's musical signature although he not visiting the extremely high pitches that David Taylor did.
So, Dominion OF Darkness is the fourth album that to my surprise comes as self financed. It seems that some problems with Metal Blade forced the band to go solo. Nevertheless, JACOB'S DREAM make a bold step to self release their album through their myspace or the official webpage. After listening to this one many times I came to the conclusion that is better than the previous one and I think the band has eventually finalized a musical identity. The IRON MAIDEN / early QUEENSRYCHE backbone is still there among the double guitar harmonies and the overall classic sound. Chaz does a fine job delivering powerful vocals that most of the times remind me of OMEN's J.D. Kimball (R.I.P. 03/10/03) especially during the melodic parts. The guitar work remains in a high level with compact often galloping rhythm section and leads that pay the proper respect to the US glorious Power Metal past. The underling Epic atmosphere takes the music into another level and -based on my judgement- distinguishes the band from the rest ones. And this is pretty difficult to do inside the Power Metal scene that often sound predictable and kind of flat. Curse Of Antikythera is a fine example of my saying comprising a mid tempo with expressional vocals, powerful leads and a really catchy melody. The early QUEENSRYCHE influences are also here making a distinct appearance in songs like Dissolution Of Purity or Hero. Chaz deserves some additional credit for not trying to reproduce Taylor's vocal character by pushing hard to get to pitches that clearly are not his style.
The price that comes with self-releases is the sound 'sales' you have to go through; it is clear that from the production's point of view the band took a step backwards giving the impression that this is their debut. But, no worries, since we in METAL TEMPLE love self releases and of course support the underground. Something, that most of us have forgotten to do losing the connection to one of the most important elements for the survival of this scene.
So, this is a very good album that will raise some questions about Metal Blade's decision to loose JACOB'S DREAM from their roster.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Demon World
Can't Break
Curse Of Antikythera
Hands Of Doom
Don't Talk
Hero
Dark Alliance
Embraced By Sorrow
Dissolution Of Purity
Violent Kingdom
Awaken The Man
End Of Days
Mercy Killing
Lineup:
Chaz Bond - Vocals
Gary L. Holtzman - Drums
Jon Noble - Guitar
John Berry - Guitar
James Evans - Bass
Record Label: Self Released
     


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