Dreamtale – Seventhian… Memories of Time (2016) [ProStudioMasters FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Dreamtale – Seventhian… Memories of Time (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:26:13  minutes | 1,03 GB  | Genre: Rock, Metal
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: ProStudioMasters | Front Cover | © Secret Door

Finnish metal band Dreamtale combines the best of the old with the best of the new on the double album Seventhian… Memories of Time. In addition to a set of original songs, the package includes a second disc of re-recorded, updated versions of the group’s early material.

Nostalgia can be healthy when it avoids outright obsession and stagnation, for it gives a frame of reference for what is to come. Too often there is this religious fervor to progress and cut ties with any notion of the past, and while few bands ever really make a total break with existing precedent, those that adopt this mentality tend to be poorer for it. Change tends to work best when accomplished sparingly and in an orderly fashion, allowing for a recognizable foundation that draws further attention to those points of contrast that make each moment a unique one. This approach is essentially the nuanced sweet spot that a continually successful power metal band of any note engages in, one where those that may not care for the band will complain of self-plagiarism, but where others will see another album from one of their favorite bands. That is the experience of following Dreamtale, a band that arguably wrote the book on how to weather chaotic lineup shifts without losing the musical plot.
To the uninitiated, this band’s seventh offering Seventhian…Memories Of Time comes off as a sort of curious combination of Stratovarius’ keyboard-steeped speed and flair with the compact and fun-loving, riff-happy fanfare of post-Helloween German acts like Freedom Call. This description could naturally fit about every album that Dreamtale has offered up to varying degrees, not to mention a number of similarly geared bands hailing from the same nation like Burning Point and Celesty, and it only gives a partial picture of how the various cogs and wheels in this machine work. A fuller picture takes into account some of the nuances in songwriting, as guitarist and de facto band leader Rami Keränen is usually not content to simply bang out verse/chorus arena fodder and usually mixes up the structure a bit, not to mention putting a fair amount of emphasis on instrumental breaks beyond obligatory guitar solos in a manner reminiscent of older school Helloween. Throw in a few token symphonic elements reminiscent of Nightwish and occasional forays into older heavy metal territory and things start to come into focus.
While this band has had a peculiar knack for displaying this sense of slightly unconventional songwriting within a song duration that generally stays under six minutes, this time around things have maintained a strict compactness that would give the impression that Dreamtale is taking on a more concise and commercialized approach similar to the one taken on Phoenix. The only song on here that breaks past the five minute mark is the slightly intricate but not quite epic closing song “Embrace My Scars”, which has a few interesting musical twists and turns but doesn’t scream ambitious closing song the way “Return To The Sea” or “Farewell…” did in the early days. Upon closer inspection, while the songs are structurally a bit similar, they are also a tad bit more aggressive and heavy, not to mention fast and fancy. Blazing cookers like “For Our Futures”, “Fusion Illusion” and the riveting bonus song “Even If I Cannot Breathe” come off more like late 90s Gamma Ray than Stratovarius they cut so hard, and near equally fast and gallop-happy heavy hitters “Cabal Toyboy” and “Greenback Hunter” prove to be no slouches either despite the prominent keyboards.
There is a lot to be said for the impressive array of songs found on this album, but what is doubly enticing about this offering for existing fans of the band is the re-recordings of all the older songs from the first four albums. Suffice it to say, the reinterpretations of the material off Beyond Reality and Ocean’s Heart prove to be the most enthralling, the former more so because present vocalist Erkki Seppänen has a far nimbler technique than Rami at the microphone, the latter because Erkki is actually fairly similar sounding to Tomi Viiltola, not to mention that the songwriting in the early days was a bit less stylized and more intricate. Curiously enough, the atmosphere of these newer versions aren’t terribly different from the originals, save maybe a slightly harder punch from the guitars and a bit less density to the keyboards, whereas the crispness of Janne Juutinen’s drum work turns “Refuge From Reality” and “Angel’s Eyes” into a higher impact affair. The only area where things kind of stay the same are the two songs off Phoenix, which could have been axed in favor of one or two more selections off Ocean’s Heart or Difference given that the only difference in lineup are the drummer and bassist.
The nostalgia factor with this album is indeed a powerful one, and it perhaps doesn’t help matters much that the author of this review has been following this band intently for about 13 years and has been watching with baited breath for the moment when they’d actually outdo their 2003 magnum opus of a concept album Ocean’s Heart. That didn’t happen here, but what has occurred is a highly welcomed addition to a growing catalog by a stalwart from the turn-of-the-millennium power metal revival that shows little signs of slowing down. They’ve done this before, they’ll do it again, but they always seem to find a way doing it all that keeps it from being just another collection of hooks and fancy guitar solos. With ink and quill in hand, let us all record what ought to be remembered. -metal-archives.com


Disc 1
1. Dreality 03:28
2. For Our Future 04:05
3. October Is Mine 04:07
4. Picnic Inferno 04:18
5. Cabal Toyboy 04:41
6. True Life 04:19
7. Reality Reborn 04:29
8. Fusion Illusion 04:44
9. Names on the Wall 04:30
10. Greenback Hunter 03:44
11. Moral Messiah 04:14
12. Embrace My Scars 05:12

Disc 2
1. Refuge from Reality 04:51
2. Call of the Wild 04:51
3. Angel’s Eyes 04:17
4. Two Hundred Men 03:55
5. My Only Wish 04:53
6. World’s Child 04:52
7. Take What the Heavens Create 02:52
8. Firebird 03:52

Akseli Kaasalainen, keyboards
Seppo Kolehmainen, guitars
Erkki Seppänen, vocals
Heikki Ahonen, bass
Janne Juutinen, drums
Rami Keränen, guitars, vocals



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