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Review: Jacobs Dream - Drama of the Ages
Jacobs Dream
Drama of the Ages

Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 70:57
Tracks: 12
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 2/5

Review online: December 26, 2007
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Drama of the Ages

Rated 2.56/5 (51.11%) (9 Votes)

It's fair to say that I was more than anxious to get my hands on another slab of concrete from US metal behemoths Jacobs Dream, but no matter how many times I spin their third album "Drama of the Ages", I just cannot comprehend their lapse in quality. I bought this when it came out in 2005, and initially thought the new direction they were taking was a prudent move. With "Theater of War" being in my top ten of 2001, I awaited the follow up with fervor. But after a split with singer David Taylor, guitarist Derek Eddleblute and drummer Billy Queen, this just doesn't sound like the same band anymore, and if anything, the contribution of the new members only hamper what could have been a beautiful follow up. David Taylor didn't have the best voice in the world, but his shaky falsetto was unusual and gave the Christian sentiments purveyed in their lyrics an emotional connection. His hefty replacement Chaz Bond is technically a better vocalist, but his vocal lines are oddly formed and in complete contrast, his voice is low, heaving and commands power in a Blaze Bayley-style fashion. A strange choice, I think you'll agree.

The production has a bigger punch, but the guitars are a muddy wash of harmonies and bass, leaving little or no room for the solid drums or equally authoritative vocals. The solos are technically sound and there is a greater use of keyboards, giving the songs a distinct Power Metal feel, particularly on the double pairing of "Drama of the Ages" and "Keepers of the Crown", which are without question the best tracks on the album. Unlike the pervading naivety of "Theater of War", "Drama of the Ages" seems too contrived, and this darker direction the songs are taking strips away the innocence of their last output. There are some great passages; the double bass-pedaled battering of "Forever Winter" is simply kick ass, and the aforementioned "Keepers of the Crown" is a quality run through Maiden country, but the remainder of the album just seems like one good idea that got out of hand. Every song starts off with a decent riff before being trampled on by the slow, plodding vocal lines, and as the whole thing moves with about as much grace as a bulldozer, you aren't really in for a bunch of short, snappy metal songs with memorable choruses. The fact of the matter is, there isn't any memorable material on "Drama of the Ages", and all it really evokes is irony concerning the rather apt title. Hugely disappointing.

Other related information on the site
Review: Jacob's Dream (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Theater of War (reviewed by Pathfinder Hoyt)
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