|Review: Dreamtale - Ocean's Heart|
Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2003
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: October 22, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 3.47/5 (69.41%) (17 Votes)
Well, Scott was going to do this one, but then he asked me to, said this was too "fruity" for him. I suppose I can see that. This is album numero two for this Finnish Power Metal band, and musically, there are no surprises here. Lyrically and conceptually there are a few, but not the good kind of surprises.
If I say "Finnish Power Metal", what do you think of? There, that is Dreamtale exactly. This is not bad music by any means, and some of the melodies are pretty sweet, but there is nothing here that isn't cliché. You've got your high, clear vocals, your double-bass speed attack, your keyboards, your two-guitar harmonies and your fantasy lyrics. That's pretty much it. The major problems with this album, musically are that it goes on too long (13 tracks is a bit much), and the songs all sound pretty much alike. Here and there Dreamtale with conjure up a pretty good riff, but then the double-bass kicks in and the song starts to sound exactly like all the rest. The vocals are another weak spot for this band. Tomi Viitola isn't a bad singer by any stretch, but he's not that great either, and the vocal melodies are so-so, with nothing really outstanding.
Now we come to the lyrics, and the "story". And while I ordinarily don't spend much time on this sort of thing, I feel compelled this time. The lyrics, themselves, are not that bad. Certainly better than Sonata Arctica (shudder). But the story here…. Let's get specific. The story is printed on the inside of the tip-in card, under the disc. It goes basically like this (I'll keep it short, I promise). You have the basic "Ancient Land, thousands of years ago" where a Horrible Evil Monster was imprisoned right under the big capital city. We are told that there was a child born to a minor noble who was then exiled because he was prophesied to become a great leader. A decent setup, not original, but OK, right? Now, somehow the boy grows up, meets the King's daughter (by accident) and falls in love with her. I thought he was exiled? Hello? How did this happen? But never mind, because now the Horrible Evil Monster is awake and is making everybody evil. He makes the princess kill herself, and then the Chosen One, our prophesied hero, goes to fight the Horrible Evil Monster and….dies instantly. Okay, so much for the entire point of the story. Did I miss something? So of course now the King has to save the world by destroying the Horrible Evil Monster. He does this by (wait for it) PRAYING! Yes! He prays to the gods (who have not been mentioned up to this point) and they send a big wave to drown the nasty bad monster. Oh, and they incidentally KILL EVERYONE and DESTROY THE CITY.
So we have a story where the Young Hero Chosen By Destiny is killed after accomplishing NOTHING AT ALL, after his beloved princess KILLS HERSELF. And then the Evil King saves everyone by PRAYING. This is, I have to say, the stupidest excuse for a storyline I have ever seen. Even japanimation movies usually do better than this. Hell, I've seen porno movies that have better storylines. I normally love fantasy lyrics, and I have no problems with concept albums. But please, learn to write a story that makes a lick of sense before you make a whole album about it.
I don't mean to imply that this album sucks, as some of the music is pretty good. Fans of Sonata Arctica or DragonForce will probably like this album just fine, and this is way better than most Rhapsody albums. But it is pretty generic and cliché, so anyone looking for something different will be sorely disappointed. Oh, and the lyrics are OK, but the story sucks ass.
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