"Drama for the Ages" (Metal Blade; 2005)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Sometimes you have to listen to a CD at least a few times to really get into what the music is all about. However, that was not the case with "Drama for the Ages" by Jacob's Dream.

I immediately recognized the music on this CD as a driving force in heavy metal and it plainly kicked ass. The music is tight, concise and very well written, but not overdone to the point of going too far. 

This band's storytelling ability is top notch and made me pay very close attention to the lyrics. I may not have been able to understand everything, but the the three of us had a memorable experience together (that's me, my CD player and "Drama for the Ages"). Jacob's Dream could do the soundtrack for a major motion picture, their music is so good at creating visual images.

Jacob's Dream: Chaz Bond - vocals; John Berry - guitar; Jon Noble - guitar; James Evans - bass; Gary Hotzman - drums. 

As much as I liked the band, I found their web site, at www.jacobsdream.us, seriously lacking in the info department. I wanted more, but I was frankly bored. But I won't hold that against the band.

"Theater of War" (Metal Blade; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"Theater of War" is more of the same from Jacob's Dream and that's either a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you thought of their original release. If there's any difference, it's that "Theater of War" doesn't seem to have the same energy, and perhaps hunger, that the self-titled release did.

That doesn't mean it still won't give you a swift kick in the pants. "Theater of War" is a heavy album by any account, with thundering drums, epic vocals, and driving guitars. Even when they slow down a bit, as on "Sarah Williams," the band still has a forceful presence. The instrumental, "De Machina Est Deo," is a highlight, with its blistering leads and progressive stylings.

"Theater of War" does stray away a bit from Iron Maiden territory here, with the songs sounding less like that band and more like, say, Manowar. David Taylor's vocals throughout are still very reminiscent of Queensryche's Geoff Tate and that's all right. Taylor gives the songs of Jacob's Dream a progressive quality that fits with their pounding metal in an interesting way.

If I had to pick between the two, I'd say that I like the self-titled release just a smidgeon more than "Theater of War." But just a little.

Jacob's Dream: John Berry - guitar, guitar synth; Deek Eddleblute - guitar; James Evans - bass; David Taylor - vocals; Billy Queen - drums. 

For more information, check out http://www.truemetal.org/jacobsdream/

"Jacob's Dream" (Metal Blade; 2000)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

For some people, Jacob's Dream may take a little getting used to. The band's sound - best described as a combination of Iron Maiden and Queensryche - is a such a unique blending that it may sound odd at first. But perseverance will pay off - subsequent listenings of this album get better and better.

With powerful guitars, pounding drums and songs that are epically written, Jacob's Dream accomplish their goal with flying colors. They mean to kick your ass with true metal music while they deliver lyrics that are meaningful and well-conceived. "Scape Goat" attacks the theory that music, movies and videogames make monsters out of kids: "Don't you know that you have the power; Entrusted with your children's lives; Let them know that there are no scape goats; Teach them well to know wrong from right." Other songs seem to tell complete stories. The driving "Crusade" tells the story of its namesake, while "Mad House of Cain" is the tale of "murder incarnate." Then there's "Love & Sorrow," which seems to be a heartbreaking love song. "Black Watch" is an instrumental, and one of the CD's best tracks.

Fans of bands like Gamma Ray, Stratovarius and, of course, Iron Maiden and Queensryche will no doubt like Jacob's Dream as well.

Jacob's Dream: James Evans - bass; John Berry - guitar and synth; Gary Holtzman - guitar; David Taylor - vocals; Rick May - drums.

For more information, check out http://truemetal.org/jacobsdream/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 12 Mar 2024 12:56:41 -0500.