JACOBS DREAM - BENEATH THE SHADOWS (Retroactive Records)
(Review by Stefan)
Another Retroactive Records product – another darn good US Progressive Power Metal album I’d like to review with a burning passion for the US Metal scene in general!Jacobs Dream is a 5-piece formation from Columbus, Ohio USA – “Beneath The Shadows” is the band’s fifth effort and… I'm the proud owner of the entire JD outputs and absolute fan since their first, self-titled effort!
With a fanbase that firstly grew up in the States – with the release of a second output “Theatre Of War”, also their way of Metal came across the Atlantic to reach Europe as well. Unfortunately, vocalist David Taylor stepped out of the JD core – the one who replaced this guy was Chaz Bond (ex-Biogenesis) and if you’ve never heard of him before – make notice that you have to deal with a superb singer! Third album “Drama Of The Ages” has been unleashed through Metal Blade Records in 2005. The guys in JD collaborated with this legendary record company for only one album – awesome to know is the fact Jacobs Dream released album number four by themselves in 2008 – this independent release called “Dominion Of Darkness”… believe me on my word and just like all the previous efforts of the band, outstanding US Power Metal masterpiece! So many awesome US Metal bands don’t get the attention and support they absolutely deserve and I goddamn get a grip on it. Don’t get me started writing down a list of excellent bands from the US – unfortunately many of them under appreciated and that’s a shame to me!
One of them is Jacobs Dream – a band always in for a lethal dose of outstanding US Power Metal… watch out for their new album entitled “Beneath The Shadows”, released for the first time by Retroactive Records! I guess that the co-operation between both band and label is a really good point for the future.
Available as digi-pack, the new JD effort is an amazing work reflecting a band that obviously is reaching the top of the US Metal mountain one step at the time, closer and closer. As he proved already before, singer Chaz Bond delivers the very best. In the vein of Queensryche’s Geoff Tate (without high pitched shrieks) and Crescent Shield’s world class vocalist named Michael Grant – he is a mighty singer able to lay multiple feelings deep within his throat! The two John’s in the band, I mean Berry and Noble again ready to act like true professionals taking care of the guitar works with an eagle eye on detailed perfection. Very good riffs and other tactics, I'm pleased all over. My appreciation goes also to the rest of the band – Gary Holtzman as master and commander of his huge drumkit, James Evans acts like a natural born bass player!
The songs on “Beneath The Shadows” are played mostly in a lower tempo with extremely heavy / rough co-ordinated guitars and hard pounding drums. I want to underline once again that all of the songs has been completed with powerful, top-notch vocal line. Right from the start, ‘Welcome To My World’ brings on the heavy side of Jacobs Dream – in your face and harder than steel US Power Metal. ‘Minds Will Burn’ spit out even more heavyweight Metal music the American way. Listen to ‘Stain’ and be convinced a really fantastic singer named Chaz Bond. Lots of emotion this time – great guitar moves and the song gives me a Classic Metal feel and that’s the way I like it definitely! Another hard and heavy one to the bone is ‘Handful Of Dust’ – maybe a silly coincidence but I’d like to compare this song with Savatage’s ‘Handful Of Rain’ or ‘Taunted Cobra’s’.
“Beneath The Shadows” also contains two acoustic songs entitled ‘The Darkest Hour’ and ‘Reborn In Fire’ – lay back and make yourself comfortable for these and if your heart is on the right spot, it’ll be touched by emotions. A whole bunch of melodies to swallow on songs like ‘The Hell That I Breath’ and ‘Beneath The Shadows’ (incredible good track with a superb break – one of my top faves!). Another song that earns my complete attention and admiration is the last one ‘The Blessing And The Curse’… all elements on board to cry it out loud that US Progressive Power Metal still reigns supreme!
Without a doubt a great album made by and for US Power Metal addicts. Find your way to Jacobs Dream’s world of Metal at: www.myspace.com/jacobsdream . Fans of Onward, very early Jag Panzer (“Chain Of Command” album mainly), Crescent Shield, Dragonwyck, Order Of Nine, Queensryche, Pyramaze, K-Octave, Taunted better take my words for real!
My Points: 96 / 100