JACOBS DREAM - THEATER OF WAR (Metal Blade Records)

 

One of the most promising US Metal bands of the last decade was without any doubts Jacob’s Dream. Their superb EP, the ultra strong debut album and of course this pearl made the band ready to become one of the highlights – of that era - in our movement. It didn’t work out this way and the loss of singer David Taylor has a lot to do with it… 

No one can deny this man owns one of the most unique voices the Metal scène has ever contained. Put Geoff Tate, Bruce Dickinson and Harry Conklin in a blender, put a bit of a nasal and – oh so typical – vocal sound in it and you can easily imagine how this man’s timbre sounds. It was a chemistry that worked right away when I ever heard the first album, this second release of this Christian Metal band was responsible for the fact the man belongs to the top of my list of favorite singers. 

Not only David Taylor was the key of what might have been world domination, musical wise Jacob’s Dream is for the full hundred percent perfect. What I miss nowadays in the band is that dark sound into their music, the sinister atmosphere that seems to be faded away into oblivion. Every single song is – however influenced by the Eigthies Metal sound – unique and even innovating, darkness and melancholy seems to be weaved between each of them.  

Jacob’s Dream is Progressive, is typical US Power Metal but is overall mysterious. The combination of the technical played guitars, subtle but incredible well chosen keyboard parts and the specific clean throat of mister David Taylor are giving the band a charisma that is seldom heard… 

It’s too hard to point the best track out of this one. “Sanctuary”, “Theater of war”, “Wisdom” and “Critical mass” are already now legendary evidences of how strong and pure Heavy Metal really can be! The inheritance David Taylor left behind is magic… Talking about this man I still pity he left the scène. The reasons are understandable, the man wanted to make more time for his family but I suppose he will never understand how much he really means to me! I don’t want to bash his replacer, Chaz Bond, another great singer but he was never able to deliver the magic charm Jacob’s Dream was so well known for… Well know isn’t exactly true because a lack of support , not by the label but by the mainstream magazines and radio stations, was responsible for the fact the band could never break through, was forced to stay underground… 

The most ear catching song is without any doubts “Sarah Williams”. Next to “Traveler” from Agent Steel I consider it as the best ballad ever written by a Metal Band. What’s connecting both songs is the mystifying mood, especially created by some mind-blowing acoustic parts. David Taylor’s vocal lines are really exceptional, dazzling, superior. What a mighty track and it’s really impressive how much feelings and emotions mister Taylor lays into his vocal lines! This is pure melancholy! If you listen to this one you will be convinced David Taylor really regrets the fact he killed a girl, as a drunk car driver. The subject of the lyrics is by the way original, outstanding! Time after time I hear this song stone cold shivers are making part of me, time after time the whiskey demon makes part of me… This performance is so impressive that I feel the pain this man must feel for what he did, punished for live, living in a hell, forever trapped and banned… 

Jacob’s Dream is catchy, contains first class song writers and is able to mix Power and melody on a perfect way. Emotional played guitars, a world class singer and a very good production are other brands. In the Metal scène I miss two singers; John Cyriis and David Taylor. I have no hope they will ever come back and their vanishing is a big loss for our community. They might be not the most famous ones, celebrity is often the big media’s choice, but they are forever in my heart! “Theater of war” can be considered as one of the best US Power Metal albums ever written.

My Points: 98 / 100