Dream Weaver - Words Carved Within
Secret Port Records
Classic Heavy Metal
11 songs (56'24)
Release year: 2003
Dream Weaver, Secret Port Records
Reviewed by Marty
Dream Weaver is a Greek metal band, formed in 1992 by guitarist George Zacharoglou and vocalist Jim Marcou. They released a demo in 1995 called Dream Within A Dream and a five song E.P. in 2000 entitled Fantasy Revealed. This album, Words Carved Within is the band's first full-length album on Secret Port Records.

Playing a more traditional type of heavy metal, it's refreshing to hear a band that's not obsessed with speed and melody like so many other new power metal bands. Only a couple of tracks really fall under the power metal category such as Back From The North and Ice Cold Steel and in fact, they have more of a true metal flavor. Influences on other tracks come from bands like Queensryche (older Warning era style), Savatage, Iron Maiden and even Black Sabbath with slower atmospheric riffing styles. The guitar playing on this album is very good with George Zacharoglou providing some very interesting arrangements with the songs and lots of harmony thirds and overdubbed guitar effects. Unfortunately, that's about all that's good with this album. The vocals of Jim Marcou come across as someone trying to emulate the Bruce Dickinson style with the sort of "wailing" vibrato that he uses but it's way over-used, annoying and off key. He double-tracks his voice in many spots like Bruce Dickinson did on the choruses to Run To The Hills and Flight Of Icarus and for the most part, it works quite well and gives the band a retro 70's or 80's sound. He does a decent job and tracks like Burn The Sun, Ice Cold Steel and Eyes Of The Day with all three of those tracks being some of his better vocal performances. The problem is the wailing that he does at the end of the vocal phrases that makes me cringe. If he'd either ditch that style altogether or improve upon his delivery, he'd be better off.

Another huge sore spot with me and I mean HUGE!! is the production. This album sounds like it was recorded in a garage with overhead mics. The vocals are louder than the guitars, the drums sound very thin with the bass drums sounding like someone slapping a pillow. The overall sound is very "dry" with no effects on the voices whatsoever to enrich their sound. The guitars have a thin sound as well and the great performance by George Zacharoglou almost goes by unnoticed.

This is an ambitious effort by a band that has some talent and if you see through the shoddy production and bad vocals, there's something going on here. The song arrangements and basic melody lines for the songs are actually quite good and it took me a couple of listens to really see that (I was ready to write this off as Crap Of The Month at first) but as I slowly tuned out the vocals and listened to the guitar tracks, I was quite impressed with what I heard. With all the melodic fills and guitar overdubs, it makes me wonder how this band would survive a live situation being only a 1 guitar band. They're one of the only high points on this album. With better production and less Bruce Dickinson style vibrato "wailing", this band is quite capable of turning out some great classic heavy metal.

Killing Songs :
Burn The Sun
Marty quoted 55 / 100
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