Nightmare World

Eidolon - Nightmare World ©2000 Metal Blade
1. Nightmare World
2. Noctem Aeternus (Eternal Night)
3. Lunar Mission
4. Eye Of Illusion
5. Repulsion
6. Fortress Of Red
7. Majestic Interlude (instrumental)
8. Glorified Suicide
9. Dreamscape

From the press memo: "In closing, we would like to say one thing: the musical climate may change with the times - Eidolon will NOT!!!!!" Ho-boy, if there's one surefire way of getting a poor review from me, this is it…

Eidolon sound like Nevermore's younger sibling, but play with less originality and with more power/thrash metal inspirations. The drums, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar join in crafting a droning machine gun-like rhythm, while the guitar makes subtle changes within a narrow range of notes. Found in nearly every song is the obligatory ferocious guitar solo, and Eidolon certainly do a nice job with them - the solo in "Lunar Mission" is particularly nifty. You'll find a few meatier riffs in a few songs, the more melodic, power metal personality sometimes takes hold, and Slayer-like couplets may be heard towards the end of "Eye of Illusion." The band dabbles in softer, mellower music too, notably with the sad instrumental polyphonies in "Majestic Interlude", the guitar and keyboard rapport in "Noctem Aeternus (Eternal Night)", and the acoustic guitar work towards the end of the ambitious "Dreamscape". But undeniably Eidolon live, breathe, sleep, eat, and masturbate metal, so it comes to no surprise that the lyrics, albeit competently written, contain your classic, clichéd metal themes. The singer, frankly, sounds like Warrel Dane. Brian Soulard has the same melodramatic, quasi-power metal, somnolent style that Nevermore's Dane uses, and sings decently, I suppose. His singing is many notches below Anneke van Giersbergen's (as if they could be compared), but Soulard avoids the dog whistle histrionics that most power metal singers use, earning him a Roman Caesar's thumbs up in my book.

The problem with Eidolon is not so much their playing ability, which happens to be quite good. The problem is with the songwriting and music's general blandness. Many of the songs are quite mediocre, and few are interesting enough to warrant repeated listens. The music's genericness does not help, either. Stalwart Eidolon, change is good; embrace it, lest you go the way of the dinosaurs, woolly mammoths, and other "true" metal bands…

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 07/2000

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