Jacobs Dream

Picture of Jacobs Dream

Jacobs Dream

Jacobs Dream - Jacobs Dream ©2000 Metal Blade
1. Kinescope
2. Funambulism
3. Scape Goat
4. Mad House Of Cain
5. Tale Of Fears
6. Crusade
7. Black Watch
8. Love & Sorrow
9. The Gathering
10. Never Surrender
11. The Bleeding Tree
12. Violent Truth (bonus Track)

Power metal may be, for the most part, an antiquated genre, but once in a while a band comes along and throws a monkey wrench into that claim. Jacobs Dream is very nearly one of those bands. They hail from Columbus, Ohio - hardly an epicenter of underground metal activity, but their unmistakable talent was good enough to earn them a record contract with Metal Blade.

Make no bones about it, the musical style that is their expertise is far from pioneering or even trendy, and their lack of originality leaves much to be desired, but for fans of classically-influenced power metal, you can do no wrong with this self-titled performance. David Taylor is the falsetto, and has a surprisingly strong command of the upper registers, though it tends to falter a bit near the top of his range. He sings on key, and the vocals are actually an enhancement, rather than a distraction to the rest of the music. If you cannot stand the falsetto technique at all, you'd best avoid this CD. But the vocal and guitar harmonizing, of which there are plenty, works well and is a treat for connoisseurs of the power style. To generalize, the music is stacked with sequencing and scaling melodic lines and vocal/guitar harmonies, with the occasional synth accompaniment. "Kinescope", a song ostensibly about watching a television, but is also intended as a metaphor on self-reflection, opens with some excellent harmonized melodies. "Funambulism", with uplifting lyrics that befit a self-help seminar, follows with a lengthy solo towards its conclusion. Much of the album's remainder follows a similar plan of attack, with exceptions being the strophic ballad "Mad House of Cain" and the instrumental track "Black Watch." Lyrically, Jacobs Dream's scope is an ambitious one, with subject matters ranging from religion to self-reliance and -responsibility. The verses are replete with hope and optimism, a nice change from the Satanic and/or Macho Man themes prevalent in heavy metal.

You won't find any avant-garde jazz stylings or twelve-minute solos in Jacobs Dream - fancy technique is put on the backburner here. What you'll find instead is twelve solidly composed songs and a very enjoyable album in almost all respects. Recommended.

Review by Jeffrey Shyu

Review date: 02/2000

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