Eagleheart – Dreamtherapy
When I first saw the name “Eagleheart” the first thing that came to my mind was that classic album opener from a certain well known Finnish band, which happens to be one of my favorite songs. However, I soon made myself focus on my latest review project: The sophomore release of Czech Republic band Eagleheart, with the interesting title Dreamtherapy. As I started the album for the first time I was obviously hoping there would at least be some nods to Stratovarius, and thankfully this ended up being the case, especially with the dual guitarists, who have clearly been influenced by Timo Tolkki (just listen to the beginning of “Taste My Pain” for a perfect example of this). The band does do a good job of creating their own sound though: These influences are just minor and only show up once in a while.
The album begins with the obligatory orchestral intro (seriously, how many power metal albums have those?), which eventually leads into the proper opener “Shades Of Nothing”. This is an excellent up-tempo power metal anthem, with the typical soaring chorus and epic vocal melodies, though it actually isn’t a good indication of how the album sounds on the whole. The typical song on this album can be described as nice melodic mid-tempo power metal, with some solid riffs and obviously great choruses. “Lost In The Dead End” is my favorite of these, as its chorus is just incredibly epic and very catchy. One flaw of this album is that there are a couple too many of the slower tracks, as “Creator Of Time” and “Glass Mountain” are pretty decent, but mixed in with so many similar songs they fail to stand out, and instead feel a bit boring and empty.
One stand out is the title track, which is slightly faster than most, though still slower than “Shades Of Nothing”. It has very good harmonies in the chorus, likely from the band’s founder Michal Kus, who’s listed as both a guitarist and backup vocalist. There’s also the mandatory ballad, which comes in the form of “Nothing Remains”. This is a very beautiful, very emotional song with the best vocals on the album, which leads me to talk about vocalist Vojta Simonik: He is not a very good singer technically, and there are many times when he simply sounds bad, as he isn’t keeping up with the band well at all and just can’t always hit the right notes. His one strength is his voice, which is very powerful, and allows him to excel at the more emotional spots, of which there are plenty.
The album concludes with the 12 minute epic “Wheel Of Sorrow”, which starts out slowly, before speeding up and becoming seemingly straight-forward for a few minutes, but as the song continues there are several twists and twists, including some symphonic elements at points. It’s an amazing song overall, though the part from around 5:30 to 5:44 has some weak guest vocals from producer Roland Grapow. Too bad they decided to put him in on that particular section, because it could have been amazing, but instead it falls flat. Simonik delivers some epic vocals just over a minute later, and aside from that one minor annoyance the song is easily the highlight of the album, with some excellent solos in the second half. It ends with (what else?) a nice orchestral outro.
It’s certainly not without its flaws, and it isn’t terribly original, but overall Dreamtherapy is some very nice melodic power metal with excellent choruses, great guitar work and mostly good songwriting, which I can easily recommend to fans of the genre.
Travis Green’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5