Wow! If Master Nordström continues to put out such classy releases in such rapid succession, Metal fans will need their own rack just for DREAM EVIL albums soon! Only a few months after the really good debut "DragonSlayer", we now are treated with "Evilized" and it is every inch as deeply rooted in the traditional Metal as the first album, but still sounds different.
"Evilized" is not as all out Power Metal anymore, but also takes up some more traditional Heavy Metal and Melodic Metal into the sound, which has done DREAM EVIL a lot of good indeed (as much as I like "DragonSlayer"), because it has freshened up their sound and also sets them apart from much of the rest of the bunch.
The album oozes with great musicianship with the young Greek guitar wizard Gus G., drummer-pilgrim Snowy Shaw and especially the great voice of Niklas Isfeldt, who in my opinion is among the best singers out of Sweden in this style, because he delivers a damn inspired and powerful performance that yanks the whole thing forward another step.
Opener "Break The Chains" is a "True Metal" track par excellence with shouted chorus, while the title track surprises with a quite dark start with great vocals, then turning into a powerful mid-tempo stomper that sounds just plainly great, just like the following short up-tempo bolt "Invisible", again ennobled by Isfeldt's voice. And that this also works well with ballads, is shown by "Forevermore" as well as the excellent closer "The End", not to forget the catchy "Children Of The Night".
Sure, if you want to scoff at DREAM EVIL because of their musical and lyrical direction, then you already have laughed about "DragonSlayer" and won't even bother to try out "Evilized", but if you want and can appreciate very well wrought, executed and produced Metal, then you've found one album to go for with DREAM EVIL's second. OK, you should not put THAT much emphasis on deep going lyrics and also like the mentioned sound, but if you do that, then you have no excuse not to pick up "Evilized"! (Online February 20, 2003)