Jacob's Dream 2004
Jacob's Dream

Based in Ohio, frontman David Taylor, guitarists Jon Noble and John Berry, bass player Patrik Depappe, keyboard player Paul Whitt and drummer Gary Holtzman released their first same titled demo which resulted in a record deal with Metal Blade Records. After releasing two CDs, David Taylor left and was relpaced by ex-Biogenesis vocalist Chaz Bond.

Jacob's Dream Jacob's Dream (indie) 1997

1. "Wisdom" (5:51)
2. "The Jewel" (5:36)
3. "Love and Sorrow" (4:09)
4. "Violent Truth" (3:12)
5. "Sarah Williams" (6:59)
6. "Rape of Innocence" (5:17)
7. "Outer Realm" (6:19)

2001 reissue of the underground classic CD demo from Jacob's Dream. I am not sure that there is any difference between the re-issue and the original, other than a short bio added to the back insert. In anycase, even the reissue is in short supply and seems to already be a collector's item. The music is typical of Jacob's Dream. They have an almost gothic power metal sound, that is melodic, yet retaining a sense of aggression. The production on these demo tracks is good, while not of the caliber of their Metal Blade released. I actually like the slightly more raw sound of these demo tracks. A few of these tracks ("Love and Sorrow" &"Violent Truth") were re-recorded for the band's Metal Blade debut. "Sarah Williams" and "Wisdom" were re-recorded for their sophomore album. The rest of the tracks remain exclusive to this independent CD.

JAcob's Dream Jacob's Dream (Metal Blade) 2000

1. "Kinescope" (3:34)
2. "Funambulism" (4:33)
3. "Scape Goat" (5:06)
4. "Mad House of Cain" (3:01)
5. "Take of Fears" (4:29)
6. "Crusade" (4:10)
7. "Black Watch" [instrumental] (3:55)
8. "Love & Sorrow" (4:15)
9. "The Gathering" (3:24)
10. "Never Surrender" (4:13)
11. "The Bleeding Tree" (3:49)
12. "Violent Truth" (3:18)

Jacob's Dream are heavy metal with a real 80's vibe--sort of a mix of progressive metal and power metal. Their lead vocalist sounds like a cross between Geddy Lee and Bruce Dickinson. Great stuff with refreshingly thoughtful lyrics. This band also has a self titled indie CD out with different songs and a different cover.

Theater of War Jacob's Dream-Theater of War (Metal Blade) 2001

1. "Sanctuary" (4:45)
2. "Theater of War" (4:46)
3. "Traces of Grace" (5:25)
4. "Wisdom" (5:34)
5. "The Warning" (4:21)
6. "Sarah Williams" (7:07)
7. "De Machina Est Deo" (3:42)
8. "Black Souls" (3:50)
9. "Critical Mass" (5:25)

Disc number two (or three if you count their CD demo) continues in a similar mode to their Metal Blade debut but is superior in the songwriting department. Despite the fact that I really liked that self titled disc when it came out, I quickly lost interest due to the fact that the songs were all very similar, didn't contain enough hooks, and the vocals became distracting after a few listens. This has all been remedied on "Theater of War." Jacob's Dream certainly are not breaking down walls with a pioneering new style, but this isn't the point is it. Rather what the band is doing is trying to create quality power metal, and this they do better than most who attempt this today. Vocalist David Taylor brings a sound that has not been used much since the 80's. His high falsetto voice is strong and adds character to the music, rather than being a total distraction. Once again, I am not sure I could have said this about their debut. Perhaps I need to listen to that one again. The lyrics seem to speak quite strongly of a Christian faith but not in a preachy or condemning tone. Overall, another strong disc that will hopefully open new doors for this band. Picked this one up in a trade on the Perpetual Motion Trade Board. "Sarah Williams" and "Wisdom" originally appeared on the band's first demo CD.

Drama of the AGes Jacobs Dream - Drama of the Ages (Metal Blade) 2005

1. Drama of the Ages" (4:45)
2. Keeper of the Crown" (4:57)
3. Spinning Leaf" (4:51)
4. Stand or Fall" (5:09)
5. Tempest" (5:13)
6. Third Way" (4:44)
7. Forever Winter" (6:11)
8. Drowning Man" (4:59)
9. Deceiver of the Nations" (6:32)
10. Cutting Words" (5:53)
11. Victory" (4:55)
12. At the Gates" (6:47)
13. "Cannon" [unlisted instrumental] (5:50)

It's been a long four years since we last got a studio disc from Jacob's Dream. Of course most know that the band has a new vocalist in Chaz Bond, formerly of Biogenesis. I anxiously awaited my copy in the mail, which for some reason came a bit later than most people who pre-ordered the CD. So, I was able to read some reviews before getting to hear the disc myself. Finally the disc came and I popped it into the CD player as I was heading out for the evening. "Drama of Ages" started things off and I thought to myself, "sounds like Jacob's Dream." However, once the vocals kicked in I was taken back. I had heard Chaz before in Bio, but for some reason, hearing him in Jacob's Dream stunned me on the first listen, mostly because he is just so different from what I am use to in this band. However, subsequent listens proved that he actually works well with this band. Chaz Bond sounds a bit heavier, certainly sings in much lower keys and in a couple songs such as "Tempest" and "Stand or Fall" he even lets out some of those thrashier vocals that he used in Biogenesis. So, I suppose what I am trying to say is, while it took me a spin or two to get use to the stark contrast in vocalists from David Taylor to Chaz Bond, in the end, I think I actually like Chaz's haunting croon at least as much, if not more. Chaz brings to Jacob's Dream what Dickinson brought to Maiden. Sure DiAnno was an excellent vocalist, but who can deny that Bruce brought something special to the band. Same thing here. Musically, the band sticks to the melodic power metal they have always been known for, mixing heavy guitar riffs and melodic keys on top of songwriting with a classic heavy metal flare. The band's music has a passion and emotion that many power metal bands don't exhibit. This makes them stand out from the crowd, in my opinion. As has also always been the case, the guitar work is outstanding, with some blazing guitar leads spattered throughout the music.

Dominion Jacobs Dream - Dominion Of Darkness (independent) 2008

1. "Demon World" (5:30)
2. "Can’t Break" (5:27)
3. "Curse Of Antikythera" (6:20)
4. "Hands Of Doom" [instrumental] (5:02)
5. "Don’t Talk" (4:48)
6. "Hero" (5:21)
7. "Dark Alliance" (5:51)
8. "Embraced By Sorrow" (8:29)
9. "Dissolution Of Purity" (5:27)
10. "Violent Kingdom" (5:48)
11. "Awaken The Man" (5:50
12. "End Of Days" (6:09)
13. "Mercy Killing" (7:39)

Ohio's power metal champs return with their second disc with vocalist Chaz Bond on vocals. Unlike Jacobs Dream's last three releases, which were all on Metal Blade, "Dominion of Darkness" is an independent release only available directly through the band. The band still continues to chug out classic American power metal that is heavily inspired by Iron Maiden, early Fates Warning and perhaps a bit of "Warning"-era Queensryche. I would even dare to say that Jacob's Dream have some similarities to Metal Church on this new release.

It seems that on "Dominion of Darkness" the band has made an effort to record a heavier album with more chugging riffs than before and a crunchy guitar driven sound. However, the band's melodic nature is still in place, with plenty of guitar harmonies, skillful solos and a classic metal sound. The lone instrumental track shows a more progressive side to Jacob's Dream and is quite good. I had initially thought that a five minute instrumental may get boring, but that is certainly not the case at all here. At times, the band even has a somber sound, such as the dark "Embraced by Sorrow". Chaz Bond does a fine job on vocals, delivering a solid performance that at times reminded me of J.D. Kimball (ex-Omen) and at others Jimmy Brown (Deliverance). He even offers a mean, almost thrashy sound here and there.

The only real negative about this CD is the mix and mastering. While it's certainly not terrible, the sound is a bit muddy with the levels from song to song sounding a bit off. However, I don't really find it as bad as some reviewers and fans have made it out to be. Many albums that are labeled as "classic" have far worse mixes. The other minor negative is the packaging. While the cover art is fine, I found it a bit annoying that the track listing wasn't included on the inlay card. Despite these minor complaints, I quite enjoyed this CD, and as a matter of fact like it quite a bit more than "Drama of Ages".

Beneath the Shadows Jacobs Dream - Beneath the Shadows (Retroactive) 2009

1.    Welcome to My World    (3:35)
2.    Minds Will Burn    (4:22)
3.    Stain    (4:44)
4.    Illusive Dream    (5:14)
5.    Hand Full of Dust   (4:57)
6.    The Hell That I Breathe    (5:32)
7.    The Darkest Hour    (2:57)
8.    All My Fears    (4:20)
9.    Reborn in Fire    (3:48)
10.   Beneath the Shadows    (5:00)
11.   The Blessing and the Curse    (5:39)

Jacob’s Dream have been slugging it out in the metal underground for well over a decade now. Despite a change in vocalists and parting ways with Metal Blade Records, the band have have stuck to their guns releasing album after album of heavy/power metal. The band have never strayed from their musical formula, nor have they swayed from their faith based lyrical stance. On "Beneath the Shadows" Jacobs Dream continue their power metal onslaught but with a bit more emphasis on melody, story telling and progressive songwriting. Yes, "Beneath the Shadows" is a concept album.

The story, written by vocalist Chaz Bond, revolves around the life of a character named Camren, who is struggling his way through life searching for light in darkness. As such, the album overall seems a bit more emotional than anything the band has released in the past. Chaz'
s mid-range croon seems quite passionate, as does the music that surrounds the story. With most concept albums, the music seems to flow with the highs and lows of the story. On "Beneath the Remains", Jacob's Dream give us some of their straight forward heavy metal numbers, such as the "Welcome to My World", but also paint their musical canvas with some more melodic, mellow moments. Songs like "The Darkest Hour" and "Reborn In Fire" are acoustic guitar driven, while "All Of My Fears" has a melancholy, almost haunting quality to it.

Being that Jacob’s Dream have recorded independently for the past few releases, there have been some complaints about their recording quality and production. On "Beneath the Shadows", the production is improved over the past two releases, which many described as muddy. However, "Beneath the Shadows" still suffers slightly from a thin, flat recording, though it certainly is an improvement over "Dominion of Darkness".

"Beneath the Shadows" is the first Jacob's Dream album to be released on Retroactive Records, and also their first to be released with the digi-pack packaging. There is not booklet included, though the lyrics and storyline are included on the four panel digi.

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