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Dream Child: Until Death Do We Meet Again
Dream Child - Until Death Do We Meet Again Music Review

Dream Child: Until Death Do We Meet Again

Heavy Metal
4.0/5.0

Guitarist Craig Goldy (Dio, Guiffria, et al), via Frontiers Music, has found his musical career sufficiently resurrected in the last few years. Yes, there's some foreshadowing there. 2015 brought Resurrection Kings and their album of rousing classic heavy metal rock. About a year ago, Goldy teamed with vocalist and mutual Guiffria cohort David Eisley for Blood, Guts, And Games, a somewhat interesting album.

Now Goldy has been commissioned to revisit his classic heavy metal roots via Deep Purple, early Rainbow and, most notably, his stint with Ronnie James Dio, which includes 1987's Dream Evil and 2000's Magica. The result is Dream Child and Until Death Do We Meet Again, which includes Dio alumni, drummer Simon Wright and bassist Rudy Sarzo, and features vocalist Diego Valdez from Argentina's Helker.

Dream Child Band Photo Click For Larger Image

Dream Child

Honestly, when I first read the one-sheet promo for Dream Child, I was both excited and skeptical. Early Rainbow? Classic Ronnie James Dio? Hot damn. Let's do this. I love those bands. But perhaps my high expectations were a bit premature. Dream Child is less Rainbow, and more akin to Dio. More or less.

Goldy and Dream Child easily understand the musical context of the Dio sound: heaviness with some hard rock groove underneath, strong riffs and ripping solos, a dash of synths and, naturally, a strong vocal presence. Enter Diego Valdez. If you're expecting Dio similarities, your credulity might be strained just a little. Basically, Valdez sounds like Jorn Lande, another Dio vocal protege, trying to sound like Dio. Both have a more forced assertive approach to singing, where as Ronnie James' vocal strength and presence was always natural. What Valdez does have is Dio's inherent ability to follow a song melody, even though he also loves to go screamo a lot (just like Jorn).

Vocal aside, suffice to say, I enjoyed more the musical side of Dream Child, while Valdez grew on me. For the songs, I appreciated those that tapped into that classic Dio sound: heavy metal with some hard rock groove, embraced by melody, and spry with guitar work. Best examples come with Under The Wire, It Is What It is, the quite catchy Midnight Song, and You Can't Take Me Down, but was overly long. That predicament was symptomatic of some other songs as well. Until Death Do We Meet Again, Light Of The Dark, and One Step Beyond The Grave were all heavy and steady, but sluggish and long, almost doomish in parts. To be fair, One Step Beyond The Grave was saved by the latent groove underneath a catchy chorus. Another exception is Games Of Shadows which has a significant synth presence and a fine synth solo in the later third, both reminding of Tony Carey. Suffice to say, throughout the album, Goldy's guitar work is killer.

By way of conclusion, it's quite providential that only yesterday, before writing this review, I listened to Dio's Last In Line. Obviously, with that album reverberating in my ears, Dream Child's Until Death Do We Meet Again had much to accomplish and satisfy its own goals and my expectations. Whether it did so or not, I leave to a a few more spins of my own and your own thoughtful listening and judgment. But, honestly, I think you'll dig it.



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The (Long) Bottom Line

It's quite providential that only yesterday, before writing this review, I listened to Dio's Last In Line. Obviously, with that album reverberating in my ears, Dream Child's Until Death Do We Meet Again had much to accomplish and satisfy its own goals and my expectations. Whether it did so or not, I leave to a a few more spins of my own and your own thoughtful listening and judgment.

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