ASSAILANT - Wicked Dream

Assailant - Wicked Dream

11 songs
50:15 minutes
***** ***
Dockyard 1

Bandpage

After their debut Nemesis Within from 2006, the Swedish metal band Assailant is back with their new album Wicked Dream. They neither play melodic death metal nor Nordic epic metal as is usually the custom in Scandinavia. Instead Assailant are rooted in the timeless heavy metal tradition, with numerous nods to the thrash and progressive metal genres. Main songwriter is Oskar Norberg, whose two older brothers play in Nocturnal Rites and Persuader, two also very popular power metal bands from Sweden.

Their excellent vocalist Peter Sundquist, who sounds like a mix between Jon Oliva and Warrel Dane, can put any mood into his voice: theatrical, raw, angry and sometimes truly melodic. Assailant’s songwriting should also appeal to fans of early Savatage and contemporary Nevermore. They combine harmonic and aggressive parts seamlessly, without ever allowing the breaks to feel to abrupt. The important role of the keyboard makes for a more progressive touch, which works especially well on the title track and on the quieter The Sin. No matter if the six-piece from Umea goes for full speed or settles in mid-tempo regions, they always come quickly to the point and don’t need to fill their songs with unnecessary ballast. The solemn The Cell is another undisputable highlight on the CD.

Two thirds through the album I was tempted to give the band the maximum rating, because their album seemed to offer everything you could expect of a metal record that doesn’t follow the trends. Towards the end, Assailant start to repeat themselves a little and don’t appear to be able to set new accents. The acoustic Eternal is also some kind of letdown. But I am positive that Assailant haven’t reached their zenith yet and will deliver even more in the future. Fans of Nocturnal Rites, In Flames and the aforementioned Savatage and Nevermore should absolutely sample this promising band.

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