And just like that, we’re onto album number four! If you haven’t read my review for Sacred Heart, feel free to check it out. The next album on the agenda is Dream Evil (1987). It was the last record to feature Vinny Appice on drums until Strange Highways (1993), the last to feature Jimmy Bain on bass until Magica (2000), the last to feature Claude Schnell on keyboards, and the last to feature Murray, the band’s mascot, on the album cover. Guitarist Craig Goldy replaced Vivian Campbell, who was fired midway through the Sacred Heart tour; Goldy eventually left the band and didn’t make another appearance with Dio until Magica. But with that said, let’s get on with the music!
“Night People” has a cool chugging riff and I think it’s an ok opening track, but it’s not groundbreaking. The title track is much better as it’s got a darker tone and I like the mythical vibe to this track; Ronnie James Dio was singing about darkness and not going to the edge of the rainbow. “Sunset Superman” is an oddball because for the first 30 seconds it has a vibe that says, “I like long walks on the beach,” then this cool riff starts and the song turns into a slow headbanger. But when it gets to the chorus, the song becomes a cheap version of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” I love the pounding drums, but the chorus is lazy (and they repeat it consistently after the last verse), and it’s like “Sunset Superman” is made up of two different songs.
“All the Fools Sailed Away” started off great! I love these lyrics: “There’s perfect harmony / In the rising and the falling of the sea / And as we sail along / I never fail to be astounded by / The things we’ll do for promises / And a song.” Very dreamlike and peaceful; I liked the direction the song was going for the first minute with the guitar, bass, Dio’s vocals, and no drums. Surprisingly, when the drums came in, I got bored. For a track that’s a little over seven minutes, I got bored easily, and it felt like the track dragged on forever.
“Naked in the Rain” is another insignificant track because the lyrics made no sense, it was very slow-paced, and it felt like verses weren’t going anywhere. Maybe it’s because I take things too literally, but what the heck does this mean? “Are we just crazy with the pain / Or do we see just what we are / We’re naked in the rain.” The song’s saving grace was the guitar solo. The guitar solo for “Overlove” is excellent and I love the drums on this track, my only complaint is that the chorus is lazy; Dio is just repeating “overdrive” over and over again. It’s also fast-paced, maybe too fast-paced as it felt like Dio was out of breath half the time.
“I Could Have Been a Dreamer” has the cheesiest title, yet it’s the catchiest song on the album. It’s very commercial and radio-friendly, so that’s probably why. But it has an aggressive guitar riff and Dio delivers such emotive vocals that the listener feels his pain about what could’ve been. “Faces in the Window” sounds cool as an instrumental and I love the guitar riff, but three-fourths of the song is repeating the title over and over again. But hey, if I play this song as background music, then I’ll dig it. “When a Woman Cries” kicks a** and it was a great track to close the album. I love the lyrics too: “Just when you think it’s pretend / Here it comes over and over again / And if we should live forever / Maybe we’ll still just never know.”
One thing I’ve noticed about these Dio albums is that they’re not very consistent because I like one song, but I get annoyed with the next song. What I’ve also noticed is that I tend to like a song better when I’m not reviewing it, so maybe in a few years, I’ll change my thoughts about “Naked in the Rain,” but they’re staying the same, for now. I will say that Goldy is an incredible guitar player and I enjoyed some of his stuff on this record. However, for Bain’s last record with the band, for a while, I couldn’t hear him much, so that was a bummer. The final verdict for Dream Evil is 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Comment below what your favorite song is from Dream Evil!
Take care and see ya real soon!