If the name of the band hadn’t let you in the know, then the opening seconds of Dream Alive certainly will. “Divergent Falling” opens with what we in the business call a stinking bishop level of cheese. This is power metal at its most indulgent, full of infectiously pompous harmonies and guitar solos Ywngwie Malmstein would be proud of. This is a fun record from start to overblown finish.

Marcus Lang herein delivers ballad after ballad and belts them out with the best of them. At times, his voice is somewhat reminiscent of Warrel Dane in his prime. Dream Alive is full of incredible croons that you can just imagine singing along to at your festival of choice. Each track carries with it a catchy pomp akin to what you’d find in something like Nightwish. It’s easy, and fun, to listen to. “One Man Kingdom” is a sing-along fan’s wet dream. It’s not all lollipops und sunshine, however, as “Deadwater Bay” is a little too Disney leading man for my liking and “Portrait on the Wall” doesn’t do enough with its 11:27 run time.

Despite my indifference to a small number of the tracks, there are some crackers on here, such as the aforementioned “Divergent Falling” and “One Man Kingdom. “Centenarian”, too, is a brilliant track that makes the most of the bass guitar with some awesome riffs. It’s a little heavier than what you’ll find on the rest of Dream Alive, with blast beats thrown in for good measure. You won’t be fooled by the band’s heaviness for long, however, as before you know it you’re neck deep in another keyboard solo. Indeed, Dream Alive is a record full of great, cheesy keyboards that just accentuate the grand nature of the album. Take “Marching Masquerade”, for example. The rasp of the keys permeating the track along with a chugging, chunky riff. This is an album full of atmospheric moments such as this.

Fans of power metal are in for a treat with Excalion’s latest. Dream Alive is a fun, catchy record that’s easy to get into, but with more than enough inside to delve further. While there are a couple of slightly lesser tracks, all in all, Dream Alive is a great, fun record that will likely stand as one of the best of its genre at the end of the year. You’ll find yourself singing lines to yourself and humming out its riffs for months to come.

Dream Alive Track Listing:

01. Divergent Falling
02. Centenarian
03. Marching Masquerade
04. Amelia
05. Release the Time
06. Deadwater Bay
07. The Firmament
08. Man Alive
09. Living Daylights
10. Portrait on the Wall

Run Time: 57:20
Release Date: July 7, 2017

Check out the band’s song “Centenarian”