QUICKSAND DREAM - Aelin: A Story About Destiny

Quicksand Dream - Aelin: A Story About Destiny

7 songs
51:00 minutes
***** **
High Roller


I can say right from the start that this is another one for the obscurity cabinet. There used to be a Swedish band called Epic Irae which was founded in the late Eighties and recorded three full-length demos in the early Nineties. Then they changed their name to Quicksand Dream, and it took until the year 2000 before another longplayer saw the light of day. The band consisted at that moment only of Patrick Backlund who played all the instruments and Göran Jacobson in charge of the vocals. A session keyboarder can also be heard on the album. This actual debut was released in a very limited edition of only 30 copies on CD-R, and it was only many years later that the band decided to put their music on Myspace, which must have attracted the attention of High Roller Records who give the album now a second chance on vinyl.

Aelin: A Story About Destiny is a heavy metal concept album, not the first one there ever was, and certainly also not the last one. The fact that its initial release was so limited should already hint at the production which only meets demo standards, but except if you are allergic to a certain lo-fi tendency in production values, you shouldn’t really mind too much. Inspired by obscure early metal bands (Cloven Hoof, Manilla Road) and the doom genre (Candlemass, Black Sabbath), Quicksand Dream don’t stray too far from their idols. It speaks for them though that they are not trying to copy a certain sound, but surprisingly come up with something sounding quite original. The music is very melodic, but its dark undercurrents prevent it from drifting into the bottomless melodic metal pit. The guitar playing betrays a strong adoration for the NWOBHM sound, especially on the faster parts. Göran Jacobson is not a particularly gifted vocalist, but his heartfelt performance reminds me of the later Quorthon, who also was able to make up his singing deficits with his charismatic persona.

The A-side contains five songs ranging from three to seven minutes, while the B-side achieves the same length with only two songs: the sixteen minute epic The Lighthouse Dream and the nearly ten minute long Aelin’s Oath which ends the record.

The skilled ear will immediately distinguish the conditions under which this album was recorded, and without a strong predilection for ancient metal, you won’t probably be able to savour the duo’s efforts. Everybody else will be happy to discover this overlooked gem that so instinctively found the right balance between classic metal and doom sensibilities. It would be nice to see these guys team up again for future recordings.

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