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Dream Spirit - 将·军 cover art


TypeStudio Full-length
GenresHeavy Metal, Folk Metal
LabelsTotemism Productions
Reviewer :  level         Rating :  80 / 100
Date : 
It is true that nowadays metal music has spread throughout the world, and never before had it been so popular. Countries like China, however, still remain quite unknown in the metal scene. Proof of this is provided by the Encyclopaedia Metallum, where less than 300 Chinese metal bands are listed on the database. What is more, very few of these bands, such as “Tang Dynasty” or “Suffocated”, are really known in the West.

Despite the fact that “Dream Spirit” was formed in 2005, they didn’t release their debut studio album, “Mountains and Rivers”, until 2014. Three years later, this Chinese metal band present the world their second work: “General Triumphant”.

As the title suggests, this is a concept album which focuses on a fictional ancient general and his adventures (military, political, etc.). A detailed explanation of the album's background given by the band can be found at the end of the review, if anyone is interested.

General Triumphant consists of 44 min of pure Chinese folk metal blended with traditional heavy metal and symphonic metal elements, although the latter are relegated to a second place. Nevertheless, they are predominant and effectively used in the opening track to set the mood, along with traditional Chinese musical instruments.

On the one hand, the instrumental work is excellent. Every song is well-structured, the riffs and guitars verses are solid and catchy, and the album features various great, technical and melodic guitar solos. On the other hand, and this is probably the major drawback, the vocals feel somewhat lacklustre, even though a wide variety of vocal range is used on the album –even some death metal growls. If I had to pick one song among all, I would undoubtedly choose “Of Daggers and Men”. It is precisely this track the one that encompasses all the assets of this record: beautiful folk melodies, catchy choruses, solid riffing and proficient guitar solos.

All in all, General Triumphant is an interesting and enjoyable album recommended for folk metal fans and for those who want to discover new bands from distant countries like China. Hopefully, Dream Spirit will make a name for themselves in the following years.

Background information of the album: https://www.facebook.com/notes/dreamspirit-cn/general-triumphant-about-the-album/1522997844431981/

Originally written for: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/review/将·军-general-triumphant/355039

Track listing (Songs)

1.出征 / The Expedition1:28-0
2.塞下 / Go Out to Battle4:23-0
3.浣甲 / Rinsing Armour1:03-0
4.炼金术 / Alchemy4:53-0
5.刺客列传 / Of Daggers and Men3:58-0
6.伤寒 / Morbid Souls7:39-0
7.天雄星 / The Majestic Star5:41-0
8.朝歌 / Ancient Poems5:23-0
9.观沧海 / Might as the Sea5:46-0
10.凯歌 / Song of Triumph4:09-0
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