Sound Riot Records
Release date: April 16, 2004

Guitars: B-
Bass: B+
Percussion: B-
Keyboards: B-
Vocals: C-
Lyrics: B+
Recording Quality: B-
Originality: C
Overall Rating: C

User Review
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Memorized Dreams (MD) is a 7-piece Norwegian band founded by Kee Jason in 1999, originally under the name Symphonica Divine, then Dreamscape. Prior to this new release, MD also has to their credit an EP/Demo entitled Mirror of Life. New to the lineup this time around are Terje Haroy on vocals and Olav Skei (Divided Multitude) on drums. Theater of Life includes quite a few guest musicians, including Olaf Hayer (Luca Turilli & Dionysus) on vocals for the song “Gates of Heaven,” and Trondheim’s Symphonic Orchestra for choir arrangements, cellos, and violins – just to name a few. MD essentially delivers a modified form of Power Metal in Theater of Life. This CD is comprised of an intro and 8 full-length tracks –- 7 of them rockers — with a total run time of approximately 41 minutes.


Theater of Life starts out very strong after the somewhat irrelevant intro with “Cardinal Sin” and “Haloes And Wings;” two tracks that are as good as any Power Metal-ish song out there today. Both of these songs demonstrate inspiration, direction, and ingenuity both in design and in lyrical format and presentation. “Sea of Oblivion” is the slow-down song of the album (actually, about as slow as a song can get without going backwards) that essentially has Haroy and guest performer Nina Leirvik singing to piano accompaniment – it’s far far different than anything else on this CD, but highlights the potential of his voice, and is indeed an insightful, reflective success. There’s also some better-than-decent guitar work on the last track, “Crimson Dream.” Overall too, the lyrics seem to be pretty well thought out and manicured throughout this CD.


Other than the notables mentioned above, the other songs seem to lack musical pizzazz and purpose. Songs like “Neverland” and “Light Above All” just sort of plod along musically without distinction, giving you the feeling that somebody forgot to kick them in the proverbial pants when they were written. At just a smidgen above 40 minutes in length, one gets the feeling from the rest of the album that MD simply ran out of steam during the songwriting process. Also, Haroy’s performance is confusing. He sounds great in the solid songs, but often sounds downtrodden and off-key in the less stellar numbers … he seems to have the talent, but curiously under-performs on half of the tracks.


It appears MD may still have been establishing its druthers when putting together Theater of Life due to personnel and name changes and so forth. All in all, Theater of Life isn’t a poor performance, but it’s inconsistency and periodic lack of musical direction makes this a lukewarm overall endeavor that is highlighted by a small handful of really good, purposeful song efforts.


  • Dan Skiba

    Dan is a former partner at Metal Express Radio, and also served as a reviewer, photographer and interviewer on occasions. Based out of Indianapolis, USA he was first turned on to Hard Rock music in the mid-1970s when he purchased Deep Purple's Machine Head as his first album. He was immediately enthralled with the powerful guitar sound and pronounced drumbeat, and had to get more! His collection quickly expanded to include as many of Heavy Rock bands of the time that he could get his hands on, such as Ted Nugent, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath, to name just a few.

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