Formed in 1999 when producer Fredrik Nordström met a then-unknown Gus G. while on holiday in Greece. The two quickly began writing material and searching for people to complete the line-up. For the vocalist’s spot, Niklas Isfeldt, who had performed backing vocals on HammerFall‘s Nordström-produced debut album, was chosen. He brought with him his long-time friend Peter Stålfors to play bass. Veteran drummer Snowy Shaw was offered a place in the band, but declined. He agreed, however, to play drums on the upcoming debut album as a session player.
Originally the band were to be called DragonSlayer, in keeping with the lyrics they had written so far, but Century Media disapproved (probably because of the army of Metal bands with “Dragon” as their name’s prefix). They settled on calling the album DragonSlayer and instead named the band after the Dio album Dream Evil.
After playing a few gigs with the band following DragonSlayer’s belated release in 2002, Snowy Shaw decided he wanted to join the band on a permanent basis and contribute to the songwriting. This would prove to be useful move since, under record company pressure, the follow-up album Evilized was written, recorded and mixed in only two and a half weeks.
By the time it came to record the third album, Gus G. had become a name in his own right on the metal scene, contributing to Mystic Prophecy, Nightrage and his own band, Firewind. He had little to do with the writing process of the album, called The Book of Heavy Metal, and was also forced to miss a few live shows, where he was replaced by the unknown Mark Black. Eventually it was amicably agreed that it would be best for Gus to concentrate on his own projects, and he left the band, to be replaced by Black on a permanent basis.
In 2005 Niklas Isfeldt was forced to have surgery on his throat that would stop him from singing for six months, delaying the production of a fourth album. During this lay-off period, some internal issues arose over the future plans for Dream Evil, and both Niklas and Peter Stålfors officially left in June, to be replaced in August.
After only a month had passed, however, Niklas and Peter rejoined, with their ousted replacements having not played or recorded a note in their absence. Shortly before the recording of the fourth album began in early 2006, Snowy Shaw decided to leave, taking with him all the new material he had written for his planned solo project.
After a period of silence for several months, Dream Evil announced Pat Power, a co-worker of Fredrik Nordström from Studio Fredman, as Snowy’s replacement. His is often credited for his engineering work as either “Patrik J” or “Patrik J Sten” and actually guested on DragonSlayer and The Book of Heavy Metal as a backing vocalist.
Mark Black left Dream Evil in 2007 and was replaced by Dannee Demon. The rest of the band also started jokingly using pseudonyms at this point.