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Ken's Novel - Domain of Oblivion CD (album) cover

DOMAIN OF OBLIVION

Ken's Novel

 

Neo-Prog

3.78 | 26 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The band needed five years to release their second album. In between, there will be the release of a demo single in 2002 with two songs from this album (the title track as well as "Mirror Man", the middle part of "Wisdom Peak"), and an "Unplugged" EP with three traks from their first album.

"Domain Of Oblivion" is a concept album which story is fully depicted (in French) on their web-site : www.kensnovelonline.com (and not the link referenced on PA). Well, Iam glad that this has been corrected in the meantime (this is an edition made on December 31st, 2007).

It is a weird and very complex (and long) story. Our hero wants to change from life and migrate to a better one. A better land. He has heard of a place where the past would be erased, where you could start a new life again. It is called the domain of oblivion. It is located on the other side of the world. But he will find this place.

This is only the introduction of this excellent story. Full of fantasy, mystery, strange creatures, weird adventures etc. I guess only "The Lamb" holds more craziness.

Musically, this album is rather pleasant. Fully neo-prog, I should say. Again on the hard edge during some songs, "Arena"-like to situate the band. Still, several light and passionate moments are included in this album as well. The work of the vocalist is quite convincing. The whole band is really good, even if the keyboards take the main place.

Our hero will have to face lots of dangers, fears, humiliations. Almost each song is a lesson for the main character : hope ("Crowd on Sail"), disdain ("Empress of the Frozen Sea"), courage ("Voices"), wisdom ("Wisdom Peak"). This section divided in three parts is particularly interesting : both musically as well as on the storyboard side.

The "pièce de résistance" is of course the epic title track. Musicianship is very good, and it rocks solidly. It flirts with some heavy sounds (but this was a characteristic of their debut album as well). This song is very complex but the chorus is truely catchy. It could have been a bit shorter. This is also a critic for this album. Almost eighty minutes is too long to be interesting from start to finish.

This song will feature some great guitar work (one of the very few one of this album). and a beautiful finale. I really recommend you to visit their web-site and get the full story for this album (but you will need to be fluent in French to grab the essence of this crazy adventure).

Having to face several weird adventures like "The Hallucinogenic Lake" in which he almost died, our hero will reach the land of "milk and honey" (well, he won't really get this feeling...). Actually, when he will reach his goal (The Domain Of Oblivion), he will realize that it was not what he was expecting and he will decide to probably get back ... home !

It tells us of course that the grass is not always greener elsewhere. Another nice lesson.

I will rate it with four stars, which is a bit on the high end (actualy seven out of ten would be closer to - my - reality) but the story is so elaborate that three stars would be a bit too "short".

Again, give it a try while reading the storyboard to get the full picture.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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