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Ambeon - Fate Of A Dreamer CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.29 | 90 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Review Nš 91

Ambeon is a Dutch progressive project metal act of the multi-instrumentalist and composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen of Ayreon. It's a ten track collaboration with an only 14 year old Dutch singer Astrid Van Der Veen whose debut album "Beautiful Red" drew his attention during 2000. This led to their acoustic recording of "Temple Of The Cat" and the sneak preview of the track "Cold Metal" released for the first time on for his compilation album "Ayreonauts Only". "Cold Metal" would also be released as a single.

So, "Fate Of A Dreamer" is the debut and only album of Ambeon, until now, and was released in 2001. Originally it was conceived as an ambient remix of Ayreon's instrumentals and Ambeon's "Fate Of A Dreamer" blends electronic patterns, chords and melodies derived from existing songs with Astrid's crystalline vocal arrangements. The name Ambeon is a play on the words "Ambient" and "Ayreon". As the music, without vocals, is based on previous Ayreon's songs, it could be said this act is an "Ambient/Ayreon" album. Ambeon can be said to be progressive metal with elements of dark ambient music. In the process of the recording of the album some new songs evolved Ambeon, and Arjen figured female vocals on one or two songs would add a more warm human touch to his new musical project.

Despite Ambeon be labelled as a project of Arjen and Astrid, Lucassen decided to involve also several musicians who could bring in their own ideas, something new, just like Astrid did. Two further musicians provide a solid rhythm section for the album. Walter Latupeirassa of Snowy White's White Flames band and also of Steve Lukather and Pat Travers, who play bass and fretless bass and Stephen Van Haestregt is heard on drums and percussion. John and Pat McManus of Celtus add folky atmosphere on flute and pipes, and fiddle, respectively. And as usual in many occasions, Erik Norlander is around for some synthesizer working and Eric's wife Lana Lane provides some backing vocals too.

While each track on "Fate Of A Dreamer" stands alone perfectly well, the album works equally well as a cohesive whole with lyrics and sounds on the ten selections that comprise "Fate Of A Dreamer" flowing wonderfully from one to the next. The Ambeon's music builds on the Ayreon's sound with the material blending atmospheric, celtic, electronic, gothic, metal and progressive styles. Arjen plays guitars and keyboards, he wrote the music, produced and mixed the album. Astrid sings the lead and backing vocals and she also wrote the storyline of the concept, melodies and lyrics.

This particular album focuses more on creating a pleasant ambient soundscape and is equipped with a dash of heavy metal. There are some really nice grooves created by the drummer and the bassist on "Fate Of A Dreamer", which are definitely one of the stronger points of this album. The guitars are more of an accent than a prominent element within the music. This is rather unusual for Arjen seeing as how he loves shredding on both guitar and the keyboard, which he is really great, on most of his musical projects. The metal aspect of this album is really a treat because it breaks the stereotype of all metal being this loud, nonsensical noise and proves it can be crafted into a really relaxing and fulfilling entity, as far as music as a whole is concerned. This is really a very nice thing on the album.

The last but not the least important thing about the album is that it was out of print for years, due to the closing of the Dutch music label. It was re-released in 2011 with bonus tracks, and an accompanying acoustic CD covering various Ambeon and Ayreon tracks. As Arjen said, in 2001 it was asked to him to do an acoustic show with his Ambeon project in Italy. Besides Astrid, Arjen invited two other girls, Ewa Albering on flute and Dewi Kerstens on cello. The four recorded a combination of Ayreon and Ambeon tracks, 16 in total, in his studio. Unfortunately, the gig never took place. When he was approached for the re-release of the album, Arjen remembered those rehearsal recordings. Due to its high quality, Lucassen decided to share them with his fans and re-released it as a double working with a CD bonus.

Conclusion: "Fate Of A Dreamer" is a beautiful album. It's an interesting project that Lucassen has put here on their feet. It lives by an impressive and outstanding voice, especially because we are talking about a 14 year old girl. It's fun to listen to the voice of Astrid. The young lady should definitely keep our attention. The album draws its effect from the successful fusion of catchy melodies, spherical keyboard carpets and hard guitar riffs. While listening to this album you can't expect a single shred of aggression because you won't find any. If you do want some simple and emotional music put this on. This is one of the best atmospheric albums I own. The Ambeons' "Fate Of Dreamer" is a breath of fresh air within the progressive scene. "Fate Of A dreamer" is an album that will satisfy atmospheric music's fans but it will surprise all prog heads in general and, of course, Ayreon's fans. Give it a listen and enjoy it because it deserves.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 4/5 |


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