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The Divine Baze Orchestra - Dead But Dreaming CD (album) cover


The Divine Baze Orchestra


Heavy Prog

3.81 | 42 ratings

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3 stars Swedish outfit THE DIVINE BAZE ORCHESTRA was formed back in 2003, and came forth with their initial effort four years later, courtesy of Swedish label Transubstans Records. A production that was generally well received. "Dead But Dreaming" is their sophomore effort, and was issued in early winter 2010.

In terms of style we're treated to a band that doesn't feel like staying put within any narrowly defined expression on this occasion. Apart from a firm foundation in what can loosely be described as 70's sounding art rock this is a band fairly liberal when it comes to utilizing different stylistic approaches and features. Something I do tend to appreciate in a band. Potential buyers may note that something of an eclectic musical taste is in order to be able to enjoy this disc.

But as tantalizing and widespread as the compositional details are on this CD, I found myself to be curiously disengaged about this production as a whole. My digital promo copy was massively attacked by artefacts, a result of a digital promotion tool of poor quality I presume, but even that couldn't hide the fact that this is a well produced affair, well performed and I'd guess rather well planned too. It is a production that has a lot going for it, but somehow doesn't quite manage to hit it for me.

Many tracks does feature parts, sequences and themes that does both engage and enthral. The opening minutes of Flow/Unity is as good an example as any, where the first two minutes or thereabout is taken up by a very nice and enthralling theme with something of a heavy fusion sound to it. Well crafted, well performed and genuinely intriguing. The following four minutes are then taken up by a lighter toned theme residing somewhere between light symphonic art rock and gentle fusion in style. Nice and pleasant music by all means, but not of the kind that is able to mesmerise me and make me want to hit repeat right away.

The various tracks for me tends to end up in the nice and pleasant category overall, but apart from the somewhat lacklustre Origins, a song way too fragmented for my personal taste, it would be wrong to describe this as a weak album. It is one that to a greater extent than many will make it or break it on grounds of personal taste alone though, at least according to my mind.

As tastes does indeed differ pulling forth any given song as a good starting point is a task that will probably result in as many different answers as there are songs to choose from. Personally I'd go for What Mustn't Be Spoken, where the opening 4 minutes consists of this album's finest moments as far as my tastes go, with dampened verses featuring gentle guitar riffs and a brooding undercurrent courtesy of the organ, followed by a majestic multilayered theme featuring keyboard, Mellotron and guitars.

If you fancy a slice of 70's oriented art rock covering multiple stylistic subsets "Dead But Dreaming" may be an album to your taste. With H. P. Lovecraft's horror universe as something of a read thread lyrically, fans of his endeavours will perhaps have an advantage in terms of being ensnared by this production. All in all a well made effort, and while I wasn't totally convinced I'd suspect that many whose tastes are centred around eclectic 70's art rock should find this one rather pleasing.

Windhawk | 3/5 |


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