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Ambeon - Fate Of A Dreamer CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.30 | 90 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars What's with the references of this record not being loud or rough enough, and the odd references to Astrid's age and emo teens? Sheesh...

Granted, this record isn't gothic metal. It's not Ayreon. It's not folk. So what is it? It's a mixed potpourri of all kinds of music, blended together into a whole, with Astrid van der Veen, who was 14 at the time, on lead vocals. So, don't waste your time trying to compare it to any other band, because honestly, I have yet to hear a band that even remotely sounds like Ambeon.

Well then, onto the album itself. The lyrics and vocals by Van der Veen are dark and often about unpleasantries, but I know those are often very easy and deep things to write and sing about, as they hook on your very soul. The music itself is based on various Ayreon songs, from the albums "The Final Experiment", "Actual Fantasy", "The Dream Sequencer", "Into The Electric Castle", and "Flight of the Migrator".

The album opens with an atmospheric folky "Estranged". You can hear the melody of "Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy" of The Final Experiment quite clearly here. The real tempo doesn't begin until "Ashes".

"Ashes" was based on "Back On Planet Earth" from Actual Fantasy. It's a pretty haunting song, mixing dark gothy elements with Actual Fantasy-like electronics. It's softer and more ambient than Back On Planet Earth, but gives more room to breathe (and guitar solos!). Astrid's voice is beautiful, though after having heard her on the Final Experiment bonus disc of 2005, I can hear she is still developing her voice on this album.

"High" was based on "The Shooting Company of Captain Frans B. Cocq" from The Dream Sequences, though this one has less guitars and electronics, and more flutes and steady synth carpets.

"Cold" Metal was based on "Into the Black Hole" (Flight of the Migrator), but it's a longer distance away from the previous songs. This one is definately more ambient, but the guitar riffs an solos come back here again, ala "Ashes".

"Fate" is an instrumental track, and based on "Welcome to the New Dimension" and "Forever of the Stars" from Into The Electric Castle. This song I usually skip, as it's somewhat lacking something...and I don't mean vocals.

"Sick Ceremony" is definately similar in rhythm to "Magic Ride". You could even mix these songs as a medley of sorts. It would fit quite nice, I think.

"Lost Message" sounds somewhat like "Charm of the Seer" from The Final Experiment, as well as "Carried by the Wind" from The Dream Sequences. It's one of the more folky songs on the album, a nice change of pace.

"Surreal" is taken from "And the Druids Turn to Stone" (The Dream Sequencer), and actually has less vocals than the other songs. Sort of semi-instrumental, if you will. Electronic/Acoustic, maybe. I ramble on...

"Sweet Little Brother" is probably the heaviest song on the album, especially compared to "2084", the song it's loosely based on. It's also a very dark one, in which Astrid tells how she killed her sweet little brother, whom she thought threatened her with a knife. In the middle of the song, there's a more ambient dark piece with a radio voice telling the police is looking for her, etc.

"Dreamer" is an instrumental song, and very strongly resembles "Computer Eyes" from Actual Fantasy. They could've put this song in elsewhere and ended with Sweet Little Brother, I'd say...for this one sounds too much like the Computer Eyes to keep my interest.

Conclusion? I think it's a great album with mixed tunes and styles. The downside is that the song's instrumental melodies are based on existing Ayreon song. Of course it works, and some are hard to recognize, but knowing Arjen, he could've been a bit more creative with it. Though it's a nice album to give Astrid the recognition she kinda deserves. She really does have a beautiful haunting voice, even though she hadn't developed it fully on this album yet.

If you want metal ala EPICA, WITHIN TEMPTATION and the like, you'll be disappointed. If you don't like dark lyrics or young performers (aka people who hate "emo teens"), stay well away from this album. However, if you're mature and open enough to listen to something more ambient, folky, and most of all, DIFFERENT, you might be surprised. I give it 4 stars, because it's a beautiful album vocally and musically (and cuz I'm a fellow "emo teen"!), though not as creative as it could've been.

Yours, Tailscent

Tailscent | 4/5 |


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