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

DEAD BUT DREAMING

The Divine Baze Orchestra

Heavy Prog


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4 stars After some member changes it's time for The Divine Baze Orchestra to hit it big!! One of the new members (Joel Lf) not only plays organ, piano and sings, he has also produced the album to make it sound both vintage and modern. Good job there!! This is an album of contrasts. There are those booming, rocking, heavy moments and there are beautifully subtle moments with hardly any instrumentation. Then there is a somewhat canterburyish feel to a track like Flow/Unit which I like a lot! The vocals are definitely above par here! Not too dramatic and not too lame or unengaging but spot on really!! So it's safe to say: GO BUY FOLKS!!
Report this review (#314652)
Posted Friday, November 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow! The Divine Baze Orchestra (how is that for a name...?) really impressed me with this one. I wasn't too keen on their last album for several reasons; the sound was lo-fi, the previous singer lacked feeling and a sharp, thin voice that sounded as it would break any second and the songs were a bit dull in some parts. This time they have a new line-up and most important: a new singer, Oliver Eek (yet another amusing name, but who cares when he sings so damn well!). The songs are a diverse bunch, but the sound of the band is solid and steady. The opening track sounds dreamy and evil and ends up with a beautiful, soft passage with fantastic guitar work. This really sets the mood for the rest of the album with its King Crimson-like heaviness. The next track, "They Rise", opens with fat retro synthesizers and a great groove. The vocals of Oliver Eek are powerful and expressive, though he sounds great in the softer parts as well. Other tracks that stand out are "What mustn't be spoken", a nasty, heavy piece with amazing, almost scary atmosphere and "Lastly, lament" an epic mini opera; dynamic and interesting. We also get to hear the vocal talents of organ player Joel Lof on the track "The Cellar, which is kind of a fusion song but with a mad, twisted ending. Joel Lof is perhaps not as powerful and expressive as his frontman, Oliver Eek, but he does a good job with his smooth, slightly Chet Baker- like voice. Apart from that we have a lot of great guitar and organ work on the album, although I personally would have liked more instrumental passages and solos. These guys seem to know how to improv pretty damn well, so why not focus more on that? To sum this up; a great album from this young, promising band, beautiful and heavy, dark and light. For fans of King Crimson, cantebury and other heavier prog!
Report this review (#392039)
Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
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.

Report this review (#422453)
Posted Friday, March 25, 2011 | Review Permalink

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