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TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. - The First Tragedy of Klahera CD (album) cover


TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc.

Heavy Prog

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3 stars 'Justice, My Tragedy' begins soaring before the metal kick-off with two vocals; backing vocals and riff and a growl; break, fleeting operatic tune, on a heavy Ayreon; Nervous guitar solo and cinematic finale, it's fashionable with a crying baby. 'Child of the Bloodmoon' arpeggios over a dark musical climate accompanied by sound effects, a progressive drift. 'Oldstead' nervous drums and bass for the metal track. 'Broken Puzzle Piece' solemn tune, heavy- rock opera without its magnificence. 'It Lives' is a sort of aggressive and catchy musical magma. 'Despicable' changes tone with a jazz title with soft harmonies, then moving towards hard, thrash for the frenzied riff, reminiscent of Unexpect, electro finale launching 'Knowledge From Afar' for the calm, colorful prog rock piece, alternating pop and energy.

'Celebrations' returns to a cheerful, oriental, intimate cinematic folk base. 'Mother Dearest' title track with prog metal exchange between mother and child; an electric, nervous style and colorful, festive jazzy atmospheres, on Panzeballett for the sax and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum; sweet creative madness. 'Pushed' dark acoustic ballad and tambourine, a final rise la Anathema. 'Heroes and Charlatans' again with an electro atmosphere then metal bordering on djent; the apoplectic finale. 'Discovery' even heavier, hard heavy, nag supposed to express the little girl's distress, the judge's vocals in 'The trial'; acoustic break which denotes and cottony melodic solo. 'Chain of Consequences' for the final sound which swells, grows, rumbles; the child is banished, yes the story follows the music and vice versa; the guitar solo is strong, tortured, energetic like the decision.

TDW/Dreamwalkers Inc. fuses genres, vocals and modern metal with rock opera; a fantasy metal opera based on a novel by Janneke Stam and the story of a girl found in a forest who will upset her adoptive parents, its moving musical melting pot concept; a bewitching but singular album, more metal than prog.

Report this review (#2969857)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2023 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars There have been some changes in the ranks of Dreamwalkers Inc in recent years, and the band as it stands now is totally different from what it was apart, of course, from singer Tom de Wit. He has now been joined by drummer Sander van Elferen and bassist Bjorn van der Ploeg along with guitarists Lennert Kemper and Norbert Veenbrink along with singer Radina Dimcheva. The concept is taken from a story written by singer/frontman Tom de Wit (which has now been turned into a novel) about a girl found in a forest on a dark night who is adopted into a small village by a loving couple. The girl is clearly different from everyone in the village and seems to be at odds with everything. It feels like everything she thinks and stands for is 'not normal' according to the world around her. This leads to a dark conclusion at the end. There are a cast of voice actors, and unlike some concepts this is easy to follow from beginning to end, a movie for the ears with cinematic explanation passages here and there, although it should be noted the conclusion reached here is not the final one as this is the first in a planned set of albums.

There is no doubt in my mind that Tom is one of the most under-rated performers and storytellers within the prog metal scene, bringing additional layers and levels of complexity yet somehow also making his music inviting and easy to get inside the first time of playing. I was honoured some time back to be interviewed for a DVD, giving my thoughts, and I am glad to say I have never regretted any of my words since then as he consistently pushes himself and those working with him to produce material which is always a delight. I am already invested in the story of Khalera, looking forward to hearing the next chapter of the journey, and no matter who Tom is working with his style is instantly recognisable, so this feels like a logical progression from his days as performing as a solo artist, then a solo with a backing band through to where we are now with a band who are all credited equally.

Polished and full of finesse, this is an album where the listener is soon inside the story, as it moves, swells, drops away, full of emotion and power at multiple levels. At times there is plenty of space within the arrangements whereas at others it is a total amalgam of sound, all coming together to provide contrast which invite us in. Yet another stunning release.

Report this review (#2982351)
Posted Friday, January 12, 2024 | Review Permalink

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