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Dol Ammad

Progressive Metal

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Dol Ammad Star Tales album cover
3.63 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dreamport (3:11)
2. Eclipse (Corona of the Sun) (4:09)
3. Weaver's Dance (7:47)
4. Boxed Daylight,Pt. 1 (2:47)
5. Boxed Daylight,Pt. 2 (3:00)
6. The Veil (Seven-Face Danger) (5:24)
7. Back to the Zone (4:24)
8. Master of All (5:47)
9. The Hill of Hope (7:16)
10. Birth of Kruug (3:06)
11. Vortex 3003 (4:58)
12. Mission Butterfly (10:00)

Total Time 60:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Thanasis Lightbridge / synthesizers
- Alex Holzwarth / drums
- Jimmy Wicked / guitars
- Nick Terry / bass

Guest Musicians:
- Kortessa Tsifodimou,Alexandra Voulgari,Zoe Tsokanou / soprano
- Marieta Panagiotidou,Vicky Alexaki,Maria Stolaki / alto
- Panos Iampoultakis,Themis Mpasdekis,Alexandros Barmpas / tenor
- Kyriakos Chouvardas,Petros Moraitis,Yiannis Tsalouhidis / bass

Releases information

CD Black Lotus #077 (2004)
CD Black Lotus #77 (2005)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
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DOL AMMAD Star Tales ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DOL AMMAD Star Tales reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A marriage of different elements

Greek musician Thanasis Lightbridge has created something special and quite original here. He calls it electronica-art-metal. It's as good a description as any to this amalgam of styles in his music.

An excellent fusion of metal, electronica and opera vocals, Thanasis Lightbridge's creation is an over the top, bombastic and dense musical product. It can be pompous and cheesy in parts (though I don't mind and even like it) with the operatic vocals giving a somewhat cliché performance. Adding to this is the art work which I dislike. However the choir of men and women singing are doing a great work giving the wide range of voices and complementing each other very well. They are heard perfectly well over the music and enhance it, even in the loudest and noisiest parts. The electronic side here is a great way to give the music its special edge and characteristic. At one point it even becomes techno music but not for long and I think that the intention here was not to create a metal album with foreign (to metal) elements, but rather a varied album with mixed elements. The marriage of those elements works very well for me.

There are some stellar musical parts in there, melodic and catchy that make me just want to rewind and listen to again. I remember that even in the first listen they stuck in my head and made me want to go back and listen to it again immediately.

One thing though and that is I always feel overwhelmed after listening to this and in need for something lighter and less intense; not to say it's a bad thing, but just to tell you something about the impact of this music and what an experience it can be. Come to think of it, a lot of what I listen to can cause this effect so this albums joins a respectable companionship.

In essence think of an instrumental fast playing metal band with great "riffage" accompanied by a choir of male and female opera singers and an electronica musician. Curious? You should be. Have a listen and see for yourself.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Dol Ammad - 'Dol' derives from Tolkien's world where it means 'castle' and the word 'Ammad' is a Palestinian name meaning 'pillar/column'!, is the brainchild of greek keyboardist Thanasis Lightbridge. He formed this band in 2000 and since then released 3 albums under this name. Thanasis describes his music as electronica art meta, pretty much agree, because here are melted together elements from prog metal, progressive electronic, ghotic, classical music, the result is quite intresting. On this debute album from 2004 named Star tales he is helped among other by famous drumer from Sieges Even - Alex Holzwarth+ 12 part classical choir consisting of female/male members. The music is in parts highly inovative, I mean I never heared this type of music very often, this electronic melted with prog metal and above all with female and male vocalize is pretty much great, sometimes maybe are similar with Therion. The musicianship is top notch, specially in mid tempo moments where the prog electronic is more present, giving a very solid sound, great druming and great keyboards arrangements. On faster moments the band is no more so original, and in places is little cheese, but not bad. All in all a strange album, but in a good way I might say, all the ingredints to be something intresting are present. A well worth discover this band from Greece. 3 solid stars. Nice digipak with great booklet and excellent art work going hand in hand with the music.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars Having named his project after a fuel refinery in the Descent 3 computer game, Greek keyboard wizard Thanasis Lightbridge decided to take the electronic influences of Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis to new heights when he formed his experimental avant- garde metal band DOL AMMAD in 2000. After churning out a couple demos he recorded a full debut album titled STAR TALES which took a few cues from Therion's "Theli" and expanded the roles of the electronica involved. STAR TALES consists of four musicians cranking out the usual rock instruments which includes guitars, drums, bass and synthesizers but following in the footsteps of the Swedes is the addition of the 12-piece Europa Choir consisting equally of men and women covering the whole range from bass all the way up to soprano. The album could loosely be called electronic opera metal as it contains a number of swirling electronic effects, the choir adding a wide range of vocal nuances which are all accompanied by heavy metal guitar riffing. Unlike Therion, Thanasis never came from a metal background so in effect DOL AMMAD sounds more like an electronic opera album that happens to have metal involved rather than the other way around.

This album is busy and bombastic to say the least. The album focuses on strong epic melodic developments that groove on into more complex pieces. The scales are somewhat classical in nature as to add the most effectiveness for the opera performers. The symphonic touches heavily fortify the overall glut of sounds with different synthesizer sounds oozing around and wriggling about like a million landed eels after a coastal tsunami. The music rather resembles the artwork that graces the cover with a busy layout of electronica and vocalizations doing gymnastics around each other while the metal sequences chug along in a rather mundane fashion. Unlike Therion there are never really any major metal outbursts as the heavy guitar distortion remains subordinate to the airy swirl of synthesizers and vocals. The whole idea of electronica art metal is quite the unexplored idea to say the least and one that is demanding as to keep up with all the different parts, however the simple rhythmic drives guarantees you can tune in and out of the deeper constructs at will without missing a beat.

What's even stranger is that despite 12 choir members belting out notes in varying timbres and dynamics, this appears to be completely wordless and nothing more than a series of ooo-ing and aah-ing in what sounds like some sort of ritualistic summoning of Zeus and the god gang from far above. There is a flighty spaced out effect from the constant plethora of vocalizations with the treble section winning out because the bass and tenor tend to get melded with the metal instrumentation. While the overall mood is quite consistent throughout the slightly over hour listening experience, the tracks are varied enough to keep a sustained listened and there are purely electronic intros and overtures to change things up from time to time. This is certainly a grandiose and overweening production job that must have taken forever to mix in the perfect way and for that it is utterly amazing along with other twists and turns that include ethnic percussion sections and angelic harps just to name a few.

While the whole thing comes off to me as some sort of epic video game soundtrack as i can picture different scenarios where a player is fighting the gods in chariots in the sky or some sort, the music is sophisticated enough to hold up on its own two feet. While certainly not for the faint of heart and the bane for those who cannot decipher subtleties between a ridiculous amount of sonic elements, the music overall comes across on many levels depending on how deeply one wishes to focus therefore it is equally compelling as background music as it is a contemplative active experience. For the most part, this is a relentless hyperactive driven album with galloping guitar riffs surrounded by zooming synth parts swirling about in every direction but when it all slows down and the metal drops out, it becomes a progressive electronic heavenly experience. While often compared to Therion, and rightly so is a direct lineage, DOL AMMAD takes the whole concept of operatic metal to a completely different universe and one that i really love to visit.

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