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PYRE OF DREAMS

Persephone's Dream

Heavy Prog


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Persephone's Dream Pyre of Dreams album cover
3.70 | 12 ratings | 4 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Threnody (7:08)
2. Synesthesia (5:30)
3. Nightfall (4:47)
4. Cryptoendolith (1:34)
5. Temple in Time: i. Mist (6:18)
6. Temple in Time: ii. Nimiane (2:45)
7. Temple in Time: iii. Soliloquy of a King (King Arthur mix) (2:57)
8. Temple in Time: iv. Camlann (King Arthur mix) (3:43)
9. Temple in Time: v. Avalon (7:14)
10. Android Dreams (5:03)
11. Aphrodite (8:08)
12. Alien Embassy (9:03)
13. Temple in Time: iii. Soliloquy of a King (Lady in the Lake mix) (2:57)
14. Temple in Time: iv. Camlann (Lady in the Lake mix) (4:04)

Total Time 71:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Rowen Poole / electric, acoustic & 12-string guitars, keyboards, synth, mixing
- James Waugaman / keyboards, organ, piano
- John Lally / bass (2,7-11)
- Steven Hogue / drums, electronic drums
- John Tallent / percussion, bells, whistle
- Colleen Gray / vocals (1-3,5,9,10,12)
- Heidi Engel / lead (6-8,11) & backing (9,12) vocals

With:
- DC Cooper / lead (7,8) & backing (1,3,10,12) vocals
- Chris Siegle / bass (1,3,5,12)
- Scot Harvey / drums (4)
- Ed Wiancko / drums (8)
- Kelly M. Fletcher / percussion, lead vocals (6)

Releases information

CD Self-released ‎- NGC-4650a (2007, US)

Thanks to windhawk for the addition
and to kev rowland for the last updates
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PERSEPHONE'S DREAM Pyre of Dreams ratings distribution


3.70
(12 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
8%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (33%)
33%
Collectors/fans only (17%)
17%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

PERSEPHONE'S DREAM Pyre of Dreams reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Interesting release from this long-lasting US band on their fourth release since their debut in 1997.

Coming across as a much mellower and dreamier version of Ayreon, and with great musical similarities to label-mates Project Creation, this band has the moods and atmospheres that will make them an interesting band for many.

They have some rather good songs as well, with a nice and good flow between ambient sounding, mellow and epic-sounding musical moods.

Main drawback on this release is the 5-part epic Temple in Time - where most of the parts unfortunately stand out as rather weak tracks compared to what is offered on the rest of the album.

Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Persephone's Dream are a band that I discovered a few years back when I found their album Opposition in a used CD store. I was intrigued to find a heavy metal band with a female lead singer, which seemed quite unique to me; at least at that time. They returned 6 years later with a new vocalist to release the album Pyre of Dreams. The previous reviewer made a nice observation in recognizing their similarity to their label mates Project Creation. The music consists of some beautiful female vocals, and strong guitar, keyboards, and drums. The second track Synesthesia is probably my favorite from the album and the 11th track Aphrodite is probably my second favorite. The 4th track Cryptoendolith is an excellent percussion based instrumental that is way too short at 1:34.

Tracks 5 through 9 are parts I through V of the 23 minute long epic titled Temple In Time. I think that musically and vocally it is pretty good. Guest vocalist D.C. Cooper of Royal Hunt and Amaran's Plight fame makes an appearance. It appears to tell the story of King Arthur, and the slaying of a dragon. Although I enjoy these types of stories within music, I suspect that others might find them to be too cheesy for their tastes. Interestingly, tracks III and IV included in the body of the album are dubbed the King Arthur mixes. These two songs are repeated as bonus songs at the end but these are dubbed the Lady in the Lake mixes. I'm not quite sure what the differences are, so it sounds like reason for further investigation.

If you like your hard rock/heavy metal with creative percussion, synthesizers and female vocals than this band is for you. I find this album to be a good listen, but not essential, and therefore I give it 3 stars.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Having released their second and third album relatively quickly, it would be some six years until Persephone's Dream came back with their fourth. Here is a band whose personnel was very much in flux as Karin Nicely had departed, as had keyboard player Kim Finney while drummer Ed Wiancko only played on one song and co-founder and bassist Chris Siegle only played on four. This left just guitarist and co-founder Rowen Poole, along with percussionist John Tallent, as full members of the band from the previous album. The songs are listed as being written over a five-year period and given the way certain band members only play on certain songs, I am sure this was a long drawn out recording process. However, Poole was determined to press on and for this album he had three strong singers in band members Colleen Gray and Heidi Engel and guest DC Cooper (who is probably best known for his time with Royal Hunt).

Although this may been recorded with more than a dozen musicians and singers, this is a far more powerful album than one might expect, feeling very much as a band album as opposed to any sort of project, and listening to this reminded me just why I enjoyed their previous two albums so much. The artist I found myself thinking of with this album was Lana Lane, but if she was in a band where all the music was being written by the guitarist as opposed to the keyboard player. Musically there is a huge difference between this and the debut, released ten years earlier, with this hitting every mark which was missing on the debut. The additional percussion adds a significant difference on tracks such as "Mist", which also benefits from some great lead vocals combined with wonderful harmonies. All these guys can really sing and combined with strong arrangements the result is a guitar-led symphonic prog album which is still relevant and really enjoyable all these years later. There will be some who may be put off by the Arthurian concept in the middle, but I have no issue with it whatsoever. Again, a self-release with a good booklet containing all the lyrics, this is a really good starting place for progheads to discover Persephone's Dream.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars "Pyre of Dreams" escaped me when it was first release in ancient 2007; was it that long ago? The world has changed since then but this music and its lyrical content still holds a place in today's society. The first thing that strikes me about the album is the music is dominated by spacey synths and passionate vocals of Colleen Gray, and Heidi Engel who I grew to love with Persephone's Dream's most recent "Anomalous Propagation". This album again grows on me with every listen, getting better and better, until I have to resign to the fact I am listening to masterful prog.

Threnody opens with a wonderful mixture of melodic catchy vocals, scintillating synth, and guitar delay. The themes are dark laced with dark shadows, moonlight, blood and sunshine; vampiric perhaps. Is that a stake being driven in at the end? Mind you the "Keep it secret, keep it safe" is a Lord of the Rings reference so it is perhaps forging a ring.

Synesthesia has a crunching guitar riff and weird synths as Colleen speaks "sight, sound, scent, taste, touch". The riff locks in, one of the best I have heard from the band, and the vocals have a beautiful layered texture. I am already in love with the album. It is heavy guitars and progressive structures, complex at times, but there's no mistaking that grinding Deep Purple organ sound with a 1970's vibe. This is as good as anything from the prog heavy 70's when Hammond and heavy guitars dominated. It breaks into a reverb lead guitar solo along a proggy time sig. A soundscape of complicated rhythms; so endearing to the ear. Brilliant so far!

Nightfall has a droning synthscape, then some bass and drums as Colleen sings of dreams and visions, astral waves, "are you safe from my touch? If you stop the moonlight you will lose in the dance of darkness." The guitar delay is atmospheric but those synths are mesmirising and ethereal. Now I am beginning to wonder why I had not immersed myself in this album sooner as it is becoming addictive as Ayreon who I cannot get enough of.

Next song, what am I going to encounter? Its called Cryptoendolith, which must mean something secretive. The rototom toms percussion is prominent, jungle rhythms abound and then a bell chimes; we are transported to deepest Africa. The drum solo is amazing forcing me to look up who it is, Scot Harvey, but it's way too short.

Temple in Time - Mist has some lovely singing and Hammond sounds; both welcome to my prog sensitive ears. I have heard over 1,337 prog albums to date so I have become attuned to what is good prog and what is not; you simply feel it in your senses, and you cannot be dissuaded by other prog reviewers as it purely subjective. This is very good prog; so well executed and structured and no filler, all killer.

Temple in Time is a prog suite in 5 parts. Temple in Time: ii. Nimiane begins with lapping water and breathy voice over echoing in the netherworld of dreams. Ethereal music and mystical overtones permeate the atmosphere. It merges into Temple in Time: iii. Soliloquy of a King (King Arthur mix), Temple in Time: iv. Camlann (King Arthur mix) and Temple in Time: v. Avalon conclude the multi movement suite of prog. Avalon is my favourite with some amazing vocals from Colleen and great bass and percussion work throughout, with Rowen's guitars as excellent as I have heard. Android Dreams has a relentless guitar rhythm and pulsating bass powering it along. Colleen sings of androids syntactic breakdown, electronic impulses, wires, senses burning, photo induction reality destruction. The guitars are heavy and grinding, ringing out with a shimmering Hammond; simply stunning musicianship.

Aphrodite features the crystalline vocals of Heidi Engel, so incredible on the latest album, and has a spacey synth buzzing intro. The symphonic layers are joined by sporadic drumming and basslines. The guitars have a dirty sound, and I am transfixed by how Heidi sings with that bass going wild in the background. Heidi is phenomenal on this with her beautiful sexy vocals and that operatic high register she can reach. It is little wonder that the band returned to her vocals in subsequent albums.

Alien Embassy opens with layers of synth and Oxygene style washes before the bass begins and then guitar delay. Mystical multi tracked vocals enter singing about aliens, delusions, creation, chemicals, and Apollo. The bass line again is impressive, locking in as a drum tempo dominates and more guitar delay. The song gains tempo until breaking with a weird vocal over a synth pad and then a pulsating bassline. It is very atmospheric and spacey, and so are the lyrics that involve shenanigans with an alien race.

The album returns to two previous tracks providing an alternate version of each Temple in Time: iii. Soliloquy of a King (Lady in the Lake mix), and Temple in Time: iv. Camlann (Lady in the Lake mix). They are similar with some slight differences in length and musicianship.

Overall this album is as innovative and progressive as subsequent releases, with some very strong material and powerhouse vocals. The musicianship is incredible at times, and there are definitive highlights. The story revolves around the legend of King Arthur and the slaying of a dragon, including the sword on the Lake, Excalibur and other medieval themes. As a concept album it works very well, and the overall structure is powerful. The revolving door musicians of the band is as prolific as Ayreon though Ayreon always hires guest musicians as a rule. It means every album sounds different than the previous and they are all brimming over with new ideas and melodies as a collaborative unit in fine form. In any case I am enamored by the music of Persephone's Dream and I am rating this highly, that's three masterpieces to my ears along with "Pan" and "Anomalous Propagation", as it delivers what I love about prog, similarly to Ayreon.

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