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Arcane Chronicles Of The Waking Dream album cover
4.23 | 152 ratings | 13 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Glimpse (3:36)
2. The Seer (5:30)
3. The Malice (7:21)
4. The First Silent Year (1:19)
5. Secret (7:18)
6. Fading (11:58)
7. The Second Silent Year (1:48)
8. May 26 (3:17)
9. The Third Silent Year (2:29)
10. Asylum: Acolyte Zero (13:04)
11. Whisper (1:45)

Total Time 59:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Jim Grey / vocals
- Michael Gagen / guitars
- Matthew Martin / keyboards
- Mick Millard / bass
- Stephen Walsh / drums

- Molly McLarnon / vocals (5)
- Anette Askvik / vocals (9)
- Daniel Johnston / narration as Acolyte Zero (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Andrew Saltmarsh and Matthew Martin

CD Riot Entertainment - RIOT049CD (2009, Australia)

Thanks to Spitf1r3 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ARCANE Chronicles Of The Waking Dream ratings distribution

(152 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ARCANE Chronicles Of The Waking Dream reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
5 stars This is my first encounter with the band and what a pleasant experience to discover a unknown band producing a cd of that quality. Strong compositions throught out this cd with a dark atmosphere create by the beautiful and emotional vocals and and the sound of keyborads With some long tracks we have a lot of change of pace that shows the ability of the band to built a tempo where the emotion is growing on you. It's heavy at times and very delicate at others that make me think of Riverside and Pain of Salvation. So, a impressive cd of melodic heavy progressive that stand out as one of the best release in that genre.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Love it very much!

This what so called progressive metal band from Brisbane, Australia, impressed me the first time I listened to the music and made me re-spin the album in its entirety everyday. It's to me like the experience of finding Marillion "Script" for the first time in 1983. Well, I do note mean the music of Arcane is similar with Marillion but the experience is similar. When I say progressive metal you might refer to any prog metal band available on planet earth. But, Arcane music is really different than the others. Yes, you might find nuances of Opeth or other prog metal bands but Arcane has crafted and cooked their music with different ways, different souls that make the music is different.

There were two major things that made me blew away the first time I spun this album. First, the sonic production quality of this album is top-notch and at par excellent with what Steven Wilson has been typically doing - especially with his involvement with Opeth. Man... I was totally impressed with this sonic quality because the album basically starts off beautifully with something like a narrative that sounds really nice, it's so ambient in sound. The second thing is the music quality of the album as I could not predict the kinds of music these guys were playing. It's too simplistic to say that it's just progressive metal without really listening to the music in its subtleties. I recommend you to enjoy the album with a decent stereo system or use Sennheiser headset. I am sure you will have great experience and full listening pleasure resulting from combined audio quality and well-crafted music composition.

Don't read, listen!

That's basically what I want you to do. Reading my write-up about this album is nothing compared to how beautiful the music these guys produce through this concept album. At first you might be surprised that this is NOT the typical progressive metal kind of music you have been listening or knowing so far. It's totally new experience, new adventure. There is a possibility that you do not like it. But, that might happen because you do not get used to it. If this happens to you, take another spin over and over. I am pretty damn sure it would GROW on you as you have the third spin or more. Yes there are many heavy riffs you would find - that's why you might label it into progressive metal subgenre. It's fair enough and I don't blame on you on it. Push it harder and you would find the joy of listening Arcane's music.

The opening track "Glimpse" (03:36) is basically an ambient setting that determines the overall tone of this wonderful album. When I say 'wonderful' I am not exaggerating as I am telling you the truth how wonderful this album is. The opening track opens up the next track "The Seer" (05:30) to enter in dynamic fashion with some tempo changes as well as variations in styles. Yes, I can have the smell of Opeth but not really like Opeth. It's different. The first spin of the album I did not realize that I arrived at track no. 7 without being aware that there were transitions from one track to another until track no. 7. It's like enjoying Genesis 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway' - I mean it!

'The Malice' (07:21) starts nicely with floating basslines in ambient nuance combined with guitar work to accompany floating vocal work. The music moves into crescendo with highly dynamic riffs combined with orchestral arrangements that make the music sound so beautiful. I love the heavy riffs and vocal scream (clean, not growl). 'Secret' (07:18) follows nicely with great combination of vocal and heavy riffs accompanied with guitar work. I love the interlude part with Hammond organ and stunning guitar solo. Oh my God...!!!! You must listen to this wonderful track!

As far as song, I love 'Fading' (11:58) as this is one of the best tracks of all excellent one. What I consider as PEAK is when the music flows brilliantly to 'The Third Silent Year' (02:29) that serves as a bridge to connect with a masterpiece 'Asylum: Acolyte Zero' (13:04). WHOOOAAA..... This is IT man! I do not believe you would not be impressed with the band when you get into this point! The combined efforts oh musical riffs and orchestral arrangements have made me FLY really. This is really GREAAAAATTTT .....!!!!

Dear The Guys in ARCANE,

Thank you so much for making this wonderfully crafted concept album. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

11. Whisper (01:45)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars ARCANE is a progressive metal band from Australia. Eh Progressive Metal? Not really, ARCANE drops the metal element more frequently then they use it, in a way similar to recent PORCUPINE TREE but more proggy.

'Chronicles of the Waking Dream' is an ambitious piece of work, as it offers a full hour of near continuous music, strung together with recurring themes and a brilliant rocking energy that pervades the entire album. Due to the excellent clear vocals and the occasional heavy sound it sometimes reminds me of HAKEN's 2011 album 'Visions'. But this albums is more progressive and complex, it is melodious, but more playful and creative compared to HAKEN, which brings me to another highly valued recent Heavy Prog album, namely the 2010 'Excavations Of The Mind' from SKY ARCHITECT. Bonus points for ARCANE for preceding these two references.

If you're a fan of Heavy Prog and the names HAKEN and SKY ARCHITECT won't make you seek out this album right away then nothing will. I must say that too few people have done so so far, but all who did so far reviewed it as a masterpiece. Recommended

Review by Rune2000
5 stars Has it really been almost a year since my 700th review? I've clearly been taking my time completing the last hundred scribblings of mine and now it's time for the that 800th review!

Just like with the previous 7 anniversary reviews, this one is going to feature another album that's close to my heart. Unlike the previous ones, this Chronicles Of The Waking Dream is actually a very recent addition to my collection. An addition that I owe entirely to my friend and fellow collaborator Karl (aka Bonnek) who just so happened throw this recommendation my way on a cloudy September afternoon. Yes folks, it has only been less than three month since I've heard this album for the first time and I can clearly state that this is a definite keeper in my collection.

Talking about an album coming literally out of nowhere and completely blowing me out of water! There are quite a few great albums that I start off as a mere fling and either grow up to become milestones of my collection or just sit there attracting dust. Chronicles Of A Waking Dream doesn't fit into those tow categories. This is one of those rare albums in my collection that I knew would be a huge favorite of mine while listening to it for the first time!

I adore these experiences when it's clear that a band can do no wrong with their material and there are quite a few of these types of instances scattered all over this breathtaking album experience. I just fell in a complete trance from the first Glimpse and was completely mesmerized by the entire duration of my first spin of the record. The album does indeed deliver the goods in both songwriting and performance without overshadowing either one of the two. The first thing that I initially reacted to was the gorgeous vocal performance by Jim Grey. His style isn't necessary original and sometimes even borders on the work of other Post Metal vocalists, but the consistency of his fine work really makes this record shine!

The great tracks keep on piling on top of one another and it does makes me wonder how long Arcane will manage to keep up this level of quality in their output or whether they will stumble upon their next release. Either way, there's really no denying that the band have scored themselves their first artistic triumph with the release of Chronicles Of A Waking Dream!

***** star songs: Glimpse (3:36) The Malice (7:21) Secret (7:18) Asylum: Acolyte Zero (13:04) Whisper (1:45)

**** star songs: The Seer (5:30) The First Silent Year (1:19) Fading (11:58) The Second Silent Year (1:48) May 26 (3:17) The Third Silent Year (2:29)

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Australian progressive metal act Arcane. The album was released through Arcane Australia in September 2009.

The band released a promising debut album in 2007 titled "Ashes", and the dark and melancholic progressive metal style featured on that album is continued and further developed on "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream". While the debut album featured a 24:15 minutes long title track, which was divided into five parts, "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" takes that concept a little further as all tracks on the album seque into each other to form a regular concept album. Arcane play a layered and keyboard heavy type of progressive metal with both really heavy moments but also mellower emotional sections too. While the instrumental part of the music is impressive enough, itīs the vocals by Jim Grey that really set Arcane apart from most other progressive metal acts. He has a very distinct sounding voice and a convincing emotional delivery.

The tracks are structurally challenging, dynamic and itīs hard to pinpoint just one influence. I think I hear influences from both "classic" progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater, but also influences from the more alternative part of the progressive metal scene. Acts like Riverside and A Perfect Circle probably arenīt strangers to these guys either.

"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is not an easy listen and itīs taken me quite a few listens to grasp the full 59:15 minutes long album. Thereīs simply a lot to take in, but in a positive way. So if you enjoy your progressive metal challenging (not necessarily focused on constant technical playing though) and delivered with great emotional impact "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is definitely a recommended listen. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Arcane are an Australian prog metal band that will appeal to those who love Riverside or other bands who merge heavy riffs with clear singing and intricate compositions. They have an endearing sound that is creative and moves in unexpected directions with odd time shifts and innovative musicianship. Tracks such as the mini epic 'Asylum: Acolyte Zero' have stunning complex structures, with killer riffs, complex times sigs and inject blends of grinding guitars with delightful melodic keyboards. The lengthy instrumental break features Michael Gagen's polished guitar work along with Matt Martin's keyboard wizardry. Jim Grey does a fine job on vocals, and the rhythm machine of Brendon Blanchard's bass and Blake Coulson's drums are wonderful. The double kick drumming is machine like and the song tends to build into heavier sections with faster singing pentameter at 9 minutes. It breaks into a soft vox and gentle piano, then builds into a symphonic soundscape, and some atmospheric choral voices. This is one of the highlights and really impressed me. Another awesome song is 'Fading' beginning with soft vocals and light guitar touches. The piano is lovely and it builds gradually with lead guitar flourishes and some symphonic keys. When the music fades out there is an a capella section for a moment and then grinding metal riffs break through.

The songs blend into each other to create a seamless musical experience with a conceptual framework that has mystical overtones. It involves a protagonist who is losing his grip on reality, perhaps even becoming deranged, and he becomes obsessed with the date of May 26th to the point where it haunts him and has some enigmatic meaning, though we van never be certain of what it all means. At times it is an unsettling excursion into a mentally unbalanced mind, but musically it is always a sheer delight.

The opening songs feature uplifting piano mixed with darker metal riffs, and the idiosyncratic vocals of Grey. The intro is a disjointed voice explaining the importance of May 26, then the music floats over, very melancholy and soft. It builds to heavier tones and segues into the next track.

The instrumental break in 'The Seer' is reminiscent of Dream Theater, with guitar and keyboard trade offs. Overall this track showcases the style of the band that moves from beauty to darker textures. 'The Malice' has a dreamy feel, and the piano instrumental to follow is beautiful. The climax is with the epic 'Asylum: Acolyte Zero'and then it settles into the closing track, a gentle piece called 'Whisper'.

The style of the album is like Pain of Salvation or Riverside, with beautiful moments juxtaposed by outbreaks of heavy guitars. It is an excellent album and yet another example of Australian prog metal at its finest.

Review by Warthur
3 stars On this second album Arcane offer up a musical style derived from prog metal; start with something reminiscent of Dream Theater or Pain of Salvation, put a major emphasis on the keyboards (courtesy of Matthew Martin), and dial back the prominence of the guitars (played here by Michael Gagen) and you might arrive in the same general territory as Arcane explore here. Those who like their prog metal a little harder-edged may find it somewhat soft and melodic for their tastes, but on the whole it's a competent release which should please fans of the lighter end of prog metal or the heavier end of prog rock.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A wonderfully theatric concept story rendered to Prog Metal/Heavy Prog music similar to KARNIVOOL, TOOL, and even ORPHANED LAND.

1. "Glimpse (3:36) sounds like an even more theatric version of TOOL and Maynard James Keenan. A little over the top, but a great start to a virtually seemless story exposition. (9.5/10)

2. "The Seer" (5:30) heavy prog carrying over the melodies from the opening song. Having been a long fan of fellow Aussies KARNIVOOL, I feel there are many similarities here to that later band. But vocalist Jim Grey is far more theatric and risk-taking than Ian Kenny--is more on a par with THAT JOE PAYNE--and may be even more talented than the Karnivool lead singer. The music is good, with lots of proggy time, theme, and stylistic variations, and the instrumental talents of the band members are very good, but there is something in the sound rendering that make the tracks seem a bit too clean, too separate, and too "constricted." But what a talent is this Jim Grey! (8.75/10)

3. "The Malice (7:21) Drums, bass, and keys shine the most for me on this heavy, at-time-brooding and dramatic number. Nice lead guitar and Hammond interchanges in the fourth minute, with the guitar sound and style beginning to sound more like AL DI MEOLA the further we get into the song. Great song! Jim Grey's That Joe Payne- like performance in the second half is worthy of all the superlatives you can come up with. (14/15)

4. "The First Silent Year" (1:19) cool effected organ with effected lead guitar soloing soul-fully over the top. (4.25/5)

5. "Secret" (7:18) "glockenspiel" takes up the main melody from the previous ditty before bursting into a oddly soft yet dynamic TOOL-like performance song. Jim Grey: Wow! A vocal performance for the ages. Intersting to hear Hammond soloing "metal"style within those power chords and then followed and teamed by searing electric guitar runs. Great ORPHANED LAND sound in the fifth and sixth minutes. Then a small children vocalising the main melody a cappella (!) before the band joins in! (13.75/15)

6. "Fading" (11:58) sensitive strumming around the electric guitar fretboard while Jim Grey sings in his most delicate upper register voice. So cool! Band with piano joins in to provide rolling, relaxing background for continued beautiful singing. At 3:30 the power chords begin to amp up the sound palette until the walls are fully built early into the fifth minute. Wow! I am so impressed by this band's capacity to support melody with its multi-varied musical textures! A wonderful song that somehow doesn't ever rise to the heights of its initial promise.(22.5/25)

7. "The Second Silent Year" (1:48) solo piano with a heart-felt Billy Joel feel to it. Nice exploration of other themes/motifs from the album. (4.5/5)

8. "May 26" (3:17) muted, scratchy guitar, bass, and drums weave a perfect triad of sequences while piano's upper register tinkles away as if in its own universe and Maynard Jim Grey sings a breathy vocal somewhere in the middle. Another surprisingly unique, original, and cool take on the heavy prog/prog metal sound palette. (9.25/10)

9. "The Third Silent Year" (2:29) (not present on my digital copy from Bandcamp of the album.)

10. "Asylum: Acolyte Zero" (13:04) opens with full-on walls of sound metal, once again conveying those Middle Eastern melodic sensibilities. Even when it moves into the rapid fire/machine gun guitar, bass, and drum playing in the second minute, it's still ORPHANED LAND/YOSSI SASSI I hear--even more pronounced int the stepped down 'scapes of the third and fourth minutes. (22/25)

11. "Whisper" (1:45) the bookend finish to a great story rendering. Does a great job reminding us of the talents of this singer, Jim Grey. (4.5/5)

Total time: 59:25

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of wonderfully fresh-sounding heavy prog, one of my favorite prog-on-the-heavy- side albums of the Naughties and, in my opinion, an essential listening experience for any prog lover.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Arcane was recommended by some reviewers who shared my enthusiasm for several obscure prog metal bands from all over the world. Yes, I still consider this metal despite the softer parts. When they are not soft or melancholic, they are definitely metal. Yet, despite enthusiasm from my peers, I th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1154389) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, March 27, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Part of the burgeoning prog scene in Australia, Arcane stamped themselves as one of the country's premier acts with 2009's "Chronicles of the Waking Dream". This is a concept album with a narrative that is more implied than outwardly stated. As such there's a wonderful element of mystery to wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#1008991) | Posted by bonestorm | Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars (9/10) Arcane's sound greatly expanded, and greatly matured on their 2009 follow up to 2007's "Ashes". Entitled "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream", it is a concept album following the mysterious stories of different people witnessing a strange appearance, spread over an hour of excellently crafted ... (read more)

Report this review (#905948) | Posted by ScorchedFirth | Monday, February 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a magnificent album. It has everything a masterpiece should contain: strong melodies, excellent riffing (a bit like Redemption), unusual twists and turn (a bit like Pain of Salvation, although not as dark), loads of variation and above all: lots of emotion. Jim Grey has an excellent vo ... (read more)

Report this review (#451105) | Posted by BDTF | Sunday, May 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Arcane are one of those bands that walks the fine line between Progressive Rock and Metal. Their selection to be place in Heavy Prog is clearly indicative of this as they are usually deemed to be a Progressive Rock act. Classifications aside, this is a simply beautiful album. The album is grounde ... (read more)

Report this review (#292549) | Posted by ProgressiveMetaller | Thursday, July 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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