Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Flame Dream

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flame Dream Calatea album cover
3.44 | 65 ratings | 7 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gate To Calatea (5:52)
2. Survey From The Summit (5:18)
3. Volcano (11:14)
4. Pyramids (5:03)
5. Apocalypse Of Sounds (6:34)
6. Gate Out Of Calatea (8:30)

Total time 42:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Urs Waldispühl / guitars, vocals
- Roland Ruckstuhl / keyboards
- Peter Wolf / woodwinds, vocals
- Urs Hochuli / bass, vocals
- Peter Furrer / drums, percussion

Releases information

LP Philips ‎- 6326 067 (1978, Netherlands)
LP Philips ‎- 6326 067 (1979, Switzerland)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy FLAME DREAM Calatea Music

More places to buy FLAME DREAM music online

FLAME DREAM Calatea ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

FLAME DREAM Calatea reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars What I am generally looking for in a group's work is Originality and if not at least some personality and inspiration and also some honesty. I can't say I found those character traits while listening to Flame Dream's first two albums. This was recommended as "the best thing out of Switzerland " but not quite. Circus ans Island are much better and more inventive as well as personnal. FD cannot manage to hide its Yes influences (like some of the bands from mid to late 70's such as Starcastle and Druid) but maybe slightly better assimilated. But we are not far from a clone bands . In the third track Volcano , that had started out very well , they can't resist pulling some T Banks KB lines from Cinema Show , a wink or plain lack of inventivity? To ask the question is already answering it. Too bad, because these guys could've bettered their yes influences especially that the singer is also a flautist and a saxman.
Review by Progbear
4 stars A strong debut, operating in a symphonic mode basically but also with a jazzy tinge unique on this one. Such was rather lost on ensuing albums, but here it lends a feel rather similar to the great EN REGARDANT PASSER LE TEMPS by the French group Carpe Diem.

Vocal chores on this maiden-voyage outing are shared by guitarist Urs Waldispühl and woodwinds player Peter Wolf (no relation to the Austrian keyboardist or the J. Geils Band singer). Vocals seem like an afterthought to the lengthy instrumental passages, though. Often, the two sing in unison alongside bass player Urs Hochuli.

Waldispühl's guitar playing is utterly peripheral, the odd riff here or unison melody with the sax there, but it's hardly a guitar extravaganza. Keysman Roland Ruckstuhl is star of the show, and he doesn't let you forget it. Organ, synths and Fender Rhodes are prominent, with some Mellotron for added dimension. But it's the sumptuous, classically-derived acoustic piano work that's the cornerstone of Ruckstuhl's playing. What is it with all these Swiss bands and this absolutely delicious piano playing? You get much the same on albums by Dragonfly, Blue Motion and the like as well.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Well this is where it all started for the Swss band FLAME DREAM. As Progbear has mentioned in his review there is a light jazz feel to this debut that is not found on their following releases.The keyboard work of Roland Ruckstuhl is clearly what dominates this record. This is a concept record about three friends who go through this huge gate and find this world called Calatea. It is a beautiful land with strange geometrical shapes, pyramids, orbs, clusters and spheres.They are so amazed with this world, but after the novelty has worn off and they become hungry, and in their search for food things start to deteriorate as they become destructive.The harmony of Calatea is ruined. A volcano erupts and covers the landscape with flaming dust resulting in Calatea turning cold. They find their way back to the huge gate, and now looking at their (our) world they had left with the sun warming their bodies, they now look at it with new eyes. I took most of this information from the liner notes.

There is mellotron on "Gate To Calatea", "Volcano" and "Gate Out Of Calatea". The piano especially shines on "Volcano" where there is also a prolonged flute melody. This is my favourite song by the way.There is some sax on this record too and the drumming was actually very impressive.There are two vocalists as well on this album.

I have to say that this pales in comparison to both "Elements" and "Out in the Dark" but it is still a three star record. Start with the other two albums though.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I suppose that there as many rock bands in Switzerland than in Belgium, which means not so many of course. So, when one is available for review on PA, why not have some listen.

Unlike some other ''Yes'' clones, this band adds some jazzy flavour to their music and their front man is a good multi-instrumentalist (flute, sax). I have to say that the prog-tango (!) and opening number is quite special. When ''Yes'' meets some Argentinean sounds... What an experience!

When I spoke of a ''Yes'' clone, it is not fully the truth. Some passages are typical of ''Genesis'' as well (the intro of '' Surrey From The Summit'' for instance). At the time of release, there were not that many bands to play this type of ''Yes'' oriented music and the addition of sax/flute is probably what makes the difference with the average ''Starcastle'' for instance. But this is only my HHO.

The highlight from this album is probably the long (over eleven minutes) ''Volcano''. It combines great piano play, good sax, derivative Anderson vocals (which are not the best from it), sweet fluting and pleasant acoustic guitar. If you are a fan of ''Cinema Show'', there is no doubt that some instrumental sections are going to remind you this great song.

An excellent number after all even if not at all personal. It is also one of the very few which holds some electric guitar solo; this album being mostly keyboards oriented.

The jazzier of all on this album is ''Pyramids''. It is another occasion to appreciate the work of Roland Ruckstuhl on the keys (piano and synths). The jazzy feel is deeply augmented by the symphonic sax play. It is a highly technical piece of work, but I don't like it very much to tell the truth. But my relation with jazz has never been a love affair.

There is also an Oriental atmosphere during ''Apocalypse of Sounds''. The whole spectrum of their work appears here as a kaleidoscope: some nice touches of each of their strenghts. After ''Vulcano'', this might well be my fave. It is a more personal track probably.

In all, this is of course the representation of a derivative band, but I far much prefer them to ''Starcastle'' or ''Glass Hammer'' (to name only a couple). They bring definite personal touches in their work even if the closing ''Gate Out Of Calatea'' sounds as a rip off ''The Knife'' during the intro. The tango feel is again present (just like the opener and sister ''Gate To Calitea''). The final part is harder and dark and closes the album in a pleasant form. Three stars.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars 3.5 stars, really. Very interesting Swiss band of the late 70´s. This debut album shows some great promise. I heard they were a kind of Yes copy band, but I found nothing here that supports such statement, except maybe for the vocal style of some parts, definitly a bit Jon Anderson oriented. But on the instrumental side of things they are quite different, with a much stronger jazzier side. So if you´re looking for something like Starcastle, go somewhere else. Flame Dream in many aspects are quite original and unique and if you´re not convinced, just listen to the opener Gate To Galetea, where the mix of synphonic prog, jazz and tango (yes, tango!!) is indeed amusing.

While all the musicians are highly skilled and professional, the CD is definitly keyboard-oriented, with enough room for a lot of sax and flutes too. Roland Ruckstuhl pretty much runs the show here with his very tasteful use of grand piano, organ and synths. Peter Wolf (no relation to his namesake american singer of the J. Geils Band) also does a fine job on the woodwinds. There are almost no guitar solos, but you´ll hardly notice it. the rhythm section is quite good and versatile, I specially liked the bass parts.

For a concept album, the vocals are surprisingly few. Which ends up being a good thing, since those guys are much better instrumentalists than singers. The sound of my CD version is very good and balanced all over. All the tracks are at least good, with some memorable, powerful moments (Volcano And Pyramids are definitly two highlights, but there are no fillers).

Conclusion: a nice surprise. Nothing to write home about it, but still quite good and promising. I´m looking forward to listen to Calatea´s follow up and the others.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Late-70's produced still some quality Progressive Rock and Flame Dream were among the bands that did so.They were found in Luzern, Switzerland in 1977 and the original crew were guitarist/singer Urs Waldispühl, keyboardist Roland Ruckstuhl, drummer Peter Fuhrer, bassist Urs Hochuli and woodwind player/singer Peter Wolf.Their debut album ''Calatea'' was originally released on Phillips in 1978.

In ''Calatea'' Flame Dream delivered quite complex Progressive Rock with numerous breaks and time signatures akin to masters YES, GENTLE GIANT, GENESIS and VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.From these influences YES should be the more evident, as the style of the band was full of the Englishmen's ethereal breaks with multi-vocal harmonies, Classical-inspired piano and harsichord intros, WAKEMAN-ish bizarre synth parts and STEVE HOWE-like guitar hooks.The melodic moog synth parts though are closer to the style of GENESIS.Among this mainly symphonic material Peter Wolf found plenty of space to offer endless sax and flute attacks, some of them are quite melodoius, others are very sharp and edgy.The arrangements of the album are pretty tight, filled with very complicated instrumental themes and demanding interplays, definitely a prog fan's heaven.The instrumentation is nicely balanced as well.What is not really consistent is the above average songwriting and of course the very strong YES resemblance is not exciting either.

Pretty solid material in Classic Prog vein and it is a crime there is no legit CD reissue still around.The only CD version I am aware of is a bootleg release by Tachika.Very good and complex Prog for fans of YES, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, CATHEDRAL or YEZDA URFA...3.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars The full power of prog genre ! This FLAME DREAM "galatea" captures all richness, inventiveness and good taste that prog genre can provide. Certainly these gifted Swiss musicians materialized a lot of brilliant ideas. To me in "galatea" FD album, the Gentle Giant philosophy to create mus ... (read more)

Report this review (#247496) | Posted by Prog_Veteran | Saturday, October 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of FLAME DREAM "Calatea"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.