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David Minasian

Symphonic Prog

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David Minasian The Sound of Dreams album cover
3.95 | 85 ratings | 3 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Wind of Heaven (Prologue) (8:29)
2. All In (6:24)
3. Faith Hope Love (3:32)
4. The Sound of Dreams (First Movement) (4:03)
5. The Sound of Dreams (Second Movement) (2:03)
6. The Sound of Dreams (Third Movement) (4:38)
7. Road to Nothingness (6:04)
8. Room with Dark Corners (6:13)
9. Hold Back the Rain (4:31)
10. Twin Flames at Twilight (13:42)
11. So Far from Home (5:16)
12. The Wind of Heaven (Epilogue) (10:02)

Total Time 74:57

Line-up / Musicians

- David Minasian / vocals (2,7,9-11), keyboards, 12-string acoustic guitar, percussion, co-producer

- Justin Minasian / guitars (2,3,5,7-12), bass & keyboards (10)
- Geof O'Keefe / drums, guitars (12)
- Alberto Parodi / keyboards, percussion (1), co-producer (1)
- Francesca Rapetti / flute (1)
- Kerry Chicoine / bass (3)

Special guests:
- Justin Hayward / vocals & guitar & keyboards & co-producer (1)
- PJ Olsson / vocals (11), keyboards (8,10), co-producer
- Annie Haslam / vocals (4,12)
- Julie Ragins / vocals (8)
- Steve Hackett / guitars (4,6)
- Billy Sherwood / bass (4-6,12)

Releases information

Artwork: Ioannis
Label: Golden Robot Records
Formats: CD, Digital
September 11, 2020

Thanks to SouthSideoftheSky for the addition
and to Dark Ness & projeKct for the last updates
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Buy DAVID MINASIAN The Sound of Dreams Music

DAVID MINASIAN The Sound of Dreams ratings distribution

(85 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

DAVID MINASIAN The Sound of Dreams reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Beauty, eloquence & pace. Three words that define David Minasian's new release, the long awaited follow-up to 2010's masterful and rather aptly titled 'Random Acts of Beauty', a work that met many standards of excellence, appreciated by critics and loved by fans of melodic symphonic prog. In fact, if he would have a magazine to his name, it would be called "Melody Maker". Ten years is a long time, but it was well worth the wait. The father and son team of David and Justin Minasian have beefed up the guest list (the previous opus had the great Andy Latimer on board) by adding names that might ring a tubular bell: Steve Hackett, Justin Hayward, Annie Haslam, Billy Sherwood as well as drummer Geof O'OKeefe, PJ Olsson (Alan Parsons) and Julie Ragins on vocals , among others.

This is symphonic prog at its best, featuring whopping melodies that inundate the stage with ornate piano, shimmering waves of mellotron, sizzling guitar interventions, as well as first rate vocals that underpin the beauty of the arrangements. This common theme envelops all 12 tracks here, even though they may vary stylistically but never in purpose. If you are a fan of melodies that grab your spirit and soothe your soul, look no further than this sublime work of art. The biggest impressions though remain the consistency, the pace, the subtlety, the variety and the excitement of the material presented.

Kicking things off with Justin Hayward is not a surprise as David has had quite a long career in dealing with the Moody Blues, and on "The Wind of Heaven (Prologue)", the mood (pardon the pun) is set for the entire album, a majestic 8 minute epic of grandiose proportions , carving out a flute, acoustic guitar and mellotron melody (never a bad combination) that showcases a typical Hayward vocal delivery, that unusual quality of strength and softness first heard on 1967's 'Nights in White Satin' (53 years ago, gulp!) . The symphonic aura presented here is purely breathtaking, never saccharine or poppy as the piano tingles the spine and the choir support the theme.

"All In.." is led once again by David's romantic piano, and enough pastoral twists and turns to keep the flow going, crested by a forceful and dramatic chorus led by his son's shivering guitar , a very obvious nod to early Voyage of the Acolyte Steve Hackett's style, where acoustic and electric guitars court the mighty mellotron swirls. Obsessively beautiful, utterly intense, totally seductive.

A brief bucolic instrumental, with flute and piano as leads, "Faith Hope Love" lays down another gem. David, Justin, bassist Kerry Chicoine and Geof have the time of their lives on their instruments, tight in unison.

As I stated earlier, the pace of this album is a remarkable attribute, as each piece has its own spine tingling cachet, no better example that "The First Movement" of the Title track, the microphone in the magnificent hands of Annie Haslam , who quite possibly delivers her finest vocal ever, ably supported by Mr. Hackett and his legendary sustain- laden electric guitar, the Sound of Dreams, indeed! She hits notes that are unfathomable, choir mellotron only adding to the grandiose nature of the song. Gulp! "The Second Movement" showcases the thick bass of Billy Sherwood, in a blistering and bombastic interlude that ultimately leads to the "Third Movement", where Mr. Hackett gets to let loose once again on his golden Gibson, the thin arc of light squarely on him and he just kills it, as one would expect from the legend. This is right up there with Firth, long, overwhelming and ravaging. And to think, we are only halfway through, I find myself already kneeling at the shrine!

David Minasian is a spectacular keyboardist, composer and arranger but he also is the owner of a hushed voice that can rival anyone, incredibly unique and expressive. "Road to Nothingness" offers up a slew of keys (even some harpsichord bits), slithering guitar interventions where Justin Minasian shines once again. but above all, a voice that was built for that melody, evoking the spiritual mood of the lyrics and the luxuriance of the arrangement.

Another melody from left field , the Julie Ragins-led "Room with Dark Corners" veers into a completely different realm, a classic prog-folk piece ( a la Karnataka, Panic Room, Mostly Autumn) that presents the contrast between loveliness with a more forceful passion, a wicked guitar solo and a grandiose chorus. She belts it out with conviction. Fine piece of work.

The melodic recipe keeps giving, as piano, mellotron and David's whispered voice exults on "Hold Back the Rain" , a gentle and poignant breeze that features a Justin Minasian guitar slice, all wrapped up in elegant simplicity. The rain finally does arrive.

The massive and highly symphonic 13 minute+ epic "Twin Flames at Twilight" is ushered in by a delicate acoustic guitar, weaving a tight, almost medieval tapestry, garnished with woodwinds as it progressively morphs into huge squalls of mellotron that yearn to define the main melody. If one would replace David's voice with Dave Cousins of the Strawbs, it would sound like something right out of the Hero & Heroine /Ghosts era. But then, something truly unexpected kicks in, a raunchy, distorted guitar onslaught that sizzles like some incendiary device, Justin Minasian displaying his considerable axe skills? Oh dear! The fury stops on a dime, before the acoustic charm resurfaces, windswept keys in tow, as the main pastoral theme returns, a luminous lead guitar soaring high into the Twilight. A final vocal sets this one to bed. Simply wonderful exit on the acoustic guitar. Bravo!

Perhaps a change of pace is in good order, especially after that mammoth extravaganza, so a more accessible song is next up. PJ Olsson has an expressive voice (He has worked with Alan Parsons Band), that works well on ballad -paced material and this certainly fits the bill.

So how do we end this colossal work, you ask? How about a reprise of the opening track but replacing Hayward with Haslam! Place the microphone within a 10-minute package and hear Annie just modulate that magical voice, there is a reason why she remains the undisputed 'grande dame' of female sung progressive rock. It helps when the melody kicks royal behind, as a slippery guitar lead clears the road ahead, keyboard dynamics ever-present.

The attention to detail in creating an exhilarating set-list, the consistency of the melodies within a symphonic framework, adorned with occasional diversions are the hallmarks that make this such a consummate work. The guests shine like the sun at zenith and the listener gets to hear the "Sound of Dreams". What more can you ask in this dreaded year of the Silent Nightmare?

5 Echoes of Aspirations

Review by lazland
4 stars Sound of Dreams is David Minasian's follow-up to the lush and wonderful Random Acts of Beauty of 2010. Given that this is a release rate which plonks him firmly in the Gabrielesque category, the obvious question has to be; was it worth the wait?

Overwhelmingly yes is the answer. What stunned me upon listening to that masterpiece 10 years ago was just how gorgeous and complete the soundscapes created were, and Minasian has reproduced that unique ocean of sound again here, a veritable feast of what symphonic progressive rock should sound like.

There is a guest list here which can only be described as prog royalty. The wonderful Justin Hayward once again lends his lovely voice together with Julie Ragins who tours with The Moodies, but we also have Annie Haslam singing on two tracks, Steve Hackett playing guitar on another two, P J Olsson of Alan Parsons Project fame, and Billy Sherwood who seems to be on virtually every new release these days, but justifiably. We should also pay huge tribute to David's son, Justin, and Geof O'Keefe who form the core trio of artists here.

The album is bookended by The Wind of Heaven suite, Hayward singing on the first movement and Haslam on the finale. The opener is unashamedly reminiscent of Hayward's finest band moments without once descending into copycat tribute artist territory. Flute (lovely playing by the to me unknown Francesca Rapetti), guitars, piano, and gently rising keyboards back a melancholy vocal. Listening to the album for this review, I have played these back to back, and this creates an 18+ minute epic, and Annie's vocals on the main chorus Wind of Heaven blows are particularly lovely. The orchestration and wall of sound at the denouement back some fine guitar riffing.

The title track is split into three concurrent movements. Haslam provides a haunting vocal on movement one. Throughout movement two, an instrumental passage, Sherwood shows to me that he has learnt a lot from his periods playing with both Yes and Asia, because his bass lead is stunning and is precisely the sort of turn Squire and Wetton would have been expected to put in had they appeared here. Hackett lends his talents to the third movement, another instrumental piece, which starts with some lovely orchestration before that ghostly guitar washes all over you. The interplay between him and the fine piano and orchestral keys shows that the debut album's delightful soundscapes were no accident.

The Ragins piece is Room With Dark Corners, and her pipes blast out a fine vocal performance. This track is perhaps the least complex, or rather the simplest, in terms of musical arrangements, and the most upbeat. Not a masterpiece by any stretch, but a very good folk rock track, with the participants clearly having a fine time of it. My only real minor gripe is that the overlong instrumental piece at the end seems rather out of place with what preceded it.

Olsson's contribution is the vocals on So Far From Home, and is the vocal highlight of the album to these ears. It is simply sumptuous, dripping with emotion, and pushes a symphonic arrangement which delights. Those who read and enjoy my reviews will know that when I say this deserves to be a worldwide hit single, this is meant as a compliment. Five minutes of intelligent, soaring, and emotional pop/rock music. David, send this track to every major radio station out there, please. Quite wonderful.

This is not all about the guest cast, though. Far from it. Minasian has a voice which can top that of many more well known lights in the prog world, and his arrangement skills are second to none. The soaring guitars and keyboards we loved on the debut are once more in evidence on All In, but are interspersed with some beautifully delicate acoustic guitar and piano prior to exploding into life once more.

Faith, Hope, Love is the shortest track on the album at a mere three and a half minutes, in which Justin's bass lines shine throughout, proving Sherwood has no monopoly in this department here. They underpin a lush guitar lead and orchestration. This is a wonderful instrumental track.

Road to Nothingness is a track I want played at my funeral. There is beauty in melancholy, and Minasian exploits it like no other I know. The guitar solo is a thing of wonder. Stressed? Out of your mind with worry? Watching too much COVID news? Get this on. Six minutes of utter delight.

Hold Back The Rain is a lovely ballad which combines again the lovely flute, aching guitars and keyboard arrangements with David's unique voice.

Twin Flames at Twilight is the longest continuous track on the album, clocking in at just short of fourteen minutes long. It opens with a fine 12-string acoustic guitar solo from David before segueing into a medieval folk sequence that a certain Mr Blackmore would have been more than happy with. The main body of the track kicks in at four minutes, and includes some interesting changes in mood. The guitar riff which follows the initial vocal is not melancholic, it is dark, as dark as anything I have heard in some time. This whole sequence of music is wonderful, proving that Minasian can rock with the best of them, and rather puts me in mind of Edison's Children. By that I don't mean the music itself, but the ability to provide the listener with varying moods at the touch of a drumbeat, because the almighty riff is followed by a beautifully arranged passage of music which really takes you back to that feeling you had when you first heard Wind and Wuthering. Again, I do not mean this in the derivative sense, but in the lovely feeling of being surrounded by lush and deep sounds. This is a marvellous track which captures the listener's attention throughout.

I am deeply grateful to David for sending me an advance digital copy to review. I have ordered the cd for delivery, because, at the end of the day, I am a fan more than anything else, and this music deserves our support.

There was a thread on this site's forum recently entitled "is prog dead?". No, it isn't. In 2020, it is alive and kicking, and albums such as this prove it. Exceptional stuff, with a cover to die for as well.

If we had such a rating, 4.5 stars. Top stuff, and extremely highly recommended. Let us hope it isn't quite so long before we get the next.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album, folks, is a masterpiece. David has labored for years to achieve the release of this album and it is worth every minute of the wait. With stellar compositions and a supporting cast of luminaries, this is a must have album for 2020. While I'm not, in any sense, a music critic and I'm o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2454552) | Posted by Vishnu690 | Wednesday, October 7, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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