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MESSAGE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Germany


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Originally born as a German-British band, the music of MESSAGE oscillates between a substantial heavy rock and a nice folk rock articulated around a range of keyboards arrangements. Their first album was recorded under the direction of the famous musical engineer Dieter Dierks. The result sounds remarkably as British progressive rock of the moment. Very melodic, with a ravishing and an accomplished lyrical sense of composition. Their following album is as great as the previous one, delivering impressive, extended, mainly instrumental heavy/ space rock tracks which can be compared (in some parts) to NEKTAR's first effort. Their two last albums released in 1975/76 were directed to more mainstream, conventional and easy listening heavy rock music. Very accessible records, sometimes including jazzy ingredients, the band abandoned their complex, sophisticated and original progressive rock. In search of a commercial response, they finally failed to convince the public.

: : : Philippe Blache : : :

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MESSAGE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MESSAGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.68 | 22 ratings
The Dawn Anew Is Coming
1972
3.56 | 29 ratings
From Books and Dreams
1973
3.93 | 16 ratings
Message
1975
3.98 | 8 ratings
Synapse
1976
3.00 | 3 ratings
Using the Head
1977
3.09 | 4 ratings
Astral Journeys
1978
2.04 | 4 ratings
Miles of Smiles
1980

MESSAGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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MESSAGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 From Books and Dreams  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 29 ratings

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From Books and Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars A grim slice of proto-metallic krautrock, 'From Books & Dreams' is hailed in some quarters as German masterpiece, though in actual fact this is much more a cult affair that seems to genuinely divide opinion amongst fans of progressive music. The problem here stems from the albums rather monotonous style, which finds driving guitar riffs undercutting some rather feeble vocals throughout the album's central two-part suite, 'Dream & Nightmares'. Part one, 'Dreams', quickly runs out of steam; 'Nightmares', which is the second part, follows the same dreary path. In between, murky goings on ruminate within the ominous 'Turn Over', whilst proceedings brighten ever-so-slightly with the atmospheric 'Sigh'. However, this is, overall, a rather uninspiring listen, and an album which may well appeal to fans of metal and heavy rock. Krautrock fans are warned: this basically an arty rock album, lacking the invention found in the material of fellow teutonic rock acts 'Faust', 'Embryo' and 'Grobschnitt'. Strictly for completionists then, this Message hasn't much to say. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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 Synapse by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.98 | 8 ratings

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Synapse
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

4 stars Fourth album by British/German MESSAGE, it took me quite some time to get this one. It's a bit surprising since I think this was still in their best period, actually this one was supposed to be last album worth seeking out, didn't think it was gonna be so rare with reviews.

Just seeing the nice cover art itself raised my expectations, and hoping that music would reflect that surreal image. The opener "Fred The Head" opens with very spacey or etheral sounds on guitar (reminding of the intro of "And You And I" by YES) but soon saxes kick in to give it a more original atmosphere. This theme of sorts is so good it actually repeats itself in another song later on "To Live Again". The album is basically further exploration of jazzy influences on the previous album, but still retaining some commercial side to the whole thing. I'm not an expert on JFR genre but I think some of it, like the song "Triangle" might be close to fusion, and especially the 7 minute long "The Sailor And The Flyer". Of other tracks, "To Live Again" is a good vocal oriented song with the similar sax theme from "Fred The Head", and I think "Chessmen" and "Destruction" is loudest they get but nothing like hard rock of previous albums. Personally, the tracks I could do without is "Volcanoes Under The Sun" as well as the closing instrumental number "Pharaoh's Leg" which is a very dull and repetitive guitar and sax interplay stretched to 3 minutes. Pretty dark as well and not as upbeat as the rest of the album.

This is the album that distanced them the most from their beginnings as a NEKTAR sounding band, and it would have been great if they continued to explore this new direction, because I think as a transitional album it would lead to great things. Personally I don't think it's the best album they did , but excellent record nonetheless.

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 Message by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.93 | 16 ratings

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Message
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

4 stars This self titled album MESSAGE really got me thinking. It wasn't the first album that I heard by them. First I stumbled upon the second album "From Books And Dreams" which blew my mind and only the last song "Dreams And Nightmares (Nighmares)" on that album kind of slowed things down for me, not making it the psychedelic/space/heavy/proto-metal masterpiece that it otherwise would be (strong 4 stars though).

After hearing such stuff I was prejudiced when I found this album which was a lot more commercial and less progressive or heavy (you kind of expect it when you see the cover); yet I couldn't find flaws honestly in it. This album really doesn't make me wanna nitpick it at all, it's really an enjoyable listen and from my side, replayed very often. The sound of the band has changed a lot since the debut and their subgenre here on PA barely applies. It's not completely without progressive roots, as for other music like this I was personally reminded of maybe something like heavy progsters BIRTH CONTROL but only after their most creative years, more around the "Increase" album era in 1977. This album by MESSAGE is pretty accessible like that, however, unlike BIRTH CONTROL, it's more jazzy, gives more space to saxophones than their previous efforts, and just frankly, they pull it of better. It's worthy to remind that MESSAGE is a British/German band where vocals belong to the British member. Now I'm not that picky about how strong an accent a singer has, but this may be a feature that gives pretty charming results which maybe wouldn't work if it was Germans who were singing a pop tune. For example "Is That The Way" is a very laid back jazzy ballad and even though it gets complicated in the middle, the rest of it really made me think of RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS for some reason; it's really one of those vintage gem songs that you wouldn't be surprised if it would turn up sampled in a hip hop song one of these days. There is also some humour in "Horrorscope" which also reminds me of BIRTH CONTROL.

Not their most progressive effort, but it is in competition for the best album. Unlike others, it's pretty even throughout and fun, and I have trouble separating highlights from the rest of the songs. Well, "Is That The Way" and "I Can See The World" with female backing vocals might be the lightweight ones, but it still isn't just background music. Weird how they failed to achieve mainstream success as this is pretty good. In any case, I recommend it. It's fun, healthy and good for you.

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 From Books and Dreams  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 29 ratings

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From Books and Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

4 stars Skeletor's favourite album

An album named like this sporting a spooky art work with pirate skull and a slithering snake worming through it - should preferably inspire nightmares of werewolves and darkness. The themes within speak about the other side of reality, the one that peeps through in the middle of the night, disturbing you in your sleep with tales of ancient memories, forbidden fruit, poisonous creatures and man made taboos being crossed by yourself seen from a bird's eye's view.

First of all, I'd like to give a shout out to my good friend John(Mellotron Storm) for introducing me to this album. Just by reading his review, I knew that I was in for a treat with From Books and Dreams. The album is a sweet concoction of grungy gritty hard rock and psychedelic Krautrock themes. Even if this mix has been done a thousand times before, back then it was still an infant musical child slowly learning to stand on its own two feet. Whereas we now have a cornucopian factory hall production of bands trying to infuse Black Sabbathy grittiness with the psych tendencies of old - often ending up in the aptly named sludge genre, back then the psychedelia of the 60s had only just begun to branch out in all of these fascinating hybrids. For my money, it was Germany who spawned the most astonishing and breathtaking metamorphoses, and Message is certainly among those acts that modelled these two hardy ingredients into something unique, black and fiery.

Message wield a brawling dirty guitar-based sound that ploughs through the airwaves like a rusty scythe. The grim reaper of string instruments fuels this band's energy, and you can almost feel the dark and murky ambiance of this band creeping up on you like an out of breath shadow trying desperately to catch up. This is no Black Sabbath - even if I portray it as such, the emphasis on cosmic feathered hard rock is far too obvious for that to be true. Even so, the overall production of the thing still puts pictures in my head of ghastly tombstones, neon skeletor and a swampy atmosphere that occasionally gets split wide open by the sharp scythe-like guitars.

This is essentially riff based music, but spiced up with sparsely used saxophone, synthesizers and mellotron. On several occasions though, the band changes course within the basic song structures - heaves the anchor, and flies away on sprawling magnificent fusion sweeps led by a manic saxophone. These are beautiful sections, and when the guitars finally interrupt with their sweetened melodic flavours, the music suddenly develops a counterpointing shadow effect to the otherwise harsh murkiness of the heavy riffage.

The front singer is actually English, which does add a certain quality to the vocals. Let's just say that English sung albums coming out of Germany from around the same time were very often clouded in heavy Bavarian accents, which to me personally can spoil an otherwise exceptional record. Well not this one. The vocals fit the music, although they have a confrontational manner - they clash into the given structure - sounding almost cacophonous at times, though never out of place. They depict the dreamy images of the lyrics in a way that lifts the overall feel of the album, making the music and lyrical themes collide in a natural symbiosis. Especially the divided title track proves this rather peculiar meeting.

If you already enjoy the works of Nektar, Nosferatu, 2066 and Then and other such acts that flirted around with the sticky combo of hard rock n' psychedelia, then Message's second outing should please you like a hundred handshakes from Jimmy Page. I love this album - the way it keeps fresh and still sounds like a death defying creature coming out of fog-ridden bogs, - and to top it all off, it just so happens to rock like a regular mountain of riffs.

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 From Books and Dreams  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 29 ratings

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From Books and Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by cannon

4 stars Great cover. I tend to associate it with another Krautrock album, 'Delusions' from McChurch Soundroom. Similar album cover, lyrical content, sound and style.

'The Day Anew Coming', the debut from Message in 1972 takes a progressive melodic fusion of psych, jazz-fusion and folk and shades it with an overcast of a heavy atmosphere. Early Tull, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash. Well done but nothing out of this world.

As with their first album, the band entered the studio with the great German producer, Deiter Dierks in 1973 and released, 'Of Books And Dreams'. Ominous and repressive, a conscious effort to uncover the unconscious thought that accompanies the effects of the sleep state through morbid fears and compulsions. A play on the pschye, lyrically and musically.

"Sleep" introduces the listener with spoken words over tumultous and tempestous psychedelic/space splattering. Terrifying though rather trivial.

Sliding into deeper unconsciousness, "Dreams And Nightmares (Dreams)" culminates the bass and the psychically induced guitar sequence from Allan Murdoch and expands and finally explodes into a ravishingly riff. The vocals of Tom McGuigan scream in, somewhat dischordal but deeply discerning. Fortunately it's then Murdoch guitar that sets the rhythm for the sax solo of McGuigan as his vocals are limited in only two limited parts of the track. At the ten minute mark, Murdoch slaps down a Iommi-esque solo that could been transported from Sabbath's self-titled debut. After the manic guitar solo the bass slowly pulses and winds down this trembling track. The apex of the album.

Track three, "Turn Over", is an instrumental with McGuigan's free-form sax slithering over an eerie ambient guitar and then an uptempo rhythmic riff kicks in as the sax strikes out and snakes through a shivering jazz/psych synapses. "Turn Over", "Turn Over",...

"Sigh" is the most melodic track from the album though McGuigan's vocals are somewhat annoying and overbearing, almost abrasive at times but once it again it's Murdoch's guitar that takes over at the three and half minute mark showcasing his shifting styles and then the intense interplay between guitar and sax. The last two minutes of the track ends as it began with the addition of a sinister scream sequence.

The second part of "Dreams And Nightmares (Nightmares)" is 13 minutes of Krautrock psychosis. "Introducing The Myth" starts with McGuigan's Mellotron as a shadowy background to his restrained vocals which are not so abrading as to his abandoning, piercing screams on previous tracks. Again it's the chilling interplay between sax and guitar that take over the first part of this nightmare. The sandman (McGuigan) enters the second stage and casts "The Unpleasent Spell" and speaks to you in a suffering, taunting and daunting tone. The "Nightmare" then trembles and traumatically tails off into silence.

If you're searching for a scary, spine-tingling sound experience, this is it. This album is on the heavy psych/progressive hard rock/proto-metal spectrum of Krautrock (though Message is half British). This is really Allan Murdoch's trip though Tom McGuigan's multi-intrumental talents are substantial, it is vocals that maybe disturbing to some. The production of Deiter Dierk has the same spooky atmosphere as some of the other "heavy" Krautrocker of the early '70's he produced, most notably Nektar and lesser obscure artists like Wind, Hairy Chapter, Gila amongst others.

Message then would make a significant shift on thier next album to a jazz-fusion/eclectic prog and then sadly meander into that menacing "mainstream" melodic AOR/hard rock style that so many did in the mid/late '70's.

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 The Dawn Anew Is Coming  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.68 | 22 ratings

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The Dawn Anew Is Coming
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Legendary English-German band with some very strange roots.Message were originally formed in 1968 in Dusseldorf by bassist Horst Stachelhaus,but the main man Tom McGuigan and guitarist Allan Murdoch entered the scene later.Tom and Allan were members of the Scottish band The Waysiders in the 60's.After they disbanded Allan formed MI5 and moved to Germany,the band became close friends with Message,eventually MI5 became the prog monster Nektar,but Murdoch decided to join Message and bring along McGuigan along with guitarist Billy Tabbert.As a five-piece with also German drummer Gunther Klinger Message released the album ''The Dawn Anew Is Coming'' in 1972 on Bacillus.The album succeeded several vinyl and CD re-issues in the future.

With the powerful voice of Tom McGuigan on the front,Message played somekind of Psychedelic/Hard/Kraut-Rock mix with plenty of breaks between aggresive parts and smooth passages,with long tracks balanced between vocal performance and fiery instrumental playing.With only a touch of additional instruments,the band was heavily based on the classic guitar/bass/drums combination with heavy guitar playing and sometimes groovy sax parts delivered by McGuigan.Message incorporated elements found in the music of DEEP PURPLE, WIND, early ELOY (particularly in the guitar solos) and NEKTAR as well as hints of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.Very good work by McGuigan on vocals,the album lacks a bit in diversity,being a Psych/Hard Rock monster for its time,but it haven't grown really well through time.The adsence of additional instruments make the sound less rich compared to bands of the time like NEKTAR or ELOY,but Message definitely played well the specific style they had chosen.

A good and energetic album,''The Dawn Anew Is Coming'' will be propably a long-time favorite for fans of Hard/Kraut-Rock with psychedelic touches and should appeal also to lovers of the aforementioned historical groups.Generally recommended.

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 From Books and Dreams  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 29 ratings

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From Books and Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by listen

5 stars Similar in sound to Nektar though slightly heavier, darker, jazzier and rawer. The highlight track here is clearly the last track "Dreams and Nightmares (Nightmares)", though all songs are quite good. 51 minutes this time (The Dawn Anew is Coming was 34). They sound slightly more mature and confident here than on their first/previous album, and somewhat heavier. The other long song "Dreams and Nightmares (Dreams) is not as dark as its subsequent counterpart and a little heavier (featuring a killer riff sequence) and is quite good though the song drags on a bit because their is not much variation. Both "Turn Over" and "Sigh" are very good songs, and "Sleep", which is not really a song, functions well as an opener.

The singer sounds at times similar to Peter Gabriel, and Bernardo Lanzetti from Chocolate Kings- era PFM. Reminds somewhat of Amon Duul, and other Krautrock, as well as the excellent Asia Minor. There are hints of early King Crimson jazz in the sax-oriented sections, which are surprisingly not infrequent, and pleasantly so!

4.5. I would usually rate this down but seeing as two previous reviewers have stated "4.5" and rated down to "4" because only whole star ratings are allowed, I will say 5.

Good album!

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 The Dawn Anew Is Coming  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.68 | 22 ratings

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The Dawn Anew Is Coming
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It took me a long time to warm up to this one. The problem was I started with their second album "From Books And Dreams" which I would describe as being more of a Krautrock / Psychedelic album that really intrigued me. "The Dawn A New Is Coming" is their debut and Dieter Dierks is the engineer, i'm not sure if Taff Freeman (NEKTAR) was a guest on here (both bands released their debuts the same year) or actually a member but he adds some synths and mellotron.

"Changes" features guitar, drums and percussion right off the hop. Vocals join in quickly.The lyrics don't impress me at times but it's a pretty good song. Not a lot going on in the intro for "The Dawn A new Is Coming" until the vocals arrive before 1 1/2 minutes. It kicks in with drums a minute later. I like the guitar before 3 1/2 minutes. The tempo picks up 4 minutes in. This is better. Themes are repeated. Parts of this song are outstanding.

"Evil Faith And Charity" is a fairly heavy but straight forward track. I like the vocal melodies early and the sax. The guitar takes the lead after 2 1/2 minutes. Best part of the song. I like the way it builds in the beginning of "Heaven Knows". It settles back after 2 minutes. Check out the mellotron in this one too. The tempo and mood continues to change on this one. Nice flood of mellotron after 9 minutes. "When I'm Home" is my favourite. It opens with a 60's flavour. Mellotron before 3 minutes as spoken words join in. Some excellent guitar after 4 1/2 minutes.Then it kicks back in.

This is worth 4 stars but please check out their second album as well .

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 From Books and Dreams  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 29 ratings

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From Books and Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Completely agree with Melomaniac on the 4.5 star rating for this one. Gotta love the album cover as well. The vocalist really reminds me of John Wetton, but the music is a Psychedelic / Krautrock blend with lots of heaviness.This was recorded at Dieter Dierks studio in March of 1973. Some sax and mellotron on this one as well.

"Sleep" is like the introduction with lots of atmosphere. Spoken words before 1 1/2 minutes.This is very spaced out and haunting. "Dreams And Nightmares (Dreams)" has this catchy guitar melody with a steady beat. Vocals 2 1/2 minutes in and the guitar lights it up briefly at 3 minutes.They're giving it all they got 7 minutes in. Vocals are back 9 minutes in. Guitar solo a minute later goes on and on. Nice. He's still ripping it up 11 1/2 minutes in. "Turn Over !" opens with gentle guitar and a dark mood. Sax joins in. This is great ! Drums before 2 1/2 minutes as the tempo picks up. Big finish then spoken words end it. He keeps saying "Turn over" as in when your sleeping on one side, turn over. Also it's the end of side one. Haha. "Sigh" opens with drums and guitar. Vocals a minute in. Bass 2 minutes in. Passionate vocals follow. It turns psychedelic after 3 1/2 minutes before kicking back in. Crazy sax after 5 minutes. Vocals are back 6 1/2 minutes in.

"Dreams And Nightmares (Nightmares) Introducing The Myth (including) The Unpleasant Spell" is spacey with mellotron to open as reserved vocals come in then drums as sound builds. Love the guitar and sound 3 minutes in. Sax 4 1/2 minutes in. It settles down before 6 minutes before kicking back in a minute later. Great sound ! Vocals are back 8 minutes in. The guitar lights it up before 9 1/2 minutes followed by spoken words as they continue to trade off. Vocals are back before 12 1/2 minutes. Amazing track. There is a bonus track called "Painted Lady" which opens aggressively with drums, bass and guitar as vocals arrive. Blistering guitar follows ! The guitar in this one is incredible.This song rocks.

Highly recommended to all you Krautrock fans out there.

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 From Books and Dreams  by MESSAGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.56 | 29 ratings

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From Books and Dreams
Message Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Melomaniac
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, this sleeve could've been from a death metal band!

A half-British, half-German affair (the same line-up that would record the eponymous masterpiece Message), From Books and Dreams is a dark, hard-rocking psychedelic album. The production makes for a very spacy, dirty and blurry atmosphere that serves the album well. I recommend listening to this album in the evening (preferably an autumn evening), light up a few candles, unplug the phone, sit back, lie down or whatever, and listen...

1 - Sleep : Not really a song, more of an introduction. A feeling of intense, wrenching vertigo, similar to the moment before falling into subconsciousness and the dream realm, is well depicted here. Blurry, psychedelic, a perfect mood setter.

2 - Dreams and Nightmares (Dreams) - One of the two very high points (personnaly I can't find any weak points) of this album. Starts where Sleep left off, with an hypnotic guitar theme, repeated for a while (the German influence, I guess) and built up until a riff change and vocals kick in. Now, some may not like Tom McGuigan's voice, I know I really love it. Not always on tone, he more than makes up for it with intensity and theatricality. Alan Murdoch shines all through the song, with amazing hard-rocking catchy riffs and a main theme that will be stuck in your head for days, months, maybe years. The rythm section, not as creative as on the eponymous album, is nonetheless very tight and enjoyable to listen to. A great support for Murdoch's riffs. Lyrically, the song dabbles in the nonsense of dreams (as does the whole album), therefore do not expect lyrics to make much sense, all the while still making sense (as dreams do). The song segues into :

3 - Turn Over! : A dark, psychedelic guitar pattern graces the song, serving as background to Tom McGuigan's saxophone wailing. This closed side one of the vinyl, as the words 'Turn Over' are repeated quite a few times at the end of the song, when the needle reaches the end of the lp (this trick was also used by Ange on Le Cimetière des Arlequins, and probably by countless others in that period).

4 - Sigh : Another psychedelic rocking number, but less dark than anything on side one. The majority of the chords are happy sounding, but that doesn't make the song less interesting. Once again, Murdoch's guitar lines are the focus of the song, and McGuigan's vocal melodies are also very interesting.

5 - Dreams and Nightmares (Nightmares) : The other high point of the album. The inclusion of keyboards makes for a haunting effect. Catchy dark riffs all the way through, interesting chord progressions... a great track.

This is my second Message album, and even though it is a bit less progressive than the eponymous, it is nonetheless an amazing album. Might not be a masterpiece, but it is damn close to being one. 4.5 stars. A shame these guys did not get the recognition they deserved at that time.

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