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TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC.

Heavy Prog • Netherlands


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TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. biography
Over the years, this project may have changed its name, but it has been a continual journey for TOM DE WIT. The project started out as TDW, a project that brings together musical experience with emotion, an open mind and intensity on one side, combined with precision, technique, and craftsmanship on the other. This music can be described as Modern Metal mixed with symphonic elements, dynamic shifts, progressive touches and Tom's unique sounding voice. The music is built on dark, mostly melancholic stories about fictional characters that are expressed through the lyrics.

After years of being a studio project, DE WIT formed a band in 2016 called DREAMWALKERS INC. This allowed him to take the music to the stage with a debut performance at Progpower Europe 2016. DREAMWALKERS INC. originally was therefore not just a band, but more a collective of musicians that Tom had chosen to perform the music in the best way possible. The goal was to bring shows in which the stories behind the songs could be told through music, lyrics, and visual elements. The use of video and other theatrical elements added to this notion. At the first gig, the band took to the stage in an acoustic setting, which can be considered a surprise looking at the normal more metallic sound that this band normally has to offer. The fact that the band can actually also play acoustically with the same intensity as a full-on metal show, is a testament to this bands' diversity and abilities.

Then almost a year later in June of 2017 the band took the stage to perform their first big metal show, which was received well for its intense and energetic delivery by fans and critics alike. The band released their album "THE ANTITHETIC AFFILIATION" in May of 2017. This album was still called TDW but can be considered the unofficial start of DREAMWALKERS INC. as a band in its own right. Later that same year, the band performed a new take on their first acoustic show, dubbed "The ambient show" featuring brand new material as well as re-arranged older songs. This show took place in a chapel in Amersfoort and was be a hybrid of acoustic music and ambient music driven by beats and electronics.

As time went by, it became clear that DREAMWALKERS INC. and TDW were now becoming separate entities and Tom decided to make the distinction clear by releasing the album 'FIRST RE-DRAFT' under the DREAMWALKERS INC. name in early 2019. Tom would keep doing TDW music by himself, releasing albums and songs...
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TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. discography


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TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.09 | 4 ratings
First Draft
2004
3.67 | 8 ratings
Up Close and Personal
2006
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Haunts
2008
2.94 | 4 ratings
Scrapbook
2011
4.57 | 14 ratings
Music to Stand Around and Feel Awkward To
2014
4.25 | 21 ratings
The Antithetic Affiliation
2017
4.58 | 7 ratings
First Re-Draft (by Dreamwalkers Inc.)
2019
4.26 | 15 ratings
The Days the Clock Stopped
2020
3.83 | 10 ratings
Fountains
2021
3.56 | 4 ratings
The First Tragedy of Klahera
2023

TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
A Night at the Theatre (by Dreamwalkers Inc.)
2020

TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Promotorium
2005
3.00 | 2 ratings
Brother
2006

TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The First Tragedy of Klahera by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.56 | 4 ratings

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The First Tragedy of Klahera
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars There have been some changes in the ranks of Dreamwalkers Inc in recent years, and the band as it stands now is totally different from what it was apart, of course, from singer Tom de Wit. He has now been joined by drummer Sander van Elferen and bassist Bjorn van der Ploeg along with guitarists Lennert Kemper and Norbert Veenbrink along with singer Radina Dimcheva. The concept is taken from a story written by singer/frontman Tom de Wit (which has now been turned into a novel) about a girl found in a forest on a dark night who is adopted into a small village by a loving couple. The girl is clearly different from everyone in the village and seems to be at odds with everything. It feels like everything she thinks and stands for is 'not normal' according to the world around her. This leads to a dark conclusion at the end. There are a cast of voice actors, and unlike some concepts this is easy to follow from beginning to end, a movie for the ears with cinematic explanation passages here and there, although it should be noted the conclusion reached here is not the final one as this is the first in a planned set of albums.

There is no doubt in my mind that Tom is one of the most under-rated performers and storytellers within the prog metal scene, bringing additional layers and levels of complexity yet somehow also making his music inviting and easy to get inside the first time of playing. I was honoured some time back to be interviewed for a DVD, giving my thoughts, and I am glad to say I have never regretted any of my words since then as he consistently pushes himself and those working with him to produce material which is always a delight. I am already invested in the story of Khalera, looking forward to hearing the next chapter of the journey, and no matter who Tom is working with his style is instantly recognisable, so this feels like a logical progression from his days as performing as a solo artist, then a solo with a backing band through to where we are now with a band who are all credited equally.

Polished and full of finesse, this is an album where the listener is soon inside the story, as it moves, swells, drops away, full of emotion and power at multiple levels. At times there is plenty of space within the arrangements whereas at others it is a total amalgam of sound, all coming together to provide contrast which invite us in. Yet another stunning release.

 The First Tragedy of Klahera by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2023
3.56 | 4 ratings

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The First Tragedy of Klahera
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by alainPP

3 stars 'Justice, My Tragedy' begins soaring before the metal kick-off with two vocals; backing vocals and riff and a growl; break, fleeting operatic tune, on a heavy Ayreon; Nervous guitar solo and cinematic finale, it's fashionable with a crying baby. 'Child of the Bloodmoon' arpeggios over a dark musical climate accompanied by sound effects, a progressive drift. 'Oldstead' nervous drums and bass for the metal track. 'Broken Puzzle Piece' solemn tune, heavy- rock opera without its magnificence. 'It Lives' is a sort of aggressive and catchy musical magma. 'Despicable' changes tone with a jazz title with soft harmonies, then moving towards hard, thrash for the frenzied riff, reminiscent of Unexpect, electro finale launching 'Knowledge From Afar' for the calm, colorful prog rock piece, alternating pop and energy.

'Celebrations' returns to a cheerful, oriental, intimate cinematic folk base. 'Mother Dearest' title track with prog metal exchange between mother and child; an electric, nervous style and colorful, festive jazzy atmospheres, on Panzeballett for the sax and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum; sweet creative madness. 'Pushed' dark acoustic ballad and tambourine, a final rise la Anathema. 'Heroes and Charlatans' again with an electro atmosphere then metal bordering on djent; the apoplectic finale. 'Discovery' even heavier, hard heavy, nag supposed to express the little girl's distress, the judge's vocals in 'The trial'; acoustic break which denotes and cottony melodic solo. 'Chain of Consequences' for the final sound which swells, grows, rumbles; the child is banished, yes the story follows the music and vice versa; the guitar solo is strong, tortured, energetic like the decision.

TDW/Dreamwalkers Inc. fuses genres, vocals and modern metal with rock opera; a fantasy metal opera based on a novel by Janneke Stam and the story of a girl found in a forest who will upset her adoptive parents, its moving musical melting pot concept; a bewitching but singular album, more metal than prog.

 Fountains by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.83 | 10 ratings

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Fountains
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars I have been a fan of Tom de Wit for a few years now, and even took part in a documentary which was included in his last release, the excellent 'The Day The Clock Stopped', and any new album is always going to be of great interest. He decided to record this album quickly, and once again utilised the Annihilator rhythm section of Rich Gray (bass, backing vocals) and drummer Fabio Alessandrini, with Tom providing vocals, guitars, synths, and orchestrations and then bringing in multiple guests who each added some parts/solos to one track each as well as using some singers to act as a choir. The concept behind this album is also an interesting one as it is possible to describe this his eight release was an album made by the fans, for the fans. He used song input from fans who pre-ordered the previous album to write songs based on those concepts, and six of the songs contained on this album are taken from these ideas while he then wrote another four to tie them all together.

TDW is very much a prog metal band, with both elements often being taken to extremes, and anyone coming to this from the outside would not realise that this is a multi-instrumentalist with some additional guests. The use of a world class rhythm section is inspired, and with Fabio and Rich playing together in a frantic metal band together since 2017 they have an understanding of what each other will be doing within the complexity of this complicated music as they are used to keeping up with Jeff Waters. Musically we move between symphonic metal and progressive while there are times when we touch on death metal, world music, jazz, flamenco, and so much more. There are so many changes and switches taking place that one never knows where the music is going to lead, with a section of a song often very different to the rest, let alone between the individual songs themselves.

Tom has a laser focus on what he wants to achieve, bringing together the right people to ensure he meets that vision, the result being something which is progressive, technical, metallic and so much more. The use of flute in "Hunter's Eyes" is inspired as it is so unexpected, but so are the staccato riffs and changes in tempo, yet this is never a difficult album to listen to as there is a commercial thread within which makes it incredibly palatable. This is yet another superb achievement and is highly recommended.

 The Days the Clock Stopped by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 15 ratings

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The Days the Clock Stopped
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars I have known Tom de Wit for a few years now and have always been greatly impressed by his work and style, which generally involves him telling stories in a truly progressive metallic style quite unlike any other. When we were talking about his next release, he asked me if I would say a few words about his music for the documentary which would accompany it, and of course I agreed, so for the third consecutive week here I am reviewing something where I have a presence. Knowing what the album was about, I felt obliged to play the accompanying DVD first, which not only incudes a lengthy interview, the uncut footage of those who were asked to take part, the music video for 'Death and Her Brother Greg', but a full-length documentary on Tom. Given he dislikes being the centre of attention, this must have been incredibly hard and personal for him, as those included in the interview are his parents. Here we discover about his mental struggles with high sensitivity, as well as the severe gastric issues he suffered which led to the insertion of a stoma, and Tom very nearly dying.

The reason for having such a personal documentary included with the album, is that unlike other times when Tom has been putting himself into a persona, here he discovered when writing that he was no longer talking about a character, but instead was telling his own story. This is one of those releases where it is important to play the DVD before playing the music itself, as it adds a great deal to what the listener is hearing. Unsurprisingly, emotions run high through this album, yet somehow Tom keeps it together, giving his guests room to add their own touches to the material, which is as varied and non-standard as I have come to expect over the years. That it is progressive is never in doubt, but he also moves into the more theatrical area beloved of Clive Nolan, with the choirs definitely adding to the overall impact.

It is an album which required the listener to pay attention, and all the lyrics are included in the booklet which contains full details of who played and sang where. This reminds me of the old days when one sat with the album sleeve and (hopefully) lyrics, and that is where the most benefit can be gained, really becoming involved with the music and living the words. There are times when this is considered, times when it is frantic (Marco Sfogli's quick solo in 'Clockstop ? Insight 2' is awesome), yet always it is designed to engage with the listener on an incredibly personal level. The music is dramatic, always searching and driving, and there are times when this feels more like a modern classical piece than a metallic masterpiece, but it is both. The line where Tom says "The moment I came to terms with my mental pain, the physical pain reared its ugly head" is almost whispered, and in total contrast to the maelstrom happening musically, demonstrating just what he was going through.

Immensely personal, this is yet another stunning release from Tom, where he really has bared all and left nothing behind, even allowing his stoma to be visible in the video. This must have been incredibly draining for all those involved, as it is all so very real indeed. This is Tom's life, his struggle, and he has put it out there for all to see in a stunning piece of music.

 The Days the Clock Stopped by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 15 ratings

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The Days the Clock Stopped
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. is Tom's project from WIT as a front-man; started in 2004 and finalized in a new version in 2017. This collective plays modern symphonic metal with progressive touches, acoustics and ambient, music combining emotion and intensity. This is their 8th album. TDW (just his letters!) Is therefore his baby including music, video and creative adventures being also a graphic designer; this intimate concept album describing his psychic and personal fight against his illness; 4 reminder titles punctuate its progression for a series of titles, a therapeutic escape from the body in which it was stuck.

"Crashscape" for an intro piano and whispered voice, classical trumpets then entry into energetic symphonic metal pump, it rocks! "Clockstop - Insight X" follows on a prog metal crescendo with big riff and backing vocals, symphonism and rhythm, verbal appetizer time to introduce "Code of Conduct" ethereal title, duet of angelic voices and other growls, the music juggling in the same way between tender, cottony space and 12/7 machine gun, in short it stirs loudly; "Clockstop - Insight 2" follows with a long track sailing on the sounds of the RIVERSIDE, bass forward, muffled voice, then here also a big sound suddenly, the fruity synth rounds the angles a little then mixes the two, j 'find there the beautiful tortured and inventive sound of PURE REASON REVOLUTION with these voices juggling between notes; the rise explodes, becomes orgasmic, we start off with avant-garde metal and the guitar solo makes you want to pick up the neck of the guitar even though you know you won't be able to translate the notes again; a song that goes up, that puts you in a trance. "Sleepless Angels" follows with the ambient-synth track the one that will rest your mind a little, a track that unfolds on the expressive electronic pads of Alessandrini.

"The Pulse" kicks off the second half of the album and returns to melodic heavy prog metal; more keyboards and drums resulting from it with a heavy nag riff, prog metal break then it starts again with a plaintive and enjoyable guitar and backing vocals which increase the Andalusian atmosphere at times, delicious bombastic prog metal; time to switch to "Clockstop - Insight 3" for the more manly Blackmore's Night musical interlude; go we slide on "Death and Her Brother Greg" in common title based on the voices in duplicates, title which gives pride of place to the rise to mid-term, symphonic, Dantesque, grandiloquent and Hollywood, same music from a science film. fiction, a little PAIN OF SALVATION in return. "No Can Do" arrives, the 18 minute centerpiece! Musically apart title with rhythmic entry, it flows all alone atmospheric and airy, already the riversidian break in the middle with bass, voice la Mariusz, Luca's synth who wants to be analog for a melancholy and intimate descent; backing vocals which recall the PURE REASON REVOLUTION again; it starts again with biniou, riff and impressive drum pads then the riff is accompanied by a vulgar piano la Jerry Lee LEWIS, go unspeakable solos at the end of the course; porcupine metal prog here. "Clockstop - Insight 4" follows in the face of this deluge with an air weighed, calm, metronomic, we feel the impulse of musical life reborn here; the title is easier to access, on the traditional strings with however a beautiful guitar solo at the end, a frenzied final la AYREON, or MARILLION in its most explosive side. "Epilogue: A String of Repeats" smacks of the end of the album with varied male and female backing vocals, kind of a pot pourri of notes, a downpour like one could find at SHADOW GALLERY. Note the bonus track on CD "All We Could Do" to perfect this end of concept album on a variation of mostly female voices responding to Tom on yet another expressive nervous riff himself accompanied by a piano and Remco's cello.

An innovative multi-instrumentalist who had to listen to AYREON for the compositions, RIVERSIDE for the ambiences, GHOST for the choruses, PURE REASON REVOLUTION for the musical trance implication, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ for the style, group which released a nice album at the beginning of the year by the way !, a little of the flights of FATES WARNING and SAVIOR MACHINE and the more current bite of LEPROUS and other PERIPHERY for the energy released. Fusion of voices, symphony of songs to explain the quest for care, for freedom regained after living through the days when the clock had stopped, seen in the clip "Death and her Brother". Tom used this album as a cathartic outlet to ward off the demons of his illness successfully by offering modern metal associated with symphonic prog rock, a little pop and a lot of opera-rock sounds, a synthesis avant-garde progressive in itself. Eighty minutes of pure musical madness not to be missed.

 The Days the Clock Stopped by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2020
4.26 | 15 ratings

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The Days the Clock Stopped
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams

4 stars This is the latest album of singer, producer, and songwriter Tom de Wit. If on his previous releases the story of his music was centered around fictional characters, this time the title refers to his own severe bowel disease that he suffers 11 years ago, and where he almost felt like dying. So the music on this new album has an emotional charge that you can hear listening to the whole 74 minutes. The music can be described as prog metal that is atmospheric and heavy with plenty of tempo changes, always intense and with some symphonic flourishes. The vocals are all over the place with female and male clean vocals and some death vocals as well. The addition of a 9 piece choir gives another dimension to the music. Tom has really succeeded to create some great arrangements with this choir, some strings that back up the heavy guitar riffs. On this album, I did hear more piano than keyboards and the music strength relies on the way Tom has built the melody on an emotional crescendo that keeps your attention throughout this whole 70 minutes album. I couldn't stop thinking about the band Riverside listening to the calm passages in the music, at the point that I thought that the vocalist of Riverside was actually signing, but the music is different and more chaotic and extreme than Riverside when it gets at a faster pace with more extreme guitar riff. There are some grandiloquent guitar solos that match the giant amount of vocals work done here. So the wait to hear this new album was worth it because Tom felt he was not ready, but now we can enjoy the result.
 A Night at the Theatre (by Dreamwalkers Inc.) by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Live, 2020
5.00 | 1 ratings

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A Night at the Theatre (by Dreamwalkers Inc.)
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

— First review of this album —
5 stars Recorded in Alphen aan den Rijn on 31st August 2019, this is the first official live album from Dreamwalkers Inc. The project may have gone through a few name changes over the years, but it is no longer a studio project from Tom De Wit, as it is now a living and breathing beast so this is the first album not to have 'TDW' on the cover. Of course Tom is still very much at the helm as lead singer, but he is accompanied in that role by Radina Dimcheva, there are two guitarists in Lennert Kemper and Norbert Veenbrink, plus Peter den Bakker (bass), Vincent Reuling (keyboards), Kenneth Martens (drums) along with Cailyn Erlandsson who provides additional vocals on one song.

I smiled when I read the press release, as not only is there a quote from my great mate Jerry van Kooten, but there is also one from me where I am now shown as 'The Progressive Underground', whereas it always used to be PA, MLWZ, Rezonatz, House of Prog, Progressor, Amplified, Gonzo, or wherever else the review had actually appeared. Anyway, the quote they lifted was 'Complex, complicated, metal as hell while still being progressive, this is one heck of a band'. I still stand by those words, and this album displays just that. I honestly do not know another band who sound quite like these guys. Bringing metal into prog is not new, but here they have cranked it right up yet somehow are far removed from the rest of the prog metal crowd, which is quite something given just how diverse that scene is. Twin singers also are not a new invention, but it is actually quite rare within the prog scene, at least with neither playing an instrument onstage. Tom is primarily the main singer, but Radina takes the lead at times, duets or provides support, whatever is needed. Just listen to 'Aphrodisia', 8 minutes of chaos and calm, coming together to demonstrate exactly what this band is all about. But that is by no way the longest song on the album, that honour belongs to 'The More We Remember' where the band are loud and heavy, quiet and restrained, all in one number which somehow seems far shorter than it actually is. This is progressive music with real breadth, refusing to sit still within one sub-genre or another, yet also bringing home the guitars when the time is right to do so

When asked who they appeal to, Tom feels their music is for fans of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Pain of Salvation, Threshold and Tool, but that is far too restrictive to my mind. This is for all fans of either progressive rock and metal, who want the genres blended together to make something which is very special indeed. It feels very English in its approach, and Tom certainly sounds it, so much so that when he speaks in Dutch between songs it sounds quite wrong in many ways! If you have yet to come across Dreamwalkers Inc., then this is the album with which to correct that major wrong.

 First Re-Draft (by Dreamwalkers Inc.) by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.58 | 7 ratings

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First Re-Draft (by Dreamwalkers Inc.)
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars Okay, time for a history lesson. Back in 2004 young Dutch singer and multi-instrumentalist Tom de Wit released his debut album, 'First Draft' under the name TDW, with just a couple of guests helping out. He continued to work in that vein, and then in 2011 he re-released the album for fans only under the title 'First Re-Draft' but he still wasn't happy with it, and with all of his efforts going into the new album 'Scrapbook' it was just put out there and left. By the end of 2017 many things had changed, as he now had a live band around him and they were releasing material as TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc., and they wanted to get involved. So, some 15 years since it was originally released, we now have Tom's very first album totally revisited and is the debut release by the re-named Dreamwalkers Inc. as the band move onto the next level.

I've never heard the original, but a quick look at the tracklisting shows this seems to be missing the intro and outro snippets (which may well now be within the associated songs), plus "Mosquitos" has been replaced by "Dreamwalk" (which may be the same song with a new title for all I know), but apart from this it is the same songs in the same order as before. Interestingly for me, the cover is also the same as the original, apart from this being to a much higher standard and attention to detail which I guess is what Tom was trying to demonstrate even before the listener had put it on. It is safe to say I was a fan of the last album, 'The Antithetic Affiliation', where I said "It is hard to explain just how honest and powerful this music feels, and how it makes me feel. This is music and lyrics to get lost inside, never knowing where it is going to twist and turn, yet always with a coherent sense of melody. TDW are one of the finds of the year for me, and I look forward to both discovering what has gone before, and what is yet to come. Heavy prog rarely, very rarely, is come complete than this."

So, could this new, very old, album stand up to this? I mean, Tom was 16 when he wrote these songs, not the mature musician he had turned into. But the band have taken the raw material and turned it into an album which in many ways is a great follow-up to the last one. Do you want an incredibly dense layered bass-driven metallic progressive sound? Check. Great vocals, both lead and backing with amazing choral effects? Check. Keyboards which provide lightness against the dark, showing gentle touches against the violence which is happening underneath? Check and check. I can't remember how I lucked into these guys in the first place, but for some reason there is very little written about them in the normal progressive areas, and I can only put that down to the fact that they are very much a metal band, probably more so than progressive, but they fit the prog metal genre down to a tee. I would love to see these guys play with Threshold, as they would complement each other, and all the fans would go home with blasted eardrums.

This CD has been released as a digipak with a 24-page booklet, as here is a band who always looks to provide real value, as anyone who has seen any of their last releases will attest to. Complex, complicated, metal as hell while still being progressive, this is one heck of a band. Tom's seventh album is the first by Dreamwalkers Inc. and the journey starts here.

 The Antithetic Affiliation by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.25 | 21 ratings

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The Antithetic Affiliation
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars Turning now to the 2017 album 'The Antithetic Affiliation', Tom was again joined with guest musicians and also this time by Dreamwalkers Inc. This is a band that has been put together to perform TDW material live, as up until then that had never taken place. So, in 2016 they played their first ever gig as a band, acoustically, at ProgPower. The plan was to film it and release it as a DVD, but for some reason the audio recording failed. Instead of just dumping the tapes, TDW made the decision to make it available as a bonus, and even explains both in the booklet and on the DVD for the rationale for doing so (it was a historic event) and hoping that fans would forgive them for the quality. To be honest, this was the disc I played first as I was home alone and doing the ironing, so thought it was a good idea to put it on the TV. I was soon lost in the music and totally forgave the quality of the audio recording as it made such a big impression on me overall. Unfortunately not much ironing was completed.

So when it was time to get to the album itself I was really looking forward to it, especially having heard the earlier album and the DVD. Only eight songs, but it is more than two hours in length as it is a double CD release. It is presented as a fold-out digipak, three discs in total with a booklet containing all the lyrics and details, did I say that this is yet another independent release? TDW are putting many more far established bands to shame.

Musically and lyrically this is way more complex than 'Music?', as Tom has brought together musicians that enable him to provide both more width and more depth than before. When there is a need for just piano it is there, want some delicate woodwind? Want emotional vocals? Check. Want a band blasting with everything turned up to 11? Yep, we've got that too.

It is hard to explain just how honest and powerful this music feels, and how it makes me feel. This is music and lyrics to get lost inside, never knowing where it is going to twist and turn, yet always with a coherent sense of melody. TDW are one of the finds of the year for me, and I look forward to both discovering what has gone before, and what is yet to come. Heavy prog rarely, very rarely, is come complete than this.

 Music to Stand Around and Feel Awkward To by TDW / DREAMWALKERS INC. album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.57 | 14 ratings

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Music to Stand Around and Feel Awkward To
TDW / Dreamwalkers Inc. Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars Earlier this year I received a Facebook message from Layered Reality Productions asking if it would be okay for them to send me an album to review. Almost as soon as I responded in the affirmative, Tom de Wit was in contact and we started having a conversation. He asked me if I would mind making some amendments to the band's listing on ProgArchives, and then one day a video case turned up in the post. I can't remember the last time I was sent one of these, so was actually quite pleased when I opened it to find CDs inside, one of which is the 2014 album 'Music To Stand Around and Feel Awkward To'. Tom sent me the booklet, but apologised for not sending the cover, which I then discovered was actually a 7'slipcase which didn't fit! Now, I haven't come across Tom before this, which rather surprised me when I realised that he originally started recording material under this name when he was just 14 years old, and is also involved with other bands as well.

The 24 page full colour A6 booklet provides information as to why the album was recorded, lyrics, Tom's thoughts on each song and details on who was involved. Tom is a multi-instrumentalist, providing lead and backing vocals, guitar, bass, synth, orchestral and drum arrangements, but here he brought in others to help out. These include the likes of guitarists Frank Schiphorst (MaYaN) and Tristan Visser (Majesty) who are provided with the opportunity to go nuts with no constraints. In the booklet it states that Tom provided all music and lyrics, 'except for the solo parts and contributed mayhem by guest musicians which they all rote by themselves (I WASH MY HANDS IN INNOCENCE!)'. Apparently it was recorded, mixed and engineered by Tom 'I AM NOT A CONTROL FREAK' de Wit (his capitals).

If I had read all this before listening to it I am sure that it would have enabled me to listen even more favourably to this than when I played it, and take it from me that was already right up there! They are categorised on PA as Heavy Prog, and to be honest in many ways that is bang on. The site defines the genre as follows: 'Heavy Prog defines progressive rock music that draws as much influence from hard rock as it does from classic progressive rock. In simple terms, it is a marriage of the guitar-based heavy blues of the late 1960s and 1970s - artists such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath - and the progressive/symphonic movement represented by King Crimson, Yes and Genesis.' Musically this is a melting pot of bands as diverse as all those above combined with modern symphonic metal, but with strong vocals and a feeling of honesty and presence throughout. It is tight, it is fresh, and overall it is simply bloody great. This doesn't feel in any like a small limited edition release, which this album was, but as if it had been put out by a major label who had been convinced to spend money on it.

The booklet makes me smile, makes me think that as a listener I have a real connection with Tom and what he is trying to achieve, and the music just makes that grin get ever wider. This is grown up music, refusing to pander to any of the fashions that exist, even within the progressive rock scene, and instead is definitely moving down its own path, to its own beat. Highly recommended, the only flaw being that it took me four years to discover it.

Thanks to raff for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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