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FACTORY OF DREAMS

Neo-Prog • Portugal


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Factory of Dreams biography
FACTORY OF DREAMS is a collaboration between multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Hugo Flores and vocalist Jessica Lehto. This Portugese band plays a gothic, slightly metallic brand of neo-prog. Neither Flores nor Lehto are new to the music business, as Flores released his first album, a solo effort "Atlantis" in 2000, and then formed the band SONIC PULSAR which released two albums. Flores then created PROJECT CREATION, a band more in the prog-metal vein, and released two albums, part of a multi-album story arc, under this name.

Lehto began singing at the age of 15 and was inspired by such bands as THE GATHERING, WITHIN TEMPTATION, NIGHTWISH and BLIND GUARDIAN. She has her own musical project called ONCE THERE WAS.

The two joined forces to create FACTORY OF DREAMS in 2008, and released their first album that year, entitled "Poles". The two are currently finishing their second album "A Strange Utopia" to be released in the autumn of 2009.

Factory of Dreams official website

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PolesPoles
PROGROCK 2001
Audio CD$8.13
$17.23 (used)
Some Kind Of Poetic DestructionSome Kind Of Poetic Destruction
PROGROCK RECORDS 2013
Audio CD$8.78
$7.50 (used)
MelotronicalMelotronical
PROGROCK RECORDS 2011
Audio CD$12.65
$18.90 (used)
A Strange UtopiaA Strange Utopia
PROGROCK 2009
Audio CD$9.16
$7.72 (used)
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FACTORY OF DREAMS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.23 | 6 ratings
Poles
2008
3.78 | 16 ratings
A Strange Utopia
2009
3.21 | 26 ratings
Melotronical
2011
3.44 | 10 ratings
Some Kind Of Poetic Destruction
2013

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FACTORY OF DREAMS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Melotronical by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.21 | 26 ratings

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Melotronical
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars First off this kind music cannot be categorized as a neo progressive sub genre as the style is like a metal music ...or you may call it as nu metal or space metal with bands like Within Temptation or Evanescence. At fisrt listen I thought it's gonna be something like Nightwis especially the operatic nature of Jessica - the female vocal. The fundamental trouble with this album is the use of "everything electric and programmed" that makes my ears torn apart as the sound is really awful let alone the music. Maybe the music is quite good in composition but as everything is electric then it really troubles me at the end. I dunno ,....maybe I am an oldtimer prog rock fan so it''s hard for me to listen to 'plastic' sound like this even though the songs are not bad at all actually. Only the instrumentation that makes everything looks and sounds terrible to my ears. If this album is rerecorded with full manual band using real guitar, real keyboard, real drums and real bass guitar like Rickenbaker ...maybe I would rate differently. In fact I cannot afford to continue this album exceeding track 4 because my ears cannot afford to absord a very ugly drum sounds that are completely programmed. It's not good at all, my friends ...

I tend to give a one star rating but then I do not want to penalize the musicians with only one star despite they have worked hard to write a good composition. This album has one fundamental flaw and it's very critical to me: everything is programmed. Not good at all. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Some Kind Of Poetic Destruction by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 10 ratings

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Some Kind Of Poetic Destruction
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Some Kind of Poetic Destruction' - Factory of Dreams (5/10)

Call them symphonic metal, prog, 'space opera' metal or whatever other five dollar term that comes to mind; Factory of Dreams is a band that first impressed me with their unique grasp of style. Although the band was essentially a one-man project of Hugo Flores', Factory of Dreams had a tendency to sound larger-than-life. Even when you stop to consider virtuosity and ambition are virtually pre-requisites to be noticed in progressive metal, these guys still managed to blow me away with how bloody outrageous their sound was. It was akin to hearing an opera staged by Norse gods while speeding through hyperspace... Outlandish descriptions aside, Factory of Dreams caught my ear from the start. Hugo Flores' latest outing with Factory of Dreams- Some Kind of Poetic Destruction- is relatively toned down in its orchestrations when compared to its 2011 predecessor, Melotronical. As ambitious in scope as they were, the last album's hyperactive arrangements could be overwhelming, and scaling back the sonic density could well have been what Factory of Dreams needed to reach brilliance. Unfortunately, Factory of Dreams' fails to live up to the promise of its stylistic evolution; while certainly more song-based, the songwriting itself doesn't any more focused or effective. Especially when compared to my first experience with the band, Some Kind of Poetic Destruction sounds like Factory of Dreams in lite or diet form. Downplaying many of the things that made the band such an engaging listen in the first place, Factory of Dreams' latest album feels close to your standard symphonic metal fare; the project's core style and level of musicianship are still here to some extent, but I cannot help but feel disappointed.

Some Kind of Poetic Destruction marks Factory of Dreams' venture into the world of concept albums. Their past material has always felt like it was telling a story of some galactic import, but the band is more explicit here about the sort of story they want to tell. From what I can glean from it (and without spoiling anything), Some Kind of Poetic Destruction tells of the world's apocalyptic end, through the eyes of a girl named Kyra. With this concept, Factory of Dreams explores the chaos that would arise from a cataclysmic event of this scale, and the metaphysical relationship a human spirit can have with physical matter or sound, IE: music. The concept has potential, and fans of Ayreon's science fiction fare will probably find themselves at home with this story. Some of the ideas are pretty interesting here, but the concept seems to leave much of its potential untapped. It hints at something profound (fingers point to the concept's metaphysical conclusion) but the lyrics don't go much past a surface-level description of the resulting chaos that has been inflicted upon the characters' surroundings. The spoken word dialogue used to advance the story is completely lifeless and might have been best left off entirely. Luckily, the science fiction plot meshes very well with Factory of Dreams' musical approach, which retains the synthesizer-heavy, rhythmical pulse of albums past.

In regards to Flores' composition style, I get the same impression here than I got from Melotronical. Although he's not too strong from a place of proper songwriting, he's an excellent composer and orchestrator. I don't think there's a single song here that stands out for its hooks or structure, but there are plenty of ideas throughout the album that grab the listener's attention. The songs on Some Kind of Poetic Destruction suffer the tendency of biting off more than they can properly chew; the ideas are self-contained and don't seem to relate to the rest of a song. Choruses and verse structures can be picked out, to be sure, but I'm hard pressed to find a song here that sounds like the ideas therein were arranged to really compliment one another. At their best, Factory of Dreams' songs feel like vessels for a string of engaging ideas. By prog standards, that might sound like a listener's dream come true; after all, the attitude of an ambitious composer transposed onto rock music has often had the effect of working against conventional structures. Factory of Dreams' music can be wildly interesting, but Some Kind of Poetic Destruction has significantly fewer inspiring passages than I was hoping for from the band. The crazy, over-the-top cosmic madness has been downplayed to a more comfortable level, sure, but what does the album do to really fill the gap? Melotronical didn't sound particularly well structured, but I was usually too overpowered as a listener to notice. The atmosphere still recalls the pleasant feel of rushing through the cosmos on the wings of orchestral fury, but it sounds so much more straightforward and restrained. Especially on the heels of Melotronical, Some Kind of Poetic Destruction seems to simply 'exist' in the presence of the listener; the loose songwriting and washy production rarely serve to create compelling, standout-ish passages. The album's atmosphere often echoes or reflects the epic, but never becomes it.

In terms of being more 'straightforward', I should elaborate in saying that this impression is largely due to the greater emphasis placed on vocals this time around. Factory of Dreams have always been big on vocals, but it's usually come in the form of arrangements nearly as dense as the instrumentation. Jessica Lehto's soprano and Hugo Flores' own operatic tenor would often pass the vocal duties between each other, offering far more stimulation than you would normally expect from a vocal performance. Flores has once again enlisted the services of the talented Jess Lehto, but the vocal writing favours melodic lead performances over the dense harmonies and arrangements. She has a beautiful voice with an ethereal tone befitting a soprano, but the downscaled arrangements this time around make the vocals sound like a fairly standard fare for symphonic or gothic metal. The album's arguable standout "Seashore Dreams" features a vocal performance that dares to veer away from the generic (with an ethereal, floating ambiance that reminds me of Cocteau Twins) but it all-too often lacks the added power or identity needed to have really moved me. Instrumentally, Hugo Flores reprises his skill as a guitarist, offering some amazing guitar solos on the album - the Satriani-esque passage at the end of "Hope Garden" comes first to mind. The rhythm guitar parts are less successful; the riffs feel somewhat indistinct and washed down by the album's murky production.

Perhaps I'm too harsh on Some Kind of Poetic Destruction, perhaps it suffers a more negative light from having the imposing duty of having to follow up one of the most original symphonic metal albums I've heard in recent memory. It's certainly true that I may have been more optimistic about the album if this had been my first experience with Factory of Dreams, but it's difficult to be as lenient when I hear this and know that they are capable of so much more. Going for a more song-oriented product was a logical choice for Factory of Dreams, but it's been a near-fatal decision for the band in this case. In sacrificing some of their far-out density and adventurousness, they have gained nothing in return. Add to that a mediocre conceptual angle, and you have an album that I cannot help but feel disappointed by. If there's any band that could make me love gothic-symphonic- space metal, I know it would be Factory of Dreams. This album looks like a misstep from where I'm coming from, but I remain confident in the band's abilities and potential to release great things again in the future.

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 Melotronical by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.21 | 26 ratings

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Melotronical
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Melotronical' - Factory of Dreams (8/10)

For all of the purported ambition and willingness to innovate to be found within progressive rock and metal, it's all too rare that a band's music will prove to overwhelm or surprise me. Perhaps it's a result of we as listeners having been desensitized to a lot of it; after all, when everything is extreme, ultimately nothing is. Regardless, Factory of Dreams' style of operatic space metal has hit me like a freight train, racing across some vast and cosmic terrain. Even entering a crowded genre as it is, Melotronical still manages to knock me over with one of the most over-the-top, bombastic and balls-out sounds in progressive metal I've ever heard. Moderation and subtlety are indeed alien concepts to Factory of Dreams' third album, and while the unrelenting hyperactivity undoubtedly makes it something of a love-or-hate-it affair, Melotronical has the potential to wow even the most seasoned prog metal veterans.

If I described Melotronical as a 'space metal opera', many reading this could certainly come up with their own ideas about what the band and album might sound like. Although details would vary from listener to listener, some elements would be very common to the listeners; among them, a larger-than-life atmosphere, chugging guitars, epic vocals and one foot in the space electronic genre. Factory of Dreams doesn't circumvent any of these preconceptions surrounding operatic space metal; instead, the music draws in common tropes from this niche genre, and amps them up to a ridiculously high standard of energy and bombast. While space metal regulars like Ayreon and Dol Ammad could each make a strong case in terms of comparison, I'm often reminded of Devin Townsend, and his often-overwhelming eagerness to amp up his music to the 11th degree, creating a wall of sound that can't be broken through and entirely calculated, the listener's attentiveness be damned. Although Melotronical was released in 2011, the album's 'calculated chaos' style of orchestration reminds me of two albums that came out the year after: one being Devin Townsend's loud-and-epic Epicloud, the other being Wintersun's polarizing Time I. With regards to the latter, some readers might recall the debates surrounding Wintersun, whether the overly dense orchestrations and symphonic arrangements verged on the realm of genius, or simply got in the way of the traditional hooks and grooves other listeners were left craving for. Given a comparable distribution, I would not be at all surprised to have seen listeners debating the same thing about Melotronical.

Ultimately, Factory of Dreams may often sound like the music could use a breath of fresh air at times, but I also know that the sound wouldn't have had as much of an initial shock and impact on me had there been a greater degree of restraint. Although the constant drive and chugging rhythms can serve to desensitize the listener to the orchestral intensity sometime before the album has finished, Factory of Dreams have been more than up to the task of balancing out this approach with detail, dynamic and plenty of compelling ideas. Even the album's mellow moments- which often dive into prog electronic territory in the style of pioneers like Tangerine Dream- feel loaded with wall-of-sound textures and cosmic Easter eggs. Surprisingly, almost all of this is the work and performance of one man, Hugo Flores. Although an operatic soprano is lent here by Jessica Lehto, Hugo has been responsible for all of the instrumentation and orchestrations. The fact that Melotronical has been forged from what is essentially a one-man band is all the more impressive. Nothing here sounds like it has suffered from the imbalance of 'solo artist syndrome', and even the drums- often the weakest point in one-man bands- sound wild and exciting in spite of being artificial.

Although the sure highlight of Factory of Dreams' sound on Melotronical is their intensely cosmic ambiance and mind-boggling orchestrations, the vocals are worthy of note on their own. While I imagine it would have been a hard time squeezing proper vocals into music this bombastic and instrumentally busy, the vocals here really work. Although Jessica Lehto's floaty soprano doesn't sound unlike many other female vocalists in the symphonic and gothic metal genre, the vocal arrangements are kept quite busy themselves; harmonies and complex melodies are commonplace here, and there's even room for the occasionally catchy hook. All impressions look towards the guitar as Hugo Flores' flagship instrument, but the guitars are what stand out the least here. Even the programmed drums manage to profit from the music's manic pacing, and while all of the orchestrations seem appropriately mixed together in the final production, the guitars lose their independent bite amidst the chaos. After having finished the album, I don't remember any particular riffs or moments where the guitars shone beyond their traditional role as a rhythm-keeper.

Indeed, Factory of Dreams is a band that has me wondering still where Melotronical would sit in terms of quality when compared to other albums and artists. For one, the atmosphere and scope of the music is menacingly impressive, infectious even; it's impossible to put this album on without being enveloped by it. The sheer energy of Factory of Dreams' cosmic style simply demands the listener's attention without question or distraction. It's as densely composed as a neutron star, and prospective listeners who don't give it the full due are robbing themselves of the potential this album has to impress and even shock. At the same time, I have a difficult time picking out particular highlight tracks from the album, much less distinguish the songs apart. Like a progressive metal summer blockbuster, Melotronical feels absolutely larger-than-life in virtually every way, and while I know the album could have benefitted from some counterbalance in the way of moderation and knowing when to hold back, the way Factory of Dreams have conjured the essence of space metal and amplified it to galactic excesses deserves to be experienced by prog and symphonic metal fans alike.

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 Some Kind Of Poetic Destruction by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 10 ratings

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Some Kind Of Poetic Destruction
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Factory of Dreams play a spacey, evocative style of symphonic metal which reminds me at points of Sham Mirrors-era Arcturus with the black metal and industrial influences smoothed over. In their place are evocative, atmospheric gothic motifs and influences, giving the band a unique voice. Speaking of voices, lead vocalist Jessica Lehto is accompanied by no less than three narrators this time around, but actually the narration is used very carefully, the band making sure that it never upstages the music or waffles on for too long. The album's cyber-goth atmosphere nicely suits the narrative (something about a girl called Kyra who's the chosen one), but really the story isn't what stands out here - it's the intense and carefully crafted sound of Factory of Dreams themselves. The duo of Lehto and Flores just might have elevated themselves to the big leagues with this one.

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 A Strange Utopia by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.78 | 16 ratings

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A Strange Utopia
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars One of my kids, when he was about a year and a half in age, had such issues regarding texture concerning food that I was forced to make these bizarre concoctions using a blender just to put some weight on the bugger. His favorite turned out to be my special creation, the "vanilla ice-cream and sweet & sour chicken frappe". Chances are, it probably tasted about as good as it sounds (I never crossed the Rubicon to try it myself), but it did the job in filling the tummy.

A Strange Utopia combines various appealing elements, and blends them together in such a way that I'm not exactly sure that what I'm digesting is necessarily healthy, but it's intriguing and surprisingly very tasty in an uncanny sense. Despite the neo-prog tag, this release sounds more like a gothic metal album gone hog-wild with neo-prog and occasional industrial influences, resulting in this mix of styles that can overwhelm the senses upon initial listens. There are times when a song morphs into a borderline chaotic mess of keyboard, guitar and violin soloing over battering drum programs and Jessica's vocal arrangements, like a chunky bit still in the frappe after blending, but focusing on one instrument reveals the potential for smooth and gorgeous moments.

Certain tunes possess elements of sheer beauty, such as "Slow Motion World", which begins in an otherworldly tranquil stripped down fashion before the inevitable crescendo of instruments and distortion start seeping into the sound, thus by the tune's end, it's all 'organized chaos'. Maybe, though, that's the point. Hell, the song "Chaotic Order" sums up the overall sound of this material quite well, musically and otherwise. The album's theme, concerning a Utopian vision that eventually falls apart since any sort of "enforced state of harmony" is doomed to eventually fail, accompanies the style of the music quite well.

Along with some ambient, texturally smooth moments, there are sections so jagged that it almost seems like two separate songs spliced together, such as the sudden neck- snapping shift near the end of "Garden Of All Seasons" that still cracks me up a bit after numerous listens. Real jarring, but deliriously engaging as well. Utilizing drum machines as opposed to a live drummer is fine for the more industrial and simpler rhythm sections, but sometimes during heavier moments, trying to ape a living drummer through the overuse of frantic drum rolls makes things a bit sloppy, almost sounding like a cyborg behind the kit in a state of minor malfunction.

Flaws aside, for the most part this is quality stuff. Hugo is fantastic on the guitar & keyboards, never letting his technical skills completely overwhelm the song structures, cramming in melodies just below the breaking point at times, but nevertheless, these songs are far more adventurous than many similar acts. Jessica compliments the music well, which is not an easy endeavor, and possessing a rich voice that veers between operatic and somewhat even witchy at times.

It's a bit of a mess on occasion, which can happen when blending appetizing dishes that maybe weren't originally meant to be consumed as one whole, but I found myself replaying this thing a lot, looking to dig out even more layers of cool and enticing moments during each listen. I can say this frappe went down easier than I was expecting.

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 Melotronical by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.21 | 26 ratings

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Melotronical
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by dtguitarfan

5 stars Well, this album was a complete surprise to me - I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of it before. Quickest way to describe this band - Bizarro is to Superman what Factory of Dreams is to Nightwish. In a good way. There are a lot of sound related similarities to Nightwish I hear in this album, such as the style of keyboards and how they are mixed with the other metal elements, the singer often sounds like Tarja Tarunen. But the composition is what is surprising in this album. Vocal harmonies play a big role, and this band often will add in some odd dissonances on top of standard vocal harmonies. Another technique they use is to underlay a somewhat common sounding melody with rapid-fire kick drumming and rhythm guitars that often feature changing time signatures. These techniques take something that could be merely another female fronted symphonic metal act in the vein of Nightwish, and make the music incredibly interesting. This is going on my shortlist of albums to listen to again very soon.

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 Melotronical by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.21 | 26 ratings

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Melotronical
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Portugal's Factory of Dreams' "Melotronical" is Goth Opera Metal featuring very strong speed metal blasts that are quite devastating at times. These are balanced by dramatic breaks with symphonic keyboards and piano motifs. The loud Devin Townsend style male vocals of Hugo Flores and counterbalanced by the beautiful operatics of soprano siren Jessica Lehto. Flores also plays everything on this, guitar, bass, keyboards, programming, the lot.

'Enter Nucleon' just pummels with hyper speedy blasts of distortion and majestic operatic vocals with the aggressive shouting of Flores. They make their presence felt here. It is followed by ambience on piano, and some gorgeous vocals of Lehto. When the blast beats stop for a sec and the make vocals crunch in my heart jumps. It just stops and starts with jolts that crash through the silence unmercifully.

Next on 'Melotronical' is a piano intro and some lovely chiming keyboards. It is dark and creepy atmospherics and Lehto's vocal intonations are nice. A grinding distortion warns us it is about to have an outburst of metal and then the riff locks in. I like the way she is singing over herself here. The duo are multi tracking themselves throughout. On 'A Taste of Paradise' a massive ultra fast metal riff grinds or a few seconds. As fast as I have heard for a long time. And the double kick drumming must be programmed.

An esoteric atmosphere of synth pads and acoustics begins 'Protonic Stream'. I like this part, very dreamy and ethereal, especially the spacey effects and echoed keyboard chimes. It feels a bit vampirish when Lehto comes in with vocals. Sounds exactly like Tarja-era Nightwish. Jessica's opera vibrato is sweet to the ears. She sings over herself often on harmonies and then the male vocals bring in a heavy feel. When it softens again it is a pleasure to hear the lovely female vocals again. When the time sig changes there is a rather creative musicality created.

'Into Oblivion' is a very beautiful song with Jessica taking centre stage caressing the ambience with sweet soprano. The metal crunches in soon and brings in the darkness. At this stage it is apparent that this is exactly the type of music of recent years that can be lumped in with the female lead metal of Within Temptation, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Epica and After Forever. I actually like these bands quite a lot but they are easier to listen to as they are actual bands with all members playing not just one man shows like this with a gorgeous opera singer thrown in for effect. That may sound harsh but I can't imagine how this band would play live with only one musician and an opera singer. The programming at times is overbearing and this is very formulaic music.

'Obsessical' begins with chiming keys, low distorted metal guitars hammering, and then a really good vocal from Flores. There is very fast speed metal in places, breakneck percussion, broken by keyboards and Jessica's high octave soprano work.' The guitars are too dirty to make out any brilliant riffs.

'Back to Sleep' has an ominous feel with thumping echoes and angelic vocals. Jessica sounds heavenly on the vocals here in the quietness of the soundscape. 'Whispering Eyes' is another slower song but with blitzing metal speed blasts. Both these songs really appealed to me especially Jessica's sensuous vocals. The balance of light and dark is perfect.

'Subatomic Tears' is a moderate tempo song with extreme blastbeats of percussion and riffing. Jessica is overpowering on opera as the riffs seem to grind on four chords. The sound in places is very techno programmed and the drum frenzy is simply ridiculously fast. It sounds like a swarm of angry hornets, in fact reminded me of "Ziltoid The Omniscient" for a moment. 'Dimension Crusher' is not the 'Planet Crusher' of "Ziltoid" but has the same type of speed blasting, the same type of make vocals, and is just as humorous. The real difference is of course Jessica's tones. She is beautiful in the quiet sections. I love the Lene Lovich high pitched squeals in this one.

'Echoes from Earth' begins with tribal drums and some layered female vocals. It breaks and chimes along for a while and I like the melody on this. Everything else sounds similar on 'Something calling Me' for a while then we get a cool retro synth and operatic vocals. This is a weird combo but it made me take notice. The song is 'Reprogramming' and it has some innovative music. It caps off a fair album designed for the Gothic metal fanbase.

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 Melotronical by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.21 | 26 ratings

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Melotronical
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Portugese composer and multi-instrumentalist Hugo Flores is the creative force behind FACTORY OF DREAMS, a project based around his compositions and the operatic vocals of partner Jessica Lehto. Their first collaboration "Poles" saw the light of day in 2008, and was followed by "A Strange Utopia" the year after. Two more years down the line "Melotronical" appears, and as with the past releases from this outfit it was released by the US label Progrock Records.

While "Melotronical" is a concept album and does have its progressive leanings, this is first and foremost a creation that will appeal to people with a taste for symphonic metal as I regard it. Dramatic music with an emphasis on stark contrasts and massive soundscapes is the order of the day, fleeting ethereal ambient and massive guitar-dominated themes coming and going, the latter more often than not sporting a richly layered symphonic backdrop, with high-quality female operatic lead vocals soaring on top. Those who find such a description tantalizing should seek out this disc, and I'll be surprised if Factory of Dreams doesn't manage to increase their fan base substantially with this release.

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 Poles by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.23 | 6 ratings

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Poles
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by usa prog music

4 stars Factory of Dreams should find a wide audience as it slots neatly into the genre originally created by The Gathering, and since enriched by luminaries such as Within Temptation, Nightwish, Edenbridge, Lacuna Coil, After Forever, and Epica - et al. It is goth metal, though the 'metal' label is used lightly, fronted by the rich soprano of Sweden's Jessica Lehto. But unlike its genre-mates, Factory Of Dreams isn't a band - it's a 2-person project, an Internet collaboration, with vocals and many arrangements provided by Jessica, while multi- instrumentalist Hugo Flores provides the rest.

Flores remains close to his sci-fi story roots with this one. If you're a fan of the progressive goth format of a semi-operatic soprano contrasting dark atmospherics and power-chord driven bass-heavy hard-rock, Factory Of Dreams is not far apart from others in the genre - but it's a pleasing listen, and has a lot going for it.

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 A Strange Utopia by FACTORY OF DREAMS album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.78 | 16 ratings

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A Strange Utopia
Factory of Dreams Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This second effort from Hugo Flores' Factory of Dreams is a step up from the début album, at least if you like his rather elaborate take on the operatic female vocalist sings metal type of bands.

Stark contrasts is a main feature of this album. Soaring and often operatic vocals take the lead when the guitars or synths are soloing, soaring over a musical backdrop where dark guitar riffs and lighter, symphonic textures creates a backdrop that itself is contrasting to the lead vocals or soloing instrument patterns soaring on top.

And while superficial listening will focus on those contrasts, the compositions are actually rather elaborate. Most of them features many shifts in pace, mood and stylistic expression, and there's quite a few detailed additions to these sonic tapestries as well. There are few really challenging features though, melody and harmony are the driving forces on these efforts, and by preference as parts of a big-sounding, melodramatic multi-layered progressive metal landscape.

In short: This is prog metal with operatic lead vocals and symphonic backdrop, and warrants to be checked out by those who generally enjoy bands of that ilk.

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Thanks to the doctor for the artist addition.

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