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FLAME DREAM

Symphonic Prog • Switzerland


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Flame Dream biography
This Alemanic Swiss group recorded five albums around the turn of the 80's decade and developed some very symphonic prog somewhat similar to Yes, although later on their style changed slightly. The ProgArchives have been visited on a number of occasions by their American guitarist Dale Hauskins, still obviously proud to have participated from their third album onwards to this group.

Unfortunately to my knowledge, none of their record received a legitimate Cd reissue, but there exist US bootleg records (under a fake Japanese name) of all those records. Not that the FLAME DREAM discography deserves so much attention, unless you are a fan of derivative YES music.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

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FLAME DREAM discography


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

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

3.43 | 38 ratings
Calatea
1978
3.70 | 37 ratings
Elements
1979
3.55 | 29 ratings
Out in the Dark
1981
2.41 | 16 ratings
Supervision
1982
1.37 | 8 ratings
Travaganza
1983
2.75 | 4 ratings
8 on 6
1986

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

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FLAME DREAM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FLAME DREAM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Nowhere To Go / Sun Fire (edited version)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Out In The Dark (flexi disc extract)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Race My Car / Stay With Me
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
In The Heat Of The Night / Make It Real
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Out Of Control
1986

FLAME DREAM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Elements by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Elements
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars In a very short time too much went on in Flame Dream's bedrock.Firstly came the departure of guitarist Urs Waldispuehl, while the remaining members decided to move on as a quartet without a guitarist.Second came the change of label with the band leaving Phillips and signing with Vertigo.Nevertheless most of the compositions were written by keyboardist Roland Ruckstuhl, who wrote all of the material of the band's sophomore effort ''Elements''.The album was released in 1979, this time not only in Switzerland but also in Italy.

The new album of Flame Dream offered four long and sophisticated arrangements (along with a nice sax/organ-based short outro), obviously more keyboard-driven than on their debut without any guitarist in the line-up anymore.Additionally the role of sax/woodwind player Peter Wolf became more significant and dominant.The result is an album that recalls the best moments of CARPE DIEM, totally uncommercial and following the best Prog traditions.The music remained very much symphonic-oriented with huge piano preludes, fascinating synth acrobatics and old-fashioned Hammond organ runs in the style of TONY BANKS with little personality but an incredible performance.This keyboard-driven style is often accompanied by some elegant flute parts and heavy sax interventions, like if GENESIS and YES were jamming with VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR.The abscence of guitars is hardly detected, as the sound of the band remained rich and melodic, full of professional interplays, very tight orchestrations and impressive shifting climates.The vocals are pretty mediocre, without being annoying, seems the group was aware of it and ''Elements'' contains mostly extended instrumental parts with evident Classical inspirations, blended with some Fusion touches, characterized by numerous technical still memorable passages.

Very strong effort during Progressive Rock's twilight zone.An instant purchase for all fans of demanding Classic Prog, which is sure to reward anyone going after it.Highly recommended.

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 Out in the Dark by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.55 | 29 ratings

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Out in the Dark
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 really

Out in the dark is their third album from 1981 and to me at least their second best after Elements. They incorporated again a guitarist in the line up , the american Dale Hauskins , and the sound even has many similarities with previous two albums in places is quite diffrent. Already by the time they had Elements in 1979 , progressive rock music was still looked with little regard for the prevailing winds of disco, new wave and punk, and by the 1981 prog rock was almost dead in many parts of the world, but still lurking in the shadow ready to show the final battle witht the rest. This release gone unnoticed, even has some very good moments, again rich keyboards parts, but because of the guitar the sound is no more so bombastic as on Elements, in some parts it sounds to me like Anyone's Daughter same period or Stern Combo Meissen, not bad at all for sure in the end. The Tony Banks kind of aproach on keyboards are still present specially on opening track but aswell developed on the rest of the pieces where together with the guitar the result is a pretty good one for sure. For instance on Caleidoscope an instrumental pices where Ruckstuhl's synthesizer are top notch, what a great unsung keyboard hero is this musici, awesome and intrsting, I've never heared or see very much talking about this musicn among the very worthy keybordist from prog music, is a shme because is one hell of a great player and aswell composer. So, all in all another worthy Flame Dream album, that needs attention togeher with Elements, two of the unfairly unnoticed albums fro dark days of prog. 3.5 stars to this one.

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 Elements by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Elements
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Flame Dream with their second offer from 1979 Elements is without question one of the best and yet unfairly unnoticed prog rock albums from late '70. I can't complain about anything here, the japanese Tachika Records re issue the album on CD in mini LP format and the sound is pretty great. The guitarist from thir first album is gone, the sound now on this album is similar with let's say Genesis from Wind and wuthering era or Duke, elaborated keyboards passages where Roland Ruckstuhl really shines in places he has some escapades that remind me of Wakeman solo albums. Also the voice reminds me of the guy from Fruupp with some Peter Gabriel tones here and there or Steve dane from Druid. So, the music is excellent to my ears, is a keyboard dominated album, little more keyboard orintated then their previous album, but that is not a bad thing, every musician done a great job, specialy the keyboradist and drumer. The mellotron, moog sound is top notch, very diverse passages , very well played with lot to offer, the passages are colourful, complicated, where the soinic wall offers , at least to me one of the best albums from late '70 in symphonic prog realm. All four pieces are top notch, a concept album about the 4 elements, with a plus on second track from A side Sea monsters , absolutly killer tune, where Roland Ruckstuhl manage to offers some very intresting and inventive parts, the keyboards here are wesome and of the highest calibre, very diverse and very solid. All, in all this album is quite underrated for sure, this Elements album sounds better then more then half albums and bands from same period from progressive rock realm, and yet quite unnoticed in prog circles. 4 stars easy and recommended for sure, top notch release and cover art aswell. Love it and one of my fav albums ever aswell.

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 Calatea by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.43 | 38 ratings

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Calatea
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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

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

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

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 Elements by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Elements
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Flame Dream´s second efford came in a time when prog was becoming increasily unfashionable. Still the music on this concept album (about the four elements, like the tile implies) is remarkly symphonic in essence, which I guess, it´s good enough credentials for this swiss band. Even more so if you consider that guitarrist Urs Waldispühl was gone, leaving the sound even more keyboard-oriented than the first, which is not bad at all for Roland Ruckstuht is a brilliant musician. Peter Wolf´s role as wind player was expanded too, and his were much of the parts supposed to be performed by the guitar player in a ´normal´ band.

I´ve always heard of them as a kind of Yes clone group, but I hear nothing like that here, nor in their debut. In fact, early Genesis and Gentle giant are much easily identified as their main influences, at least on Elements. Ok, some Jon Anderson-like vocals can be found here and there, but that´s about it. The extensive use of saxophones also takes them closer to jazz-rock/fusion than anything Yes has ever released. All the songs are quite good in general, even if none is really exceptional. My CD had a fifth track, a very short instrumental track that adds nothing to the original vinyl LP. Production is quite good. Vocals are only average, but they are not that intrusive overall.

While not an essential masterpiece of prog music in any way, it was still valiant and valid work of progressive music in a time so many other acts were giving in.

Final rating: 3.5 stars.

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 Calatea by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.43 | 38 ratings

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Calatea
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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 Elements by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.70 | 37 ratings

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Elements
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Swiss band FLAME DREAM wear their influences on their sleeves as the GENESIS / YES flavour is strong. This is their second album and there's no guitar on this one as he left after the debut. We get four long tracks on this album.

"Sun Fire" opens with strange sounds as mellotron, keys and drums arrive. It starts to lighten and pick up. It settles down with vocals 3 minutes in. "Sea Monsters" opens with water sounds and keyboards.Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes then it kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes to a GENESIS- like pulsating soundscape. Synths before 4 miknutes then it settles with vocals and keys again. Banks-like organ before 6 minutyes. It picks up 10 minutes in and it's heavier 12 minutes in before settling back.

"Earth Song" opens with vocals only before synths, drums and bass join in.This is fairly uptempo. Sax after 2 minutes. Again sounds pulsate here. Some good chunky bass 6 minutes in. "A Poem Of Dancing" opens with sax followed by keyboards then reserved vocals a minute in.The sound does get fuller and pulsates. Very YES-like before 4 1/2 minutes with fat bass lines as the song continues to play out.

I have trouble appreciating this album much like the other two recordings I have from them. Barely 3 stars.

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 Calatea by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.43 | 38 ratings

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Calatea
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog_Veteran

5 stars The full power of prog genre !

This FLAME DREAM "galatea" captures all richness, inventiveness and good taste that prog genre can provide. Certainly these gifted Swiss musicians materialized a lot of brilliant ideas.

To me in "galatea" FD album, the Gentle Giant philosophy to create music is taken to the limit, and what's more important : they achieve the state of art, as complexity is in tasteful realm. There are hints of Yes and Genesis (and even ALQUIM 2 first albums from Holland comes to my mind) here and there, but NO direct influence like you can perceive in "out in the dark" 1981 FD album.

If you like the following albums, a more accurate reference to "galatea" could go to the Italians ALUSA FALLAX (1974), the Belgium BANZAI "hora nata" or ATLAS "bla vardag" for the creativeness diversity and intensity. The "galatea" brilliant use of saxophones don't bring me to mind jazzy influences, do you think that VDGG has jazz influence only because they use saxophone ?! I don't for sure.

Have you listened Patrick Moraz "the story of" (1975) ? So you can get a glimpse of how far Swiss musicians can go. In this album Patick Moraz realized what seems impossible : to blend Brazilian samba and other rhythms with killer prog solos and arrangements.

No matter if "galatea" is unknown or if it's unreleased in CD format so far (what?!), also Vincent Van Gogh art was only recognized after his death, unfortunately the genius died sad and poor !

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 Travaganza  by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1983
1.37 | 8 ratings

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Travaganza
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

1 stars This once good clone from ''Yes'' to start and ''Genesis'' to follow delivered a rather average album with ''Supervision'' a year prior to this one. And I 'm afraid that when I listen to the dreadful opener ''Race My Car'' the experience is going to be even worse with ''Travaganza''.

The early mid eighties were of course not very gentle with prog, although one of the best band in a revival style would illustrate this year (the genuine ''Marillion''). ''Flame Dream'' showed some possibility in the neo-prog style with ''Supervision'' but instead of heading more into this direction, they dug into the synth pop sounds which I can't really stand.

One of the worst song from this musical exercise is probably the childish ''Stay With Me''. Such poor vocals and dreadful plastic sounds. Press next.

The major problem with this work is to find some songs that are melodically interesting or well constructed. But the more I'm looking into those elements, the least I am able to find one track that could fulfil this description. Actually, I was wrong about ''Stay with Me''. After a good analysis, ''Double-Quick Action'' deserves the Palme D'Or of the weakest track.

It is really a pity to listen to this record while the band released some decent albums in the late seventies. I believe that the band is more convincing with a ballad as ''Lifetime''.. Some sadness prevails but at least one gets rids of these dreadful rhythms that are to be endured almost throughout the whole of this release.

The band will still release one more album in '86 before calling it quit. When I see their musical evolution, I guess that there were no other option. The heavy closer ''Suspicion'' is trying to emulate some sort of ''Gabriel'' oriented vocals but it is lamentably failing in terms of song writing.

I don't have a lot of possibilities in terms of rating this work: one star.

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 Supervision  by FLAME DREAM album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.41 | 16 ratings

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Supervision
Flame Dream Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This Swiss band released ''Out In The Dark'' in 1981. Although it was released in the eighties, it still had the genuine seventies sound cloning ''Genesis'' quite well. This ''Supervision'' work is another affair, believe me!

This is a partially a pure product from the eighties: synth pop, spiced with neo-prog elements. When I listened to the opening number ''Blackmail'' I thought I was confronted to some sub-sub par ''Buggles''. The difference of course is the ''The Buggles'' were fun and inventive while they released their debut album. This one is just a re-heat of an old plate.

There are some ''Genesis-Collins'' attitude during the weak title track. Over five dull minutes with an overdub bass and unmelodic sax. Press next is the best option. The first decent track IMO is ''Signs Of Solitude''. It is precursory of what ''IQ'' will be doing a few years later: a melancholic and sad ballad, strongly ''Genesis-Gabriel'' oriented (same applies to the short ''Woman's Art'').

The following ''Tragedy'' is of the same mould but with Collins oriented vocals this time. What a change! Peter Wolf (their vocalist) already did this mix of voices in their previous release (he was more Anderson-like before though).

''Time For A Change'' is another ''Plastic Age'' pop track. Still, it features some fine synthesizers during the instrumental middle part. Not too bad a pop song after all. The closing number is a twelve minutes epic divided into three sections. It is probably the best that you can expect from this album. Each part is distinctive but nicely flows into one another.

''Arrival'' is rather dramatic and again on the sad side, it is very short and introduces a more upbeat ''The Attack''. Gabriel sits next door in the middle of ''Epping Forrest'', probably. A warrior track: battles, war, dead. A theme very close to the one from ''The Knife''. But this must be a coincidence, right?

The closing part holds all the drama of ''Here Comes The Flood'' and pleasantly ends this album.

If you would take out the synth pop tunes from this work, it is quite a neo-prog album ''avant la lettre''. But it is only interesting as such. Two stars.

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