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MACHINES DREAM

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Machines Dream biography
MACHINES DREAM - it wasn't supposed to be a band!

Lead vocalist Craig WEST will tell you that the reward for being in MACHINES DREAM is simply getting together and making music in a rehearsal studio.

The rest is all a bonus.

MACHINES DREAM began as five guys getting together a few times a week to jam, to improvise and follow their hearts musically. Those jams and ideas resulted in songs, which led to recording and - in March 2012 - the self-titled debut was released.

The album is a collection of progressive rock songs with a scope both atmospheric and cinematic that embraces tales of mental illness, alienation, communication and the need to find safe haven in a destructive world.

It's easy to see the lineage of MACHINES DREAM. The members listened to groups like PINK FLOYD, GENESIS, MARILLION, KING CRIMSON, PORCUPINE TREE and TOOL and those influences are recognizably referenced in their own music.

However, this was just the starting point. The goal for MACHINES DREAM is to compose new music, experiment with original sounds and create meaningful songs that are more than just a tribute to the prog bands of yesterday. MACHINES DREAM want to build on the progressive music they enjoy, reflecting it, not treating it like dogma and moving it forward. The decision was made to put their debut album 'out there' as a free download so as many people as possible would hear it and - if liking what they heard - making a donation or buying a physical copy. However, the overall aim - as it is for any emergent band - was awareness and judging whether or not there was an audience for their style of music.

The response was overwhelmingly positive! The band were signed to SONIC VISTA - a UK record label based in Blackpool - and the album stayed at the top of the AUROVINE (digital music distribution) download charts with a six month stint at Number 1.

In 2013 the group began work on a follow-up and the result is 'IMMUNITY' - an album due for release in September 2014 - an album of just 5 songs including an epic title track - an album made by accomplished musicians and accomplished human beings - an album that is - in every sense - progressive.

'IMMUNITY' is not a concept album, but it is thematic. The songs on the album speak to the dark side of media, infotainment and information overload, and the desire to escape the reality that creates.

The appointment of a manager in July 2014 saw the development of...
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MACHINES DREAM discography


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

4.18 | 30 ratings
Machines Dream
2013
3.61 | 23 ratings
Immunity
2014
4.00 | 7 ratings
Record
2016
4.28 | 56 ratings
Black Science
2017

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

MACHINES DREAM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

4.00 | 3 ratings
100 Afternoons
2016
4.75 | 4 ratings
Heavy Water
2016
4.33 | 3 ratings
Airfield on Sunwick (for Wojtek)
2017

MACHINES DREAM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Science by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.28 | 56 ratings

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Black Science
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars I discovered Machines Dream recently and I was very surprised by the quality of their music. They are Canadians, and their discography consists of 4 albums so far. In 2017 the band released their latest work, named as Black Science, which can be found in digital or physical (CD) version. Black Science is dark; dark and wonderful? The lyrics of the album are focused on the 20th Century, and especially to the 2 great wars; WW1 and WW2. As for heir sound, is solid, powerful, heavy and dark. (I will probably use the word 'dark' a lot in this piece). The strong Pink Floyd influences (among other bands) can be found everywhere, but that is not a problem at all. The album opens with the short intro Armistice Day, followed by Weimar, which is the album's longest track and one of the highlights without a doubt. After I listened to Weimar for the first time, I stopped listening to the rest of the album, and listened to it twice before deciding to continue. Yes, it's that good! The Cannons Cry which comes next, is a more powerful tune, but also dark and heavy. Then, Heavy Water enters, which ? if I'm not mistaken - is about the efforts both sides did in order to create first the A-Bomb. Another excellent tune! Airfield on Sunwick is the album's 5th song, a melancholic but lighter tune, very beautiful as well. The 6th track is the title song, which points out some of the worst things that humanity did during the 20th Century, further than the 2 great wars. Another highlight here. As I was reaching towards the end, I discovered the first song I didn't like, which is UXB. It is not bad, but is nowhere near the previous ones. The last song is Noise to Signal which is the second song I didn't like so much. Again, it's not bad, but nothing special either. (But it is better than UXB, especially during its 2nd part). So, to sum up, Black Science is a really good album, not very easy to listen to, and certainly not so enjoyable or fun. It is heavy, dark, serious, melancholic, and? great! It is a really interesting, not to say unique release. Highly recommended, but you must consider the things I wrote above. Also, have in mind that it will take some time and a few listens in order to really appreciate it. If you think that the things you just read sounds interesting, then go for it! You will not regret it.

4 solid stars from me

 Black Science by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.28 | 56 ratings

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Black Science
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

5 stars Wow, this is the best album I've heard this year, the dark atmosphere, plus the thought-provoking lyrics, every song is great and they do the best! I do not know why this album is very little attention, but it really impeccable, I think it must be my favorite album of this year. Try it, it will not let you down. I have heard a lot of times, with Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Porcupine Tree taste, inherited their glorious tradition, but very modern. The best is undoubtedly the keyboard, the bass is also very powerful, the voice is also great My favorite album theme: against war. The first seven songs are for the twentieth century, the last one is that our confidence in the epoch, the information was in power control, this is another war. There is no doubt that five stars recommended.
 Black Science by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.28 | 56 ratings

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Black Science
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Machines Dream is my new Canadian prog love interest, a band that enthused me with their debut album and finally, the band sent me their 'Immunity' album as well as their most recent opus 'Black Science'. They set the tone with a dark, powerful style that evokes past giants like Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Genesis with dashes of Porcupine Tree, Marillion, Nine Stones Close and other modern stalwarts. They do have their own musical image that seems to be expertly led by Brian Holmes delicate keyboard artistry as well as lead singer and bassist Craig West's powerful presence.

In the true prog tradition, Machines Dream concentrate on telling stories that encompass historical events, craving a soundtrack that would only amplify the tale. On 'Black Science', the focus is on the 20th century, a wildly tumultuous slice of progression via regression, leaping forward at great cost in devastating suffering and human lives. As a military historian, I always refer to the monstrous tragedy that vehiculated unabated from WW1 to WW2 and after, as the face of Europe was marred by a massive spasm of destruction, only to return to its almost original form, at the cost of 100 million dead! What a colossal waste! Walk along the Franco-Belgian border and witness the endless military cemeteries, where many million young soldiers have perished for no apparent conclusive reason, other than human folly. It certainly erases any sense of entitlement one may have living the 'good' life and yet still complaining! Dwight Eisenhower warned us publicly of the industrial military complex that de facto rules the world and he was correct, as reprised on the track 'The Cannons Cry''. This sad reality continues today, the lessons still not learned. Finally a work of musical art that devotes itself to this horror that befell the world, twice!

First block of tracks reflect the end of WW1 with a mighty intro 'Armistice Day' (1918) when the world shuddered to a very badly managed halt of hostilities that sadly only prepared the next cataclysm. The epic 11 minute 'Weimar' reflects the growing pains of post-monarchic anarchy, puerile republican aims fueled by greed and power, fascist propaganda and Leninist revolution colliding in competition, yet equal in horror. Throw on top a great depression, millions starving in unison, thus forming the slavery concept that binds the human weakness. The piece is a masterpiece of mood and atmosphere, the sophisticated piano wrestling with rash guitars and a marshaling beat. 'Welcome to winds of prostitution' sings Craig West convincingly, shrouded in deep melancholia and imminent despair. The sudden appearance of a wild harpsichord section only preps for the multiple collisions with a tough riff, a carving bass and a bad-ass drum flurry. Lead guitarist Rob Coleman unleashes a luxuriant but disturbing solo, as West describes 'the night of the long knives', and a 'he's screaming: we need a new war' , historically recalling the beginning of the 'Ein F'hrer, ein Volk, ein Reich' fallacy that will lead to 60 million dead. Brilliance.

The gruesome 'The Cannons Cry' sheds light on the rise of Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish and Soviet military fascism, dictatorships fueled by big money and racist nationalism, control devices to muzzle the masses, in the guise of Gestapo, NKVD, Kempeitai, Balilla, SA and SS. The steamroller guitar romp, the pounding goose-stepping drum beat and the unwavering assault on sanity, only highlights the stormy lyrics that are spot on and lethal. Blackshirts in fashion, thankfully stamped out and ultimately destroyed. Amazing track.

Historically speaking, the atom bomb was being developed by both the Allies (Manhattan Project) and the Nazis (Kaiser Wilhelm Institut), while pioneer Nils Bohr was sitting pretty in Copenhagen, undeterred by both belligerents. 'Heavy Water' refers to the Norsk Hydro plant in occupied Norway that was successfully damaged by the BSC but here the onus is more specifically on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Typical of our ability to venture from humanity to inhumanity, those two events came with two unheeded warnings, as the Emperor and Tojo refused to believe the existence of a Weapon of Mass Destruction. The second explosion remains the last time the BOMB was ever used, and like it or not has kept the idiot politicians at bay. The music has a slight Oriental tinge, laced with deep apprehension and mushroomed by a massive Floydian vibe. West rages like the engines of the B-29 bomber, nicknamed the Enola Gay that seared our petty universe for the first time. 'Ashes fall like snow' refers to both the victims of racist holocaust as well as the atomic version, offering pale forgiveness and doomed repentance, painted by 'the colors of hell' and the pain of eternal guilt. Coleman goes on quite a rant, thrashing, rippling, sizzling and contorting like radiation gone awry. Tremendous music.

After such dramatic turbulence, a lighter moment of humanity is found on 'Airfield on Sunwick (song for Wojtek)', a heartfelt story about a brown bear mascot named Wojtek who accompanied a heroic Polish fighting unit during WW2. While war is an appalling example of human frailty and folly, it must be stated that the fight against Hitler was a just campaign, amid all the terror and slaughter, as the valiant cause was a salvation for some kind of civilized epiphany. Maze of Sound vocalist Jakub Olejnik does a Polish vocal section that adds conviction to the upbeat piece.

The 8 minute title track sums up the whole album with the following liner notes: Looking back at the 20th century as a whole, and feeling that some of the worst things stand out more than the best. Serial killers, selfishness, neoliberal economics, the worship of money, sensational fact free news (my pet peeve and why I chose history), the destruction of the environment, apartheid, and wars on a scale unlike anything before ' . Indeed, the use and abuse of gas warfare, of total war, of genocide, of carpet bombing with phosphorus, of the mass murder of civilians (a somewhat rare event further back in time, as armies met on the battlefield and involved comparatively little civilian loss) is a repulsive reminder of how low we human animals can sink to. And then you have those sly liars who dare deny that it ever happened! In terms of performance, there is a more bombastic approach to the arrangement, Craig West's pugnacious bass pushing forward like a main battle tank, the synths grandiose and the moody rhythmic cannonade. The pace is deliberate and despondent, a funeral hymn for the victims, with the sombre sax coming in to do some serious emotional damage and further the desolation of history repeated over and over again. Are we that dumb? YES.

'UXB' recounts the maddening injustice of the 'troubles' , the northern Irish war pitting Catholics and Protestants, republicans and monarchists, led by hypocrite idiots like Rev. Ian Paisley (a man of god? right!) and the IRA assassins led by Martin McGuinness. All in the name of the same God and the same prophet. Bull[&*!#]! Bloody Sunday, Grand Brighton Hotel, Crossmaglen, Enniskillen, Shankill Road, Loughinisland, Docklands in London, Omagh, and countless other useless tragedies, only to find Paisley and McGuinness sharing power and shaking hands. Gruesome. Musically , the twirling bass guitar sets up a harsh barrage of doom and gloom, an explosive hush of 'danger creeping from all sides', and a raging, spewing and eruptive venom from West's lungs , 'without cause, without voice' . The style is modern prog, slippery synths and strident guitar that tortures nastily. A gentle piano announces a return to peace, a completely unexpected event that was one of the rare times when money was thrown at a problem and somewhat solved (Thank you Bombardier).

We finally arrive to the 21st century with 'Noise to Signal' and history is being repeated once again, lessons never learned and hence, the calamities of the past seem unable to disappear and vanish. Economic, social and spiritual values have been taken over by sly politicians and billions of internet pundits who slice and dice their preferred slogans in the most mystifying way. That the word 'fascist' and 'commie' are still bandied about today is reprehensible. These are historically proven outright failed institutions! Is there a leader on our planet who is trustworthy? Is there a media source that is reliable? Where is the truth? 'Shut down the noise, become the signal 'bellows the beleaguered West, sax egging him along in confusing apprehension. The track is an absolute cracker, deeply resonating and passionate, lyrically and musically.

If I ever would have the talent to make an album, it would undoubtedly resemble this masterful piece of progressive rock, with a source subject that I have studied for over 50 years. Machines Dream has made an album that should be in every rock collection, not just for the music but the message as well. There will be a salvation, a new beginning, a just golden age. Just please remember the past or else we are all doomed.

5 Obscure learnings

 Immunity by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 23 ratings

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Immunity
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Canadian band MACHINES DREAM became a band more or less by accident back in 2012, when five fellow musicians that had jammed together for some period of time suddenly found themselves discussing and creating music as well. They released their self-titled debut album the same year, and in the fall of 2014 they signed to UK label Sonic Vista Music for the release of their sophomore production "Immunity".

There are probably many talking points one could make about this band and this specific album, but for me the features that stand out is that this is a band that is navigating through many of the more accessible varieties of progressive rock. Their music appears to be made with at least some thoughts for how much it reach it may potentially have, and if by accident or design they generally stick to a generally appealing style and delivery.

The opening and ending epic length compositions are perhaps the least appealing however. Not due to the style as such, or one should perhaps say styles in this case, as both of them touch base with both neo-progressive rock and a more delicate take on a Porcupine Tree tinged expression, as well as progressive metal for the latter of them. It is more a matter of some details not quite managing to come together, at least as I experience them, what might be a too liberal use of sampled voice effects in some atmospheric interludes and a perception from me that there's just not that element present that elevates those features from the pleasantly engaging to the emotionally engaging. This is of course a subjective experience, and other listeners not quite as jaded as myself may well feel otherwise. When that is said, the most compelling sequence on the album as a whole, to my ears, was the four or so minutes long section on concluding epic Immunity (Part Two), where the bands shifts into a tight, vibrant expression closer to progressive metal. That section was at times a goosebumps-inducing experience.

The three shorter songs here impressed me a bit more as a whole. Arguably with less of the neo-progressive aspect included as well, these come across as creations with more of a foundation in a Pink Floyd meets Porcupine Tree kind of sound. Wandering elegant plucked guitar motifs alternate with more majestic sequences here, with delicate ethereal distanced guitar effects invoking something of a subtle post-rock feel as a clever details in many of the calmer passages, and occasionally shifting over to a harder edged expression that alternates between sounding like a heavier version of Pink Floyd and being in more of a Porcupine Tree kind of spirit.

All in all this is a a well made album, and one that should have a fairly broad appeal to boot. I would suspect that those with an equal affection for Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree might be something of a key audience for this band, and would recommend those recognizing themselves in such a description to give this CD a spin.

 Immunity by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.61 | 23 ratings

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Immunity
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Come 2013 and Machines Dream had to face the departure Keith Conway with the remaining members handling multiple instruments at the beginning of the recordings of a new album.However they eventually responded to this loss with the addition of two new members.Rob Coleman took over the lead guitar and Jake Rendell, who was helping on backing vocals during the sessions, was handled the responsibility of multiple instruments.Finally the new album ''Immunity'' came out in 2014.

Opening mini-epic ''Immunity (part one)'' is a modern prog suite along the lines of PINK FLOYD and PORCUPINE TREE, where the slow guitar lines and the hypnotic piano textures are showered by some sax parts and string sections, leading to a lyrical depth and a couple of mellow guitar solos.I do not know if this is a Mellotron used to build a bridge between the opening track and the 7-min. follower ''Battersea transcendental'', but it definitely sounds so during this second track, which is an engaging mixture of Heavy/Alternative Rock sounds with more vintage echoes.The receipt is more or less the same, even if the guitar parts are heavier and sharper, somesort of Heavy Orchestral Rock with clean vocals and a mascular atmosphere.In ''Broken Door'' the music returns in slow motion, the vocals are limited and the focus is on a powerful atmosphere, a bit reminiscent of later period PENDRAGON, with the dominant use of electric riffs and the discreet use of keyboards and flute strings.''My ocean is electric'' plays the role of the album's rocker, more fast-paced stuff with rhythmic patterns and distorted instrumental parts over Craig West's expressive vocals, featuring an angular keyboard execution by Brian Holmes.The immunity concept will close with the 15-min. second part, which is also the strongest of all compositions to my ears.The smooth piano lines are following the same atmosphere as heard in the opening piece, supported later by the nice electric tunes and the calm sax parts.What follows is a storm of dynamic drumming, mascular guitars, distorted vocals and flashy keys in a rhythmic delivery, leading to a PINK FLOYD-like salvation solo and the farewell, symphonic piano/synthesizer work of Brian Holmes.

An nice little album along the lines of MICE ON STILTS, NINE STONES CLOSE and COSMOGRAF.Atmospheric Heavy Prog with Neo Prog sensibilities and some well-placed psychedelic flavors.Warmly recommended.

 Machines Dream by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 30 ratings

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Machines Dream
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by tribeca

5 stars An album of contrasts and high production values. I heard the epic Toronto Skyline on an internet radio station and decided to check out the band.

The album is available as an uncompressed (WAV or FLAC) free download at the Aurovine site and is impressive on a decent Hi-Fi system or good quality headphones.

Unarmed At Sea, Boundaries and The Session have enough for hardened prog fans to get their teeth into. It's much more Floyd than Dream Theater so don't let the 'Crossover' labelling put you off.

As a debut, the album stands up there with some of the best and it will be interesting to see if they can follow it up with an album delivering the same impact. I would, however, like to see the boundaries (no pun intended) pushed a little in terms of putting their own stamp (or definitive sound) onto the next collection of songs.

 Machines Dream by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 30 ratings

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Machines Dream
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Machines Dream is going to be one hell of revelation to avid prof fans out there, having flown underneath my radar and discovering its existence only via candidacy into joining PA within the crossover sub-genre. This talented crew are based in tranquil Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario, Canada, not exactly a hotbed of prog, but it becomes apparent that these lads have definitely passed their exams on progressive rock, a clever blend of harder-edged Pink Floyd influences, perhaps similar to Norwegian band Airbag or German band RPWL in taking the highly-schooled style into different horizons.

Scratchy needle opens the book on a glittering prize, as 'Boundaries' evokes a particular interest in cool lyrics , motored by tremendously effective vocals (a consistent trait throughout the disc) from bassist Craig West , some spectacular guitar slinging from Keith Conway, Brian Holmes keyboard colorations are spot on, while Ken Coulter drums with authority. This is a bruising and heavy affair in order to get the juices flowing and the attention firmly on the upcoming features.

To prove the point, "Toronto Skyline" has a hook, line and sinker that could easily propel this song and its creators to legendary status, a true prog anthem for the eternal ages. Firstly, build a solid melody with a soaring and hummable chorus, an incandescent guitar solo and enough mood and space to sink deep into one's pleasure nodes. West sings brilliantly.

The nearly 5 minute "London at Night" is a completely different feel, perhaps more of a basic rock ballad, adorned with swoon and groove courtesy of a rollicking bass furrow, slide guitar frills, good propulsive beat and more seasoned West vocals. There is a more Roxy Music, Bowie, Peter Murphy-like feel here (bands they used to cover in their formative period) than, say KC, Floyd or Genesis. In fact Conway sounds more like Manzanera than Gilmour (which is funny because the two are close friends and collaborators).

This poppy respite only serves to elevate the torrid "Unarmed at Sea" , a mellotron-drenched epic that simply takes the listener's breath away, a sublime lead vocal within churning symphonic waves, 'gradually going tornado' into more passionate fury, like some storm of melancholic solitude unleashing the deepest pain. Conway then blisters on the fret board, curdling bolts of electric despair as it fizzles onward and upward. The somber piano keeps on playing the same desperate, forlorn and vulnerable lament.

The jaw-dropping "Mad for All Seasons" goes beyond the 10 minute mark and as such, is one of the more constructed epics presented here, Craig West has the uncanny ability to modulate his voice into unending variations, sounding here like the perpetually angry Derrick Dick (Fish), while the band does a fair flattery of Marillion by the book. The impossible guitar prefers a screechy tone, the overall mood ominous, vaporous and beguiling. There is a barely suppressed sense of rage that makes this piece feel like a shaken champagne bottle ready to blow its cork to kingdom come. But instead of the expected splashy eruption, the piano and bass veer into more tremulous mid-section that felt almost like the Legendary Pink Dots, before a tempestuous Manzanera-like solo scours the skies like some rough cleaning implement. "Closing time again", West bellows.

We then are witnessing two shorter tunes that showcase a more accessible slant, I must admit that they , while very pleasant and well-constructed, really do not highlight the band's strengths. "Stop Waiting for Miracles" is best described as the most immediate song on the album, a straight ahead boomer, constructed in very basic form, direct vocals and clinical playing by all aboard. "Locusts" opens with a familiar piano refrain, some the Who-like guitar phrasing, early rock 'n roll meets psychedelia that, again caters to the poppier side.

Things revert to haunting and majestic with the rather amazing "Colder Rain", a blustery hurricane of sound and vision, propelled by a Manfred Mann-like synth solo as well as profound symphonics, roaming bass and devastating sonic drums. A totally unexpected electric piano solo only compels one deeper into amazement.

"Everyone Says Goodbye" is another briefer ditty that has more of a blue-rock feel, almost hints of Robin Trower. As stated before, very good but not essential within the confines of the longer pieces.

All is well that ends well, and "the Session" is the perfect finale, suggesting nearly a dozen minutes of intense cinematographic prog, loaded with tons of delicious detail, quirky synth bubbles, rash guitar slashes and , once again, a new vocal modulation from Mr. West, a voice to be reckoned with. The essence of progressive rock is caught within its grooves, a sense of unexpected luxury and divine expression fluttering at the fingertips of the players as they manipulate their instruments. Fantastic debut , a band we all need to keep an eye on.

It is not uncommon for debut albums to showcase some diversity and that is why it's called a debut, a need to provide all the tendencies which make artists want to express themselves. I am sure that their next effort , the soon to be released 'Immunity' will concentrate on what Machines Dream do best, an album of longer, well-thought out compositions that extol the virtues of smartly crafted music and present a vocal performance that only serves to further enhance the talent on display. The artwork, production, arranging and playing are world-class.

4 android hallucinations.

 Machines Dream by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 30 ratings

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Machines Dream
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by JPWOWS

4 stars OLD DOG HEARS NEW TRICKS

Like many of us I got my early musical education at the hands of older siblings and - thankfully for me - a fair slice of classic progressive rock was included. And I lived quite happily with bands like Rush et al over many contented years. Until. The Internet gave me access to new artists and new ways for me to hear their music.

It was during one surfing expedition that I found myself listening to this album. I was intrigued by the artist name with its connotations (for me) of Philip K Dick/Blade Runner. I am sure that there are many other strange reasons to start listening to any band!

And I'm glad that I did for this is an excellent debut album by a set of very accomplished musicians.

Album opener Boundaries has a brief almost Eastern opening before the guitarist starts with some shred riffing. The vocals come in fairly quickly and tell a wistful tale of memories before a very uplifting chorus break. Overall, though, it is quite a heavy track that offers a lot of promise for what is to come.

This is followed by a killer track in Toronto Skyline which seems to be about the real sense of alienation in a large city. After some intro vocals there is an explosive guitar solo underpinned by nice keyboards. The lyricist excels himself in this song and perfectly tells a tale that will be familiar to many of us. The last 1/3 of the song is the lead guitar player letting rip with some lyrical playing - I just loved where it took me - reminded me in places of Steve Rothery.

Track 3 London By Night follows a similar theme - another city, another lost soul. There is an FM feel to this and I imagine it would sound very good on a radio station. Once again the latter part of the song has some nice psychedelic guitar playing to close things out.

The next track Unarmed At Sea feels very much like the centre piece and is probably the most cohesive song on this album. There is a dramatic keyboard-led opening before the vocalist begins his plaintive tale of being alone in some desolate place with rotting boardwalks. Things do take a heavy turn mid-way through with another great guitar solo that reminded me of Neil Young in rock out Crazy Horse mode. The keyboards dominate the end of the song and you feel it is going to end quietly until the guitarist reminds you that he is still there!

One of the two 'long' songs on the album is next. Mad For All Seasons reminded me of Garden Party by Marillion and has a stomping riff to get some prog dancing going. The middle section quietens a little with some guitar/keyboards interplay before the vocalist starts to get a heavy groove on again encouraging the rest of the band to show their rockier side.

Song 6 Waiting For Miracles is a straight ahead rocker with some of the best vocals on the album and more great soloing from the guitarist. Less of a classic progressive feel, but none the worse for it.

Quiet keyboards introduce Locust before the guitars announce themselves. The overall feel of the song is quite psychedelic throughout though there are some great power chords to remind you that these guys are not totally laid back!

Colder Rain returns to full blown classical prog with guitars/keys underpinned by some tub thumping drumming to start before quickly slowing down to some atmospheric vocals with understated backing. The sound levels are then cranked up again and I found myself shaking my head to the crazy Moog (?) solo around the mid point. The guitar then joins in with the motif - some excellent drumming behind this section - before wandering off on a solo journey. Things are brought down several levels where I started to imagine the colder rain on some dark street as I made my way home from a night out.

Penultimate track Everybody Says Goodbye has that recurring psychedelic theme in its opening musically. The lyrics repeat the lost/alone feel of other tracks. I did feel that this was a weak track given what had gone before. I hesitate to say 'filler' but it had that feel about it and probably cost the review a star.

The longest song closes the album. The Session starts off with some vocal soundbites before the guitarist pops up to say hello everybody with a cracking riff. I imagined the band all wigging out behind him as he goes headbanging crazy with his axe. The keys come in to provide a wandering lead line behind the vocals telling a further tale of leaving/emptiness. What follows is quite an eclectic mixture - Moog (?) solo, shredding, crashing drums, quiet acoustic plucking, even the bass comes to the fore - before the song/albums winds down to one last thought:

"I'm afraid of everything."

That's the closing line! Well the vocalist may well be, but fans of great music have nothing to fear from this album.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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