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byron - Forbidden Drama CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.95 | 42 ratings

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4 stars Forbidden Drama is the first album by Romanian 5-piece band byron (spelt with a lower case b). They are led by singer and main songwriter Dan Byron who also plays acoustic guitar and flute. Please note that during the late '90s there was a Romanian heavy metal band called Byron; the only connection with this band is that Dan Byron was also their vocalist. The current byron's debut album features a novel concept based on the human condition and is arranged into 3 acts and an epilogue, with the songs effectively representing scenes in a stage play. It features an eclectic mix of styles, blending alt-rock with prog, blues, metal and jazz. There's even some Baroque-pop with ON THE ROAD featuring a string quartet. ESSENTIAL PIECE features somewhat more exotic instrumentation with guest musician Miron Grigore playing an esraj, a bowed string instrument found in parts of India. Then there's the likes of the atmospheric WATERCOLOUR with its sparse arrangement of vocals and electric piano.

Most of the songs follow a standard verse/chorus format with catchy hooks, but the variety between songs prevents things from sounding repetitive. I can hear influences as diverse as Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, 10cc, The Smiths and Dire Straits. Maybe that's 'cos I've got cloth ears though! As far as the vocals go Dan Byron has a fairly distinctive voice that may not be to everyone's taste, although his slightly guttural tone is used to good effect on the pseudo-metal of LOSING CONTROL. Lyrics are in English, which is handy given the conceptual nature of the album and include themes of hedonism, consumerism, intolerance, war etc. Readers can check the byron page here on ProgArchives, where has added a comprehensive biography and a link to the band's official website. There you can listen for free to their entire discography. Nice one!

seventhsojourn | 4/5 |


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