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Flame Dream - Out In The Dark CD (album) cover


Flame Dream


Symphonic Prog

3.62 | 59 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Swiss symph-proggers Flame Dream would make worse albums than 'Out In The Dark', but they'd also make better ones. My introduction to this band in 2005 benefits from not having been anywhere near this sort of stuff when it was released in 1981. At that late stage in prog's initial phases, 'Out In The Dark' might've sounded like so much more of the same. You know: been there, done that...and done it better. But here and now, in the 2000s, many fans of symphonic prog should be able to find room in their collections for a band like this. Not many prog bands were sticking to the '70s ideals by 1981, and Flame Dream (like Germany's Anyone's Daughter) wear their love for prime Genesis and Yes on their sleeves. While it's clear keyboardist Roland Ruckstuhl worships the mighty Tony Banks, the entirety of 'Out In The Dark' sounds more like Kayak than the album Kayak might've come up with after their second album ('Kayak') had they not veered so quickly into 2nd rate easy-listening pop-prog so soon.

The weakest element on 'Out Of The Dark' are the vocals of Peter Wolf (nope, not the J. Geils Band dude, sorry). He's ridiculously nasal and not at all harmonically gifted. He can't quite carry the vocals on pure charisma the way Peter Gabriel's earliest efforts did (circa 'Trespass'). He may not be as inept as fellow Genesis-lovers Kyrie Eleison's Michael Schubert, but I can't help but feel the band album would've benefitted from having a vocalist with some sort of individualistic strength. Still, several laudable songs are put forth: "Full Moon", "Nocturnal Flight" and the two-part "Strange Meeting" (the latter possessing a kind of Jethro Tull character in terms of its excellent melodic/thematic development). The eventful instrumental "Caleidoscope" might even be their finest 5 minutes. Sometimes a bit of a neo-prog sound invades the proceedings (as in "Wintertime Nights"...incidentally, a genre I'm no fan of), but overall this can come recommended, and is probably their last truly worthwhile album.

slipperman | 4/5 |


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