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Dreamscape - End Of Silence CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.60 | 45 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars When talking about Progressive Metal bands it seems impossible to avoid mentioning the Progressive Metal Gods, Dream Theater. It almost seems heretical to discuss this genre and ignore these giants, sort of like talking about baseball and ignoring the Yankees.

In the case of German Prog Metal prodigies, Dreamscape, I'm not only going to mention Dream Theater, I'm going to compare the two. Taking a name like Dreamscape, one might assume that was their intention, like they were saying to the world, look at us, yeah Dream Theater is good but so are we!

Song/Track List 1] Clockwork (6:14) ****1/2 2] Shorttime News (5:46) **** 3] The End Of Light (20:49) ***** 4] All I Need (3:35) *** 5] Silent Maze (7:33) **** 6] Flow (7:12) / More Than (6:22) ***** 7] More Than (6:22) ***** 8] Infected Ground (7:47) ***** 9] You Don't Know Me (7:02) ****1/2

To save all you readers time and the trouble of digging out your calculator, this album is seventy-two and a half minutes of rip snortin' melodic progressive music, a true bargain. When was the last time you bought an album over forty minutes? Hell, numerous so called albums barely eclipse thirty minutes and probably only have one or two good songs on them, but the proof is in the music so read on.

I will admit one thing, Dreamscape is not exactly prolific. End of Silence is well named for this is their first recording in five years and is only their third overall. Their first recording Trance-like State(which I haven't heard) was released in 1997 and raised many eyebrows. The followup in 1999, simply titled Very, was no sophomore flop and had many progheads clamoring for more but unfortunately Dreamscape did a Rip Van Winkle (some would say Boston) routine and went into hibernation. Well folks, the wait was worth it. Wolfgang Kerrinis and Jan Vacik have holed themselves up in Dreamscape Studios in Germany and created a literal masterpiece, I kid you not.

Dreamscape now has a new singer (surprise - three albums three singers) in Roland Stoll but not a new sound. Oh yes, they've evolved, are more polished and maybe a little tighter but side by side there isn't that much difference between Very and End of Silence style wise. Even though all the songs (except "All I Need") are long to very long, they have inherent melodies that are enhanced by Roland Stoll's powerful vocals. The rhythm section often use complicated time signatures, but they never use it as a primary element, but rather as a way to bring the melodies out even more. The production, co-ordinated by keyboarded Jan Vacik, puts emphasis on the synth work, but leaves enough room for the guitars to break through.

In "Clockwork" and "Shorttime News", we have a couple six minute uptempo, contemporary, progressive metal numbers, featuring strong layered instrumentation including crunchy guitars and heavy synths. Next the centerpiece of the album is the 21-minutes 'piece de resistance', "The End Of Light", which compares favorably with DT's 23 minute masterpiece, "Change of Seasons". Let's see, we have an orchestra, a wall of Engl amplifiers, angelic choruses, some super crunchy guitars and goosebumps. It starts with a three minute orchestral sequence before the band takes us through a kaleidoscope of sounds exhibiting the many different faces of progressive music. This lengthly number is pure aural ecstasy and is the epitome of what great prog metal is all about.

Following a rather boring ballad, "All I Need" is "Silent Maze" sort of a combination of the first two songs and the boring ballad, thankfully it's followed by "Flow", the second best song, a rollicking varied tempo piece, highly melodious and somewhat complex, in excess of seven minutes, starting with a brilliant beginning, a piano accompanying Roland, the remainder features the usual drums/guitar beat, with synths and piano.

Next "More Than" is another five star song. It has a again has a varied tempo, some great guitar playing (both crunchy and wanking), a fetching melody, a great bridge and some downright excellent vocals. "More Than" segues into "Infected Ground", yet another five star number, which has a slow ominous moody beginning, before picking up the pace to medium fast. If there is one song that reminds one of DT more than others, this is probably it. Last but not least is another variable paced tune "You Don't Know Me", It has strong pianos (actually more than guitars), a nice melody and some more great singing.

And that's it folks, one of the best straight Progressive Metal releases of the new millennium (at least so far) CONCLUSION

This album would probably appeal to true progheads more than pop/rock/alternative/metal aficionados but for anyone that is looking for something a little more complex than your average tinny sounding Garage Band, Dreamscape may be your your vehicle to true enlightenment.

As I mentioned Dreamscape sound eerily like Dream Theater. Other similar bands would include Vanden Plas, DGM, Symphony X, Adagio, Threshold, Superior, Redemption, Frameshift and Mastermind.

Looking back on all these great Progressive Metal bands, I can't help but wonder, that if there never was any Dream Theater, would Dreamscape then be the Prog Metal standard to which all these other bands are compared?

semismart | 4/5 |


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