Dreamscape - End Of Silence

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Massacre Records
Catalog Number: MAS CDQ408
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:30:00

Dreamscape has finally released End Of Silence after 5 years of silence (aptly referring to the disc title), and none to soon for lovers of "traditional" melodic progressive metal. ??Let's delve into Dreamscape's past for a moment to compare past efforts to the current monster.? Dreamscape are from Germany, and released a disc in 1997 called Trance-like State, which divided listeners as to what this band was all about. Those of us who cherished the band, couldn't get enough of the melodic, semi-complex, Dream Theater-like style and hyped the band loudly at the time.? Those who wouldn't or couldn't tolerate the Dream Theater similarities threw in their feelings of resistance, as well as cite the singer Tobi Zoltan for having a too high-pitched tone along with a thick German accent.? The disc remains a sought after item.? In 1999, the band placed their next disc in my eager hands, and the gloves came off.? I heavily hyped this disc, placing in my top progressive metal discs of all time, but there were reasons for this.? First, the band changed singers.? In place of Tobi Zoltan was a then unknown singer named Hubi Meisel, who had a unique voice that sounded like a cross between Geddy Lee (Rush), and Andre Matos (ex-Angra, Shaman). He used the softness in his voice to cross over the heavy, crunching guitar work of the music at the time.? Wolfgang Kerrinis, the mastermind guitarist in the band, along with keyboard great Jan Vacik, took sound matters into their own hands as they did on Trance-like State and produced a very highly acclaimed disc that found its way into many a collection. And was touted as being a favorite amongst collections.? This finally put the band on the progressive metal map, and only people who didn't like the high pitched vocals of Hubi Meisel voiced their negative opinions on the disc.? The rest of us had found a gem of a band in Germany who remained relatively obscure, especially for the next 5 years.

With the band's whereabouts and happenings unknown, the Dreamscape website came alive with news of a new disc, a new singer, and a 2004 release date after having signed with Massacre Records.? Fans were ecstatic that this band was finally going to release a disc, and with a new singer who sounded very promising in the sound samples offered on their site.? Could this all be enough to rekindle the Dreamscape flame that was all but dwindling down to a slight sparkle in the hearts of prog metal fans?? In early 2004, that question was answered.? End Of Silence was released, and vendors could hardly keep it in stock, as discs were furiously sought after, fans hyped the disc, and web sites worldwide were filled with news of the new Dreamscape disc.? Does it live up to its reputation??

Several things have changed within the Dreamscape camp.?? Most notably, the band found yet another super singer in Roland Stoll, who is tonally different from past Dreamscape singers, but equally as powerful and effective.? Roland brings that soft, emotional tone to the sound, and to these ears he sounds a lot like Bassel Elharbiti from the now defunct Mayadome.? He sounded soft during his normal tone, but could reach high tones with ease and harmonize his vocals superbly to create another wall of sound already created by the music of the band around him.? Roland brings that "song" quality to Dreamscape, allowing listeners to "hear" the words and not feel so overpowered by perceived high pitched vocals normally associated with progressive metal bands.? Still, to those of us who have come to expect and love some semblance of higher pitched singers in our progressive metal have embraced Roland wholeheartedly for offering all aspects of a great musical voice to this great music.? The band has toned its heaviness down a bit in favor of more song oriented style music, and Roland fits the bill perfectly.? His warm approach adds another layer of emotional dimension that this band roots itself on.? If I failed to mention that he does have a somewhat thick German in his softer deliveries, let me add this now.?The band is from Germany.

The band has changed its style somewhat since Very in that Very was more instrument-oriented and somewhat semi-complex in its approach, End Of Silence has taken on a more song oriented approach.? The band has removed most of its complexity from the music, opting more for a less progressive approach (if you will) and there is less emphasis on the instrumentation and more emphasis on the songs and emotion.? Go directly to the ballad "All I Need" for a more in depth explanation.? The band has not lost its passion for progressive metal in the least.? They just incorporate it a bit differently this time.? All of the songs except for one exemplify this point: "The End of Light," which to me, is Dreamscape's signature placed in the progressive metal autographs of the world.? It doesn't get any better than this in the prog metal world, a 21:00 tour de force of what Dreamscape is all about, now and then.? It's almost as if Dreamscape knows who they are, what they mean to fans, and offer up the song of all songs to demonstrate same.? Of course, the remaining songs on the disc are no slouch either.? It's just that the orchestration has taken on a softer approach, the songs have taken on a more emotional approach, and the vocals are here to present the songs in a more accessible style (if you will) than past Dreamscape discs.? Wolfgang himself has kept the guitar work to a more subdued style, with less soloing and fills than in past outings, and Jan Vacik's wonderful keyboards leads have taken a back seat as well to the songs.? The drumming, which has always been a key part of the sound, has certainly been tapered too in favor of a more steady beat.? All this may sound like it's less progressive than past Dreamscape discs, but I think it's more of a style, an approach, and a different placement of the progressive movements this time.

Once again, Wolfgang Kerrinis and Jan Vacik have holed themselves up in Dreamscape Studios in Germany and produced the disc themselves.? Each Dreamscape disc has sounded different to this point, and End Of Silence is no exception.? To accommodate this "new" approach, the guys had to undoubtedly focus the sound attack on the vocals and keyboards, which is exactly what has happened here.? While the guitars are still crunchy and heavy, Wolfgang has tapered the solos much shorter than usual, and has placed himself a bit back in the mix to allow Roland to stand tall in the sound.? The same approach was taken with the keyboards.? Jan Vacik has backed off on the solos in favor of a more symphonic approach to accommodate the soaring melodic vocals of Roland.? If you have any doubt that this is not signature Dreamscape, once you get past the song "End Of Light," just skip ahead to the song "Flow." You will hear that the band has certainly kept their sound intact while not only remaining heavy and melodic at the same time, but also always allowing the vocals to stand out in front.

What does the future hold for Dreamscape?? The band has been offered a slot at the prestigious ProgPower festival held in Atlanta in September, and it's my prediction that they will be THE dominant force at the show.? I predict a new fan following, another disc that won't take as long to create and release, and the roots of Dreamscape finally being planted in the progressive metal world as the second coming.? In the progressive metal world, it's a roller coaster ride of what we deem mainstream prog metal, and then there are the underground prog metal bands that fans can't help but to embrace.? Dreamscape is the hope and the future of progressive metal; the title of their new disc, The End Of Silence certainly shows that the band knows this.? The fans have known this since day one.

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

Roland Stoll - vocals
Wolfgang Kerinnis -guitar
Jan Vacik - keyboards
Benno Schmidtler - bass
Bernhard Huber - Schlagzeug

Trance-like State (1997)
Very (1998)
End Of Silence (2004)
Revoiced (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: June 7th 2004
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.dreamscape.de
Hits: 950
Language: english


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