Dreamscape - End Of Silence

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

Dreamscape is a progressive metal band out of Germany whose influences are worn on their sleeves. There is little doubt that bands such as Dream Theater, Rush and Styx have greatly helped to shape this band's sound. While I'm not too familiar with their first release, Trance-Like State, End Of Silence is a continuation of sorts from their previous effort, Very. Much like the middle album, the music on End Of Silence relies on a strong balance between the guitars and keys as their relationship and contrasts are what define the Dreamscape sound. Many are quick to point out their sound is directly derivative of Dream Theater, but this album shows they are moving in another direction, maybe one DT should have taken years ago. While Petrucci and Co. have altered and tinkered with their sound and concept and have continuously attempted their own re-invention, the guys in Dreamscape have concentrated on melody and never lost sight of what makes progressive metal music unique, emotion.

Many, many great things are happening here. The first thing anyone will notice is the crystal clear production. Every note from every instrument is accounted for and sounds huge with sweeping keyboard/piano interludes entwined with heavy and crunchy guitar riffage. The strong dynamics that can be harnessed between piano and guitar are used to the fullest on the songs "Short-Time News," "All I Need," and "Flow" and illustrates how a band can make use of a Steinway and still stay true to their metal roots. Keyboardist and producer Jan Vacik has perfectly mixed symphonic and metallic elements and shown the world what Dreamscape Studios is capable of. Guitarist Wolfgang Kerinnis has resisted the progressive urge for noodling and makes every note and chord count. He may have been compared to Petrucci at several points in his career, but he is stepping out of that particular shadow and into his own light. Every riff, every pluck of the strings has a meaning and purpose, to create a memorable song.

While many would see having a third singer on their third album as a negative, vocalist Roland Stoll proves the old adage is true about the third time being the charm. He takes the reigns from previous singer, Hubi Meisel, and absolutely runs with it. His voice is warm, controlled and projected perfectly. To my ears, his voice is an amalgamation of several singers, including mostly James LaBrie and a little of Dennis DeYoung. Where LaBrie has a nasal quality to his singing, Roland delivers the same range, intensity, emotion and vibrato without sounding like the microphone is lodged in his sinuses.

They slightly misstep on this release with their lyrics. They've built a grand musical stage on which to deliver a meaningful message with their words, and those words are lost in a sea of broken English and grammatical errors. Lyrics can conjure images, both theatrical and personal that help connect the listener with the overall musical concept. While these lyrics are nowhere near bad, they certainly do not come close to the genius that is their music. If I'm singing along, which I often do, I find myself correcting the phrases. I would sound like a geeky fan-boy if I found nothing negative about this album, so I chose the band picture of drummer Bernhard Huber. It reminded me that I hadn't seen Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure in a while. That's it. There truly is nothing bad about this album in any way.

Massacre Records has found themselves a true gem in the musical and metal world with Dreamscape. This is an album that ANY progressive metal fan, from rabid to average, would find to be engaging, passionate and full of melody. It will be nearly impossible to completely disassociate them from Dream Theater, partially because of their name, but there are worse bands to be mentioned with in the same sentence. Anyone who enjoys their metal with a touch of emotion, class and professionalism should seek this out. The melodic and progressive metal gods have bestowed upon us a musical gift in the form of End Of Silence, possibly the best album of 2004.

Similar Bands: Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, AtmOsfear

[This review originally appeared April 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
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: December 11th 2004
Reviewer: Scott Pierce
Artist website: www.dreamscape.de
Hits: 1356
Language: english


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