Othello Syndrome, The - The Shadow Of Dreams

Year of Release: 1999
Label: F2 Records
Catalog Number: 9910
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:30:00

On the album's sleeve you can see a classic portrait of about eight old men gathered round a table. Interested, they look at an old gramophone and four album sleeves spread all over the table. The albums are The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway by Genesis, Going For The One by Yes, Pictures Ffrom The Other Side by Cyan (Robert Reed guests on this album), and Still Life by Van Der Graaf Generator. The choice is perfect as influences of each of those four records/bands can be found in the music of The Othello Syndrome.

Founded by the souls of Paul Kadman and Martin Rosser, augmented with the aforementioned Robert Reed, plus one Ian Bailey, and Tom Robinson, the band knows how to deviate from the predictable neo-prog circuit in order to steer their music into a more complex direction. "Empty Heaven, Material Hell" sounds a little bit like Soft Machine and that's where Ian Bailey's saxophone comes in handy. "Remember" contains whistles, acoustic guitars, vocal harmonies and lovely sounding Moog (more of that wonderful instrument scattered all over the album) in order to lift the music to a surprising level. Typical British humour is to be found in "All I Want For Christmas Is A Trivisualvirtualdynamicaudiointelligentdreamsystem," which luckily is pronounced by means of the initials! The playful theme is backed by Hammond, cello and various little voices resulting in the kind of narrating music that was so typical in the seventies.

It is quite logical how acoustic guitar and cello blend into a medieval sounding little tune during "Hear Me," whilst in the distance we can once again hear Bailey's saxophone taking the music in a National Health direction before in true Banks arrangement, the keyboards take us towards authentic Genesis. One of the most tasteful tracks on this album has to be "The Watchman" especially by means of the Steve Howe-sounding guitar. Final track "Spinning Top" again starts in a jazzy fashion yet evolves towards "highlight of the current prog scene" by means of synth sprints and guitar solos. In fact I thought of Polish sensation Quidam when I first heard this track. Even if I regarded this album as rather weak the first time I heard it, I have to take everything back and label this album as a truly wonderful product.

Father Of Leeches (7:11) / Empty Heaven, Material Hell (6:33) / Excelsior Ice (0:35) / Interlecherality (5:16) / Remember (5:48) / All I Want For Christmas Is A Trivisualvirtualdynamicaudiointelligentdreamsystem (5:43) / Hear Me (8:18) / The Watchman (6:24) / Spinning Top (7:59)

Paul Kadman - vocals, bass, keyboards
Martin Rosser - guitar, backing vocals, keyboards

Guests :

Ian Bailey - sax
Tim Robinson - drums
Rob Reed - keyboards, backing vocals

The Shadows Of Dreams (1999)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: April 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 1011
Language: english


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