Various - Dreamcarnation

Year of Release: 2000
Label: LaBraD'or Records
Catalog Number: LBD 040010
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:22:00

About five years or so ago Dutch label SI was one of the most important prog labels around, focusing a lot on what we now call "neo-prog." More and more bands got signed to the label and after signing a deal with Roadrunner, SI suddenly went bankrupt, leaving behind a lot of talented bands such as For Absent Friends (their lead singer once auditioned for Kayak), Timelock, November and Ywis. Some of those members can now be heard on the Dreamcarnation project inspired by the works of writer Clive Barker. Extra musicians from bands such as The Last Detail, Miss Treated, Big Deal and Ma?China have been added to complete the picture.

The initial idea came from Julian Driessen, Rob de Vries and Rob Rehorst, who have "used" a wide selection of prog icons in order to deliver a fabulous new concept album. The most important person throughout this album certainly has to be singer Jolanda de Vries whose voice gets very close to that of a young Jerney Kaagman (Earth & Fire), bringing back those vintage seventies vibes. The best example of this has to be the opening track "Fugue" which has Jolanda's voice incorporated in between a wall of keyboards and rough guitar chords. There are some wonderful synths at the end of "Awaken" backed by powerful drumming from ex-For Absent Friend man Ed Wernke.

Jolanda's voice sounds like that of an angel in "Broken Dreams" when she's joined by Chantal de Vries (her sister, I think). There's also some ace jazzy piano to be noted here. "Salesman" sounds more like AOR due to the voice of Ruud Stoker and the guitars of Martin Hendriks and Hans van der Klugt. A similar feel is repeated throughout "Xenophobia." By adding a grunt voice and church organ, "The Pact" becomes an eery experience, whilst the inclusion of brass makes me think of Rick Wakeman's English Rock Ensemble during the No Earthly Connection period. A treat is "Nowhere City" where we hear Jolanda's voice backed by acoustic guitar before the song suddenly changes completely. Another fab track is "Orchard" which sports wonderful guitar playing a bit in the Wishbone Ash tradition, whilst the backing slightly reminds me of Pink Floyd. The inclusion of muted trumpet in "Between The Blind" together with the rather funky approach make this song a maverick for the prog community yet it works rather well because of the clean production.

Title track "Dreamcarnation" is rather bombastic what with hard guitar chords being joined by lush keyboards in order to deliver one of the outstanding songs on this album. The title "Funeral" already was a giveaway but once church organ introduces this song the obvious pastoral feeling creeps in. Sadly it's once again Ruud Stoker who joins Jolanda on vocals and his voice doesn't really suit this "sacred" song because of the unnerving amount of vibrato in his voice which gets close to Marc Almond! Another intriguing song certainly has to be "Miracle" not in the least because of the clever inclusion of a musical box, but also because of the dreamy layers of keyboards and the fab drumming. The album closes with "An Ending" sung by the hoarse Karel Messemaker and sporting some nice violin which emerges out of the synthesized strings. Analogue hand in hand with the digital age so to speak.

Dreamcarnation certainly is the perfect calling card to introduce the current progscene from the The Hague area to a wider audience. Now all we can expect is that new bands/projects will emerge out of these ashes. If the Koerts twins should think about putting Earth & Fire back together and if Jerney Kaagman no longer wants to take part then all the Koerts brothers have to do is call Jolanda de Vries. One phone call should be all it takes!

Fugue (2:47) / Awaken (3:26) / Broken Dreams (3:27) / Salesman (4:55) / The Pact (3:09) / Incantatrix (2:33) / On The Run (3:49) / Xenophobia (3:31) / Nowhere City (3:20) / Orchard (3:43) / Between The Blind (2:26) / The Party (3:27) / Dreamcarnation (3:54) / Funeral (3:28) / Miracle (3:35) / An Ending (4:12)

Jolanda de Vries - vocals
Ruud Stoker - vocals
Chantal de Vries - vocals
Karel Messemaker - vocals
Ed Wernke - drums
Julian Driessen - keyboards, musical box
Marco de Zeeuw - guitars
Martin Hendriks - bass, guitars
Bert de Bruijne - bass
Mike Boekhout - drums
Bert Van Oorschot - bass
Hans Van Der Klugt - guitar
Harald O - drums
Marcel vd Bosch - drums
Matthijs Sepers - trumpet
Arnold Jones - percussion
Jurriaan Callenbach - bass
Rob Rehorst - keyboards
Ingrid Wigman - violin


Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VA

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

Hits: 747
Language: english


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