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(63:33, Brennus Music)
TRACK LIST: 1. Come & Take Me 6:09 2. The Way Things Are 7:13 3. Myself 7:58 4. Styx 3:54 5. Borderline 5:38 6. White Domain 7:28 7. Killing Money 5:43 8. Beauty Never Dies 10:41 9. Drowned Out 8:28 LINEUP: Arnaud Grandin – vocals; guitars Joel Seque – guitars; b/v Laurent Rispoli – bass; b/v Alexandra Bruzzo – keyboards David Chapelle – drums
Prolusion. Another outfit from the French Brennus label’s roster, DREAMLOST, hailing from the same land, presents “Outer Reality”, which is their first official release, although their history dates as relatively far back as 1996.
Analysis. Potentially, I could paste a fairly good number of sentences from my (previous) review of “The Third Way” by Dreamlost’s compatriots and label mates Awaks and copy them here – due to some glaring similarities between the recordings, of course. White Domain and Killing Money, following each other somewhere in the core of the disc, are both largely reminiscent of Uriah Heep’s ‘70s statistically-average hard-rock romp, just using modern, pronouncedly metal-sounding guitar pedals, vernacularly speaking, and it’s only within these songs’ (few-in-number) instrumental breaks that the music bears a resemblance to Prog-Metal, which is another primary component of the band’s overall style. Like intros to quite a few of the other tracks, the melodic ballad Styx has for the most part only piano as its instrumental background, and while Alexandra Bruzzo’s synthesizer-related leads are kind of conventionally-original in nature, her playing the previously named keyboard has a certain common ground with Ken Hensley’s. That's not to say that Dreamlost’s front-man, Arnaud Grandin, sounds as much like John Lawton (or any other of Uriah Heep’s other singers either) as Awaks’ vocalist does, far from it, but on the other hand his general approach has quite a good deal in common with Crock’s, with all the ensuing consequences, so to speak. Either way, four more tracks on the CD, Come & Take Me, Myself, Borderline and Drowned Out, reveal the implied connection within quite a few of their vocal sections. To the band’s credit, in these particular cases they only use Uriah Heep as a starting point and then accomplish its evolution upward beyond recognition of the prototype. Elements belonging to classic contemporary Prog-Metal are widely present on these four also, the corresponding arrangements being just a bit simpler than those we normally expect from the said school: akin to what Dream Theater offered on most of their “Falling into Infinity” album, lacking a more accurate analogy. The players are always effective here – not only during instrumental movements, but also when supporting the singer’s lines, paying considerable attention to what can be viewed as the lyrical storyline’s wings, at least in a way. All in all, these songs seem to possess everything essential to be well received by the prog-metal community, such as large-scale instrumental arrangements, complex stop-to-start moves, dynamic transitions, and just enough technical skill to meet the requirements of the style. The remaining song is even better though. The Way Things Are contains fewer features of the aforesaid school, more often combining techno-thrash devices and those referring to progressive Doom Metal, and comes across for the most part as exclusively its makers’ achievement in the field of the genre(s). Nonetheless, the most progressively saturated track here is the longest one, Beauty Never Dies. Free of lyrical content or any voices either at all, this is a fascinating ever-changing musical journey through all the styles ever present on the recording (art-rock-like interludes included), offering multiple innovative ideas.
Conclusion. Since I explored Brennus Music’s latest three Prog-Metal-related outings one after another, comparisons are inevitable. “Outer Reality” isn’t as mind-blowing an effort as “Hope” by Myrath, but it succeeds in reaching the progressive listener on more levels than Awacks’ “The Third Way” does. Those who prefer moderately accessible forms of heavy progressive music (like, I believe, most of the style’s representatives having Inside Out Records as their home label) to highly complicated ones should find plenty here to enjoy.
VM: Agst 1, 2008
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