Dreamscape - End Of Silence
Massacre Records
Progressive Metal
9 songs (72'31)
Release year: 2004
Dreamscape, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
Dreamscape are veterans of the progressive metal scene and have existed since 1987. Recording many demos throughout the 90's, it was 1997's Trance Like State that eventually landed them a record deal. This German band has endured many line-up changes over the years and seem to have a revolving door approach to vocalists as every full length release including this new one, End Of Silence has had a different lead singer. When their current lead vocalist, Roland Stoll was brought in, this entire album was re-recorded and re-arrnaged with all new lyrics. It was a difficult decision to scrap the original recordings for this new album but the band felt so strongly about finally being able to sound the way that they had planned from the beginning that the extra work involved in getting this album completed to their satisfaction was well worth it. They have opened for bands such as Vanden Plas, Kings X, Stratovarius, Elegy and Chroming Rose and the sound of Dreamscape can be described as a mix of Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, Threshold and even a little of the Symphony X power progressive style.

Although bands like Fates Warning, Queensryche and Savatage were experimenting with a more progressive form of heavy metal in the mid to late 80's it was Dream Theater's Images And Words album that truly defined the genre of progressive metal. That album became the benchmark by which all other prog metal albums were measured and contained all the blueprints for many other bands to follow in the same genre. Dreamscape has produced an album here that probably wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the Images And Words album. In fact, this album comes about as close to sounding like Dream Theater as you can possibly get without being labeled as a blatant rip-off or copy-cat band.

From the opening track, Clockwork and throughout much of the album, the Dream Theater sound is there; from the quirky rhythmic sections and weird time signatures to the chunky guitar riffs and soaring James LaBrie style vocals. Lots of very moving and emotional piano/vocal segments have a big impact on the atmosphere of this band's sound. Very technical but emotion filled lead guitar highlights most tracks and the overall sound is big and colorful with a crisp production that has lots of punch. Dreamscape does their best impression of the Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence era of Dream Theater with their 20 minute epic, The End Of Light. This one's a tour-de-force right from the epic orchestrated "movie theme" styled intro through to it's mix of plodding heavy passages and chunky riffs. Alternating between quieter piano/vocal duets and heavy modern riff-laden segments, this one has a great melodic recurring theme and Roland's voice soars. There's even a rap-like segment which is similar to the one on a track from Dream Theater's Train Of Thought. I guess if DT does it.......The band shows their sense of melody with the track All I Need. With it's mainly piano and voice arrangement for the versus and heavier sound for the chorus, this one has the sort of soaring vocals and choruses reminiscent of the Neal Morse era Spock's Beard. A great track that will stick with you for a while. You Don't Know Me continues with the great melodic sense that this band has and with the soaring lead vocals, this one's pure James LaBrie. With an unbelievably catchy chorus and a great blend of melody and heaviness, this one's a winner and a great closer to the album. The rest of the album is very, very solid and all tracks feature a sound mix of melodic and lighter passages intermixed with heavier and riff-heavy segments.

With interesting arrangements and a very unpredictable sound, this band just oozes confidence and professionalism. The lack of originality in their sound is more than made up for by the quality of their music. With an amazing sound, great songs and one of the best and strongest new voices I've heard in a while, this band's a winner. It's a difficult undertaking playing this type of prog metal as the obvious Dream Theater comparisons are inevitable but this band pulls it off with flying colors. My only real complaint is the length of the album; clocking in at just over 72 minutes, listening to this thing is a marathon (but an enjoyable one at that!!). Fans of prog metal and especially fans of Dream Theater should definitely check this one out as the similarities will astound you as will the quality and brilliance of their music. Simply put, one of the best prog metal albums I've heard this year.

Killing Songs :
Clockwork, The End Of Light, All I Need, Flow and You Don't Know Me
Marty quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Dreamscape that we have reviewed:
Dreamscape - 5th Season reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
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