Dreamscape - 5th Season
Massacre Records
Prog Metal
9 songs (68'59)
Release year: 2007
Dreamscape, Massacre Records
Reviewed by Marty
Album of the month
After re-recording some older material with their current line-up for the Revoiced album in 2005, Germany's Dreamscape returns with their first album of all new material since 2004's End Of Silence. This album also marks the end of an era of sorts as lead vocalist Roland Stoll, bassist Benno Schmidtler and keyboardist/producer Jan Vacik have all since left the band after the recording of this album. New members have been brought in for the process of rebuilding the band around principle songwriter and guitarist Wolfgang Kerrinis. End Of Silence was a great album and was a a nice surprise for fans of the 90's era Dream Theater. With 5th Season, Dreamscape continues with that style of progressive metal with what is easily the best album that this band has ever done.

Dreamscape plays a very guitar driven progressive metal and has a lot in common with the Images and Words/Awake/Change Of Seasons era of Dream Theater in the 90's. Roland Stoll has a very strong voice and sounds a lot like James LaBrie yet Dreamscape has a much stronger melodic sense than Dream Theater. They place strong emphasis on solid and soaring vocals, very strong and prominent choruses and minimize technical "wankery". Tracks like Fed Up With and Somebody could've easily found there way onto a Dream Theater album in the 90's yet Borderline uses the drop D tuned guitar of more recent Dream Theater material. The title track, 5th Season shows the band at it's finest hour. This 15 minute epic reminds me a lot of Dream Theater's Change Of Seasons with amazing and soaring vocals, lots of instrumental interludes and dreamy atmospheric passages. Phenomenon sees Dreamscape sounding more like the heavier and keyboard flavored majestic sound of Kamelot and Vanishing Point. With just enough technical changes to make it interesting and more soaring vocals, this is classic prog metal! Different, again uses a dramatic prog metal style with a bit of a Queensryche vibe with Point Zero taking on more of a Fates Warning Parallels era sound and showcases once more the amazing sense of melody that this band has. Farewell offers the listener a nice chance to wind down and is in a sense lead vocalist Roland Stolls swansong with the band. With a mix of piano and quiet vocals, it builds and gets heavier with an amazing vocal performance by Roland and some very tasteful lead guitar work.

It's too bad that I didn't get a chance to listen to this before my Best Of 2007 list had to be sent in as this one would have been top 5 for sure. It easily beats the last two Dream Theater albums and if you're a fan of great prog metal with lots of melody and just enough heaviness to still be "metal", this is a must. Dreamscape has delivered an album of almost flawless progressive metal. The soaring melodies are unlike anything I've ever heard in a progressive metal band with a strong sense of drama and interesting instrumental passages to compliment the strong arrangements for their songs. The band has currently recruited new members and is playing shows with Sieges Even, Symphony X and Circus Maximus in Europe over the next couple of months and have already recorded some new material with the new line-up with a view to having a new album out by year's end. I can't recommend this album enough to fans of great melodic progressive metal. Easily one of the best releases in that genre last year, if you love the 90's Dream Theater style, this one's a blind buy......you won't be disappointed!

Killing Songs :
Fed Up With, 5th Season, Somebody, Different and Point Zero
Marty quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Dreamscape that we have reviewed:
Dreamscape - End Of Silence reviewed by Marty and quoted 88 / 100
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