Braindance -
Master Of Disguise

(CD 2012, 77:47, Progressive Darkwave Recordings)

The tracks:
  1- Unearthed
  2- Lost
  3- Eye Of The Storm
  4- The Game
  5- Hunter And Hunted
  6- Dysphoria
  7- Master Of Disguise
  8- More Than A Moment (The Sands Part III)
  9- The Silence
10- Dystopia
11- Written In Stone
12- Beyond (Valley Of The Kings Chapter One)
13- Falling (Valley Of The Kings Chapter Two)
14- Closer To The Sun (Valley Of The Kings Chapter Three)
15- Entombed

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When you write album reviews, you get great albums to review, sometimes average and sometimes you find yourself listening to something you really don't want to listen to. Braindance doesn't fit into neither of these three categories; it's not great, absolutely listenable and the word average is just out of the question, something special I guess.

Braindance is the musical child of New York vocalist Sebastian Elliot, who started collaborating with musician Vora Vor in the nineties. On the album Master Of Disguise, the duo gets help from several other musicians, playing bass, guitars and background vocals.
My first acquaintance with the band came through a perfect promotion kit; the album is packed in a gold, embossed digipack and holds, besides the CD, two booklets. One with the songs and musical information, the other in the form of a comic book. Along with this digipack a nice USB stick was sent along, holding the video clip and more. Braindance absolutely scores the way their merch is super professionally packed.
The whole album is located in the ancient Egyptian civilisation and due to the clip I immediately am reminded of the movie Scorpion King. To be honest the first time I saw this I was wondering if I should take this music serious, could it be a sort of persiflage on the ancient Egyptian theme. But no, we have to take the band very serious and treat the album as if it is an album that our readers would like to listen to. Basically Braindance's music is a form of synth wave added with some gothic elements and distinct vocals. The self-created term progressive darkwave does cover it. The album has a strong electronic feel and in combination with the electric guitars an accessible sound is created. Sebastian's vocals are dark and moody on one side and melodic on the other. The over all feel of the album does remind me of the album One Second by Paradise Lost, but with a twist and a lot of additional elements from movie scores.

In the end Master Of Disguise is an album that is hard for me to review, I know the effort and energy put into the album was immense and the outcome certainly has the potential to create a fan base. I do doubt if this fan base will be found in the progressive rock scene. For me this is one of those albums that end up barely returning to the CD player, no matter how great the packaging looks. Sorry to say, Braindance is not my cup of tea, but please check their video clip on YouTube and prove me wrong.

*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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