Dreamcarnation -

(CD 2024, 63:55, Freia Music)

The tracks:
  1- Fugue(4:43)
  2- Awaken(3:22)
  3- Broken Dreams(3:30)
  4- Salesman(5:12)
  5- Incantatrix(3:11)
  6- The Pact(2:37)
  7- On The Run(3:45)
  8- Xenophobia(3:28)
  9- Nowhere City(3:20)
10- Orchard(3:43)
11- The Party(2:24)
12- Between The Blind(3:25)
13- Dreamcarnation(3:54)
14- The Funeral(3:39)
15- Miracle(3:31)
16- An Ending(4:19)
Bonus Track:
17- Memorize(5:39)


Twenty four years ago a group of musicians from the Netherlands got together to create a special concept album which was an album inspired by the book Weaveworld by Clive Barker, who is an author of horror and fantasy. The album and project got the name Dreamcarnation. Now out of the blue a re-edited version has been published with one extra bonus track included.

The main man behind the project is without any doubt Timelock keyboard player and composer Julian Driessen. He has already reissued many albums of his band and felt it was also time to come up with a better sounding version of this release. Therefore, he re-edited the songs and added an extra track to the album. Titled Memorize. This is great instrumental orchestral and melancholic song with various mood changes. It was written in memory of those we have lost since the original album was released. Those musicians who played on the album but can't hear this new version anymore because they passed away in the meantime. This way we will not forget people such as co-writer and producer Rob Rehorst, singer Karel Messemaker (November and Plackband) and bassist Bert van Oorschot. The new piece of music is without a doubt one of the musical highlights on this reissue. It was written and recorded in 2023 by Julian Driessen (keyboards), with the help of Mike Boekhout (drums, also on the original album) and David Guurink (bassguitar).

As for the original music and story we have to jump 24 years back in time. The musicians from bands such as The Last Detail, Timelock, November, For Absent Friends created a rather interesting album at the time about a magical world that is hidden inside a tapestry, known as the Fugue, to safeguard it form both inquisitive humans and hostile supernatural foes. When the caretaker dies, the rug is unwoven and the secret of the Fugue itself is revealed. And now a battle between good and evil has begun, both sides vying for control of the Fugue. The main dark forces are known as the Salesman and the Incantatrix...

This is all very well put into music by Rob Rehorst and Julian Driessen. With lyrics written by Rob de Vries. Maybe it sounds a bit dated but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a high quality musical product which sounds much in the vein of the progressive rock you hear on the albums made by Timelock back in those days. But I guess that isn't so strange if you have the earlier mentioned Julian Driessen (keyboards), Ruud Stoker (vocals), Bert de Bruijne (bass), Martin Hendriks (guitars) on board. All musicians that were at the time in the band Timelock which released the album Circle Of Deception two years later with For Absent Friends drummer Ed Wernke as a guest on all tracks who is also one of the drummers on the Dreamcarnation album. Thanks to the female vocals of Jolanda de Vries you sometimes get the impression you are listening to Earth & Fire and their albums Song Of The Marching Children (1971) and Atlantis (1973) because the voice of de Vries reminds me of the vocal parts of Jerney Kaagman, the bands female singer. Sometimes you also get the idea Peter Gabriel is joining in on a couple of songs thanks to the male vocals of the earlier mentioned Karel Messemaker. Therefore, the album sounds as if Jerney Kaagman and Peter Gabriel joined Timelock for one single album only.

I will not go into detail about the songs separately but it has to be said that there is not a weak composition on the album and there is a fine balance between up tempo songs and more mellow relaxed pieces of music. The main musical style is without any doubt neo progressive rock. But several heavy rock parts can be enjoyed as well. Several great solos on the synthesizers and electric guitars mixed with strong vocal parts makes of Dreamcarnation a very strong album. There is so much to enjoy that's for sure!

In addition to the earlier mentioned bonus track, the album has also a new cover which features one single woman playing on a cello in the middle of a desolated cornfield. On the original cover you could see a painting of The Angel Of Carnation by Edward Burne Jones.

All in all Dreamcarnation by Dreamcarnation is a very entertaining album, even if the music was written more than twenty years ago. I guess it's just like all of the classic progressive rock albums made in the past. You never get tired of listening to them. Most of all it is recommended to those progheads who love Timelock with Jerney Kaagman and Peter Gabriel on extra vocals. It's great that the album got a second chance for all out there who missed the original release. Don't miss it this time around!

**** Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)

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