End Of The Dream - All I Am

(CD 2015, 50:11, Independent Release 69796468-01)

The tracks:
  1- Follow The Angels
  2- Away
  3- Colder
  4- Shadow's Embrace
  5- Collide
  6- All I Am
  7- Through The Dark
  8- Dark Reflection
  9- Gone

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End Of The Dream is a young and for one member Dutch progressive symphonic metal band fronted by a female vocalist. Based In Den Bosch, End Of The Dream was founded by lead guitarist and keyboard player Armen Shamelian, guitarist Robin van Ekeren and vocalist Micky Huijsmans, somewhere back in 2010. In 2014 the recordings for their debut album began with new bass player Tim van den Hooven and Belgium drummer Pieter Driessen. The latter left the band after the recordings of All I Am due to lack of time and was replaced by his fellow countryman Pim Geraets. Producer Joost van den Broek (After Forever) made sure the album was finished with the best sound possible.

When you start listening to the album, Follow The Angels is the song to set your mind; the important first impression! End Of The Dream totally nailed it, technical metal parts, referring to bands like Dream Theater, are blended with the theatrical parts of Within Temptation and Epica. Micky's vocals do sound like WT's Sharon den Adel very much, with sometimes the classical edge of Tarja Turunen, the former Nightwish vocalist. During Away the resemblance with Within Temptation grows and it is only for the guitar solo, which is completely different from WT, otherwise people could have recognized this song as a WT composition. On one side I guess this is a compliment for the band, on the other it is meant as a hint to believe in yourself and know you are capable enough to create your own sound. When we get to Shadow's Embrace, I almost regret my previous writings, here we are treated by a fine progressive metal band; melodic female vocals go hand in hand with powerful guitar riffs and a wonderful set of guitar solos. Dark Reflection has the same intensity as the previously mentioned composition and both of them are the absolute highlights on the album for me; the strong guitar riffs certainly will grow to become the band's trademark, together with the thrilling voice of Micky. Extra attention please for the guitar part about halfway Dark Reflection, chicken skin, a true Dutchman would call it, I'll stick to goosebumps; majestic! The final song on the album; Gone is also something pretty special. A pure basic composition, highlighting Armen's piano playing and Micky's wonderful vocals.

All I Am is an impressive album for End Of The Dream, an album that will open doors and will make sure the band can keep up with other Dutch bands like Within Temptation, Epica and Delain. Because of Micky's voice the comparison with Within Temptation will be obvious, but with the songs mentioned in the review, End Of The Dream shows to be able to create a sound of their own and not end their dream as “just a metal version of Within Temptation”.

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

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