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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Dreamscape - 2007 5th Season
Dreamscape - 2007 5th Season

ARTIST: Dreamscape
ALBUM: 5th Season
LABEL: Massacre Records
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Roland Stoll - vocals * Wolfgang Kerinnis - guitars * Jan Vacik - keyboards * Benno Schmidtler - bass * Michael Schwager - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fed Up With * 02 Borderline * 03 5th Season * 04 Deja Vu * 05 Phenomenon * 06 Somebody * 07 Different * 08 Point Zero * 09 Farewell



We haven't reviewed any prog metal stuff for quite some time. I've deliberately steered clear of that genre because I'm not seeing anything significantly different or interesting coming out. Apart from the tried and trues acts that I really like (such as Pagans Mind), not many others get a look in. I've recently dipped my feet back in the mercury-filled vessels of prog metal to see whats available. I've stumbled upon German band Dreamscape as an exception. We have reviewed this band previously, and it appears they have retained their Dream Theater obsession with a vengeance. Now you can add in other outfits playing in a similar vein: Symphony X, Van Den Plas, Evergrey, Pagans Mind and to a lesser extent Magnitude Nine as other examples of prog influenced mayhem. As you can tell per the title, this is their fifth tilt at glory, but it may be their last. It seems that three members of the band are leaving after the release of this album. Roland Stoll, Jan Vacik and Benno Schmidtler are departing, so that clearly decimates the Dreamscape team. So, what did they leave behind?

The Songs
Powerful guitars and dark keyboards bind around each other like a tight coil on opener 'Fed Up With'. The tempo shifts around a bit - never quite standing still nor moving at breakneck pace. 'Borderline' is thick with heaving guitar rhythms and some distorted keyboard runs that Derek Sherinian would be pleased to hear. The obvious stand out track is the mesmeric title track '5th Season'. At 14mins 35s, it is the jewel in the crown of this album. Eastern melodies pervade throughout, passages of music intertwine, you get the typical ebb/flow, hard-heavy/light-lilting contrasts, and enough space for lead guitars and keyboards to stand apart. 'Deja Vu' is heavier, and takes on the personality of many of the aforementioned bands, whereas 'Phenomenon' initially has many lighter parts contained within. It is still prone to letting off sparks during the running time, but mostly its restrained. Another complex piece is the near 8min 'Somebody', again with change-up moments galore. Piano parts are prominent among the scattered guitar counter-measures strewn about on 'Different'. 'Point Zero' broods with all the power that this band can muster. And just to prove to everyone that they do have a deft hand in writing ballads, they deliver 'Farewell' which is pretty melodic and traditionally prog based (minus the metal).

In Summary
'5th Season' is a strong album, well played, high on melody, with few weak points. I liked it but didn't love it - if you know what I mean. That's not a bad thing, because sometimes you can play something that is good, but it doesn't quite grab you by the 'short and curlies'! Actually, since Seventh Wonder's amazing 'Waiting In The Wings' album from last year, I haven't heard an album since that has come close. However, guitarist Wolfgang Kerinnis is rumored to be keeping the Dreamscape flag flying - but with new personnel obviously, so we'll be on the lookout for any announcement on that front in the future.

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