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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Highest Dream - 2009 Far Away From Here
Highest Dream - 2009 Far Away From Here

ARTIST: Highest Dream
ALBUM: Far Away From Here
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Leo Mendes - keyboards, vocals, backing vocals and producer; Riq Ferris - lead and backing vocals; Marcelo Nami - guitars; Marcio Loureiro - guitars; John Cassio - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Intro/Restless Dreamer - 02 Can't Fight Hearts - 03 Helpin' Hand - 04 Far Away From Here - 05 All I Want - 06 Reach Higher - 07 Love Makes You Cry - 08 I Will Find You - 09 Not An Angel - 10 Never Be Apart



Earlier this year saw the demo offering by Brazilian outfit Highest Dream. Found on MySpace, the band were subsequently picked up by Escape Music (UK), and their debut album released at the end of March 2009. From Rio de Janeiro, Highest Dream is essentially the brainchild of keyboardist Leo Mendes, a talented player in the mould of Jim Peterik. Leo bought on vocalist Riq Ferris (better known as the former lead singer of Brazilian HM band Snow, who are also reviewed here at GD), plus a trio of local guitarists to add some solo spots. The result is 'Far Away From Here', a very nice platter of songs in the vein of Pride Of Lions, Dakota and other such bands. Mendes skill at musical arrangement and as a producer shines through on this rather accomplished and sophisticated album.

The Songs
'Restless Dreamer' sets the scene, a punchy track fueled by some near prog like guitar runs, accompanied keys and a fantastic chorus. Fans of Dakota will enjoy the next track 'Can't Fight Hearts', including the duelling guitar and keyboard solo through the mid section. There's a huge helping of synths a la Survivor during the intro to 'Helpin' Hand'. It's on a track like this that Mendes' similarity to Jim Peterik is apparent.. a great track! 'Far Away From Here' features expansive acoustic guitar and layered synths, before bursting through in typical AOR fashion, enough to please supporters of Pride Of Lions. Highest Dream lift to a 'higher level' with 'All I Want', which moves in the same vein as bands like Departure and Tradia. The next track 'Reach Higher' is played out similarly, inclusive of some fat synthesized brass parps. Changing tack is the ballad 'Love Makes You Cry', with its rich orchestral leanings. Back to AOR we head with the sublime 'I Will Find You' which will find favour with those fans of modern-day AOR. 'Baby, Angels don't lie..' is the catch-cry on 'Not An Angel', a great anthemic tune, you can see the video for this in our news section, or on YouTube. Leo and the boys finish up with the swirling orchestral ballad 'Never Be Apart', another pearler of a tune, capping off what is a very very good album.

In Summary
Since being signed to Escape, Highest Dream have added a permanent bass player (Marquinhos dos Santos) and drummer (Andre Andrade) and have released a couple more videos which can be viewed from their MySpace page. I've seen some comments by people on other Boards commenting that the production lacks or that the vocals are an acquired taste.. well I say to them.. boo hoo. That's all personal taste. One can see and hear quite clearly that Leo and Highest Dream have a very strong pedigree, and when Leo mentions influences such as Toto, Kansas, Survivor, Pride Of Lions and Queen, you should take him at his word, with 'Far Away From Here' being all the proof that is needed. I wonder then, should we start calling him the Robby Valentine of Brazil? But without the long blonde hair and penchant for OTT pomp! In any case, Highest Dream come recommended to followers of the aforementioned bands.

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#1 | george_the_jack on June 01 2009 14:14:01
Agree with George! Very good band with some exceptional songs! I've been following their 'steps' for months now watching their myspace.
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