Tragedian - Dreamscape 3.5/5

Reviewed: 12-5-08





Tracklist:

1. Tartarus
2. The eternal fight
3. Turn back time
4. Immortality
5. Dreamscape
6. Broken dream
7. New promise land
8. Napoleon
9. Trials of fire
10. Conquerors
11. Conquerors (orchestral version)
12. Conquerors (additional version)


Tragedian was formed by Gabriele Palmero, formerly of Stormwarrior. The band plays melodic power metal which reminds me a lot of the Italian power metal bands of the late-90s like Projecto, Athena, Labyrinth, Mesmerize, etc., and the songs are mostly up tempo with lots of pretty melodies and upfront keyboards. The production is clear without a lot of post processing, with my main complaint being how prominent the keyboards are in the mix. Vocalist Timo Behrens sings in the upper mid-range. He doesn't have an amazing voice, but he is technically sound and has a lot of charisma which makes him pleasant to listen to. The vocal melodies are generally catchy and help make Tragedian an easy listen.

'Dreamscape' opens with "Tartarus", a moody, atmospheric, and ultimately pointless intro. The first proper song is "The eternal flight" which is generally midtempo rather than all guns blazing speed. The guitar tone is generally a little heavier sounding than the Italian power metal bands of the late-90s but otherwise this sounds a lot like bands of that ilk. The song is loaded with pretty melodies and is generally peppy in tone and speed. "Turn back time" has some killer lead guitar licks at the start, and is a little faster in tempo. Behrens has some nice vocal harmonies in this song. The CD's title track "Dreamscape" is strong with a torrid pace and nice keyboard melodies accompanying the main riffs. The CD's only real weak point is "Broken dream", a bland power ballad. The CD's best song is "Conquerors". Apparently Tragedian agrees since they have 3 versions of this song to close out the CD. It's a killer fast song with really nice melodies. The chorus is fantastic and is hard to resist humming along with. There is a bit of melancholy in the vocal melodies which is tremendous and reminds me of the brilliant 'When the aurora falls...' CD from Highlord. Next there is an "orchestral" version of the song where the keyboards are given a bit more of a classical, orchestral punch to them. Still, it's clear you're listening to synths, so real string instruments would have worked better, but I am sure that would have broken the budget. Finally, there is a version with just vocals and keyboards. This is an amusing novelty, but I doubt most will bother to continue listening to this on repeated listens after already hearing 2 other versions. Still it's a neat addition.

Tragedian leaves a strong first impression with its good songwriting and catchy melodies. It really did take me back to the late-90s when it seemed like Italy was churning out new pretty power metal bands on a monthly basis. If you're a fan of this style, waste no time in checking Tragedian out. I will look forward to future releases from this promising band.



JOHN




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