DREAM CHILD - "REACHING THE GOLDEN GATES" (METAL BLADE)
There are quite a few bands who couple really decent musical talent with interestingly structured progressive rock songs. French band Dream Child is one of these. When you listen to the album, similarities to Stratovarius and Angra become apparent almost right away. A clean vocalist, good guitarist and quite excellent drummer combine to create songs that make for a challenging listen. What with the high amount of prog rock bands around these days, they have to try hard to stand out. Mere talent isn't enough. For starters you need to have an album that sounds like a clock (Dutch metaphore here, it's a positive one :-). That's where Dream Child isn't quite perfect. The drums, let's have it out, bug me no end. The bass drums sound too synthesized, the snare too harsh, and there's practically no hi hat.
Having said that, the production is just about the only thing that can be complained about. The songs are really quite good, with songs like "Alchemy" and the superb "Kadesh Battle" standing out from the rest, and the ballad "Fly Again" the least of the tracks.
Written December 1998
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