Dreamtone: Sojourn
Dreamtone - Sojourn - [Tavanarsi Media]


Great anticipation came along with "Sojourn", Dreamtone's first official debut, 2nd full length and 3rd release so far, since the names Gary Wehrkamp (from Shadow Gallery, he contributes his voice as a narrator) and Jim Brick (in charge of the mastering of not only this album but also worked with Shadow Gallery, James LaBrie, Jordan Rudess and others) but also since this is the album that got the band signed in a label. Well… I hate to use the overused clichés but the bigger the anticipation the bigger the letdown.

The first thing that hits the ears is the sound, not the actual opening title track, but the quality of its sound; "Sojourn" would have been a great song and even a great album if only the drums weren't so blank, if the distortion actually sounded like an electric guitar going plugged to an actual amp and if only it had that sparkling clean production of today's prog-metal albums.
Seriously, these guys have so much potential that simply goes to waste here; this is evident from the very first seconds of the opener that shows vocalist Oganalp Canatan's emotional low-key display, to the dynamic drumwork of Emrecan Sevdin and the overall composition of songs throughout the album.

Ambivalence strikes as I listen to this album time and time again, it has its hooks and better songs, like the duo of the intro "A Transition" and follower "Behind the face" (which in my opinion should have been the openers of the album) or "The Teaser" which starts melancholic and unfolds without warning as one of the best track here; other highlights include the heavier "Riot" which got me from its very beginning of bell rings, and "Nemesis", truly the best track here, with Oganalp's vocals fitting so well, the brilliant guitar lead, the atmospheric keyboards in the back and both classical or electronic on the front, the reprises of other elements in the song – its just perfect.
But the album suffers from lacking in good sound and in some places even proper heavy-prog-power metal songwriting – examples for this could be the choice of "Escape" as an instrumental, a well built one nevertheless, but with no actual reason of being without vocals, or the way "Nightmare" draws the heavy guns (guitar/bass/drums) too soon on the song's time-scale.

Furthermore, Wehrkamp's part as a narrator doesn't really seem to belong here, its almost as if the six parts where he participates are taken from a completely different album; as far as Jim Brick – I have nothing to add other than that it takes more than good mastering to make quality-sounding music, it all depends on the actual recordings (which in this case probably weren't too good).

To make a long story, one of a fallen angel of some sort, these guys do have plenty of potential and they face a great challenge now that they've signed with a label; this challenge will require Dreamtone to sit down and write a grandiose, epic, magnum opus piece for their next full length, and to record and produce it properly.
Perhaps a new hope will come with their upcoming single, "Snowfall", due this November.

Ofer Vayner

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