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(55:46; Prime Number)
TRACK LIST: 1. Embrace 4:53 2. If I Could 2:41 3. An Ancient Voice 8:01 4. A Dream In A Day Away I 1:07 5. Reflected 6:02 6. A Dream In A Day Away II 1:18 7. Wandering 3:49 8. Cross-Fading Boundary 1:27 9. Blessing 5:01 10. Prologue To Heaven 1:42 11. Black Moon 1:50 12. Darkness Of... 2:04 13. Joni's Sky 2:24 14. Blindfolded 2:18 15. Final Letter 2:45 16. The Place 6:05 17. Epilogue To Heaven 2:19 LINEUP: Hisao - vocals, bass, guitars, keyboards, programming
Prolusion. Japanese project ACCEPT has been a going concern for more than a decade, and in that time main man, composer and musician Hisao have recorded and released half a dozen studio albums. The most recent of these is "Dream of Tree", which was released on the Prime Number label in early 2019. A label I suspect may well be the artist's own label.
Analysis. Accept have gone a long way from the earliest albums nods towards classic era English progressive rock, and over the years the palette have been expanded with the inclusion of numerous ambient sequences and passages. Remnants of why this artist has been regarded in a neo-progressive manner does remain, especially in the longer compositions, but the greater totality of this production is more expansive than merely that. Layered, atmospheric laden keyboards driven passages is probably the most dominant trait throughout this album, both as shorter mood and atmospheric laden interludes but also as parts, and often substantial at that, of the longer compositions. A certain dream-like atmosphere runs like a red thread throughout this CD, and given it's name and background I'd remark that in this particular context, this is a case of mission accomplished. That the album contains some rather fine arrangements is also noted. There is a but here however. Mix and production have never been a strong point on the previous albums released by Accept, and that is very much the case this time around as well. Part of it is a sound that strikes me as somewhat closed in on certain levels, but the more challenging aspect this time around is that I get the impression that too many instrument layers are given dominant roles, especially in the arrangements featuring multiple instruments and multiple layers of instruments. At times with end results bordering the chaotic, at least from an end user experience. This aspect of the album alone will make this a production with a rather narrow and finite reach I'm afraid.
Conclusion. Japanese project Accept continues it's journey where progressive rock and moods of a more ambient nature are blended, and in this case seeking to produce sounds, moods and atmospheres of a dreamlike nature. A lot of this is accomplished, but weaknesses in the technical department, with substandard mix and production, will ultimately make this an album with more of a limited reach in my opinion.
Progmessor: July 7th 2019
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