ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Dream Aria - 2018 - "On the Other Side"

(38:32; Dream Aria)


One day I was perusing LinkedIn, and a suggestion came up for someone I may know, Don Stagg. The name rang a bell so I checked out Don’s profile, only to see that he is keyboard player with Dream Aria. My music filing system triggered in my brain, and I remembered reviewing their debut album some 13 years previously, so I dropped him a line. A short while later and I discovered that not only were the band still active, but that they are #1 on the Overall ReverbNation Global Charts {5 million bands}! This album has been featured on nearly 400 radio stations, while they also came #1 in the 2017 DarkAwards. Not bad for a band who in many ways seems to slip underneath the prog radar. Checking the line-up for this 2018 release against their debut, which is still on my shelves, and only singer Ann Burstyn and keyboard player Don Stagg are still there from that time, and these days are joined by Garry Flint (drums) and Andrew Berezowsky (guitar, violin) plus a few guests. Ann is a professionally trained singer, who can go easily from operatic to rock, and on the title track provides wonderful harmonies to her own vocals as Don provides piano and keyboards which combine with strings to create something that is modern, delicate, rocky yet also restrained with inner beauty. What I found most compelling with this album is the sheer diversity of styles on offer. When I reviewed their debut I said that there wasn’t a great deal of rock, but listening to opener “Black Mirror” there is no way that anyone can say that about their music these days. Hard guitar riffs and sharp guitars contrast with the held-down keyboard chords, drums, and attacking vocals which move through multiple styles all in eth first couple of minutes. From the off I was entranced and began to wonder what I have missed out on by not hearing the two releases between the debut and this. When an album is as powerful and wonderful as this, then they should be shouted about from the rooftops. This is stunning in just so many ways, and fans of neo, metal, symphonic, gothic and so many other styles need to investigate this immediately.

Kev Rowland: October 2018

Related Links:

Dream Aria


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages