ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Dreamwalkers Inc - 2023 - "The First Tragedy of Klahera"

(86:00; Layered Reality Productions)


There have been some changes in the ranks of Dreamwalkers Inc in recent years, and the band as it stands now is totally different from what it was apart, of course, from singer Tom de Wit. He has now been joined by drummer Sander van Elferen and bassist Bjorn van der Ploeg along with guitarists Lennert Kemper and Norbert Veenbrink along with singer Radina Dimcheva. The concept is taken from a story written by singer/frontman Tom de Wit (which has now been turned into a novel) about a girl found in a forest on a dark night who is adopted into a small village by a loving couple. The girl is clearly different from everyone in the village and seems to be at odds with everything. It feels like everything she thinks and stands for is ‘not normal’ according to the world around her. This leads to a dark conclusion at the end. There are a cast of voice actors, and unlike some concepts this is easy to follow from beginning to end, a movie for the ears with cinematic explanation passages here and there, although it should be noted the conclusion reached here is not the final one as this is the first in a planned set of albums. There is no doubt in my mind that Tom is one of the most under-rated performers and storytellers within the prog metal scene, bringing additional layers and levels of complexity yet somehow also making his music inviting and easy to get inside the first time of playing. I was honoured some time back to be interviewed for a DVD, giving my thoughts, and I am glad to say I have never regretted any of my words since then as he consistently pushes himself and those working with him to produce material which is always a delight. I am already invested in the story of Khalera, looking forward to hearing the next chapter of the journey, and no matter who Tom is working with his style is instantly recognisable, so this feels like a logical progression from his days as performing as a solo artist, then a solo with a backing band through to where we are now with a band who are all credited equally. Polished and full of finesse, this is an album where the listener is soon inside the story, as it moves, swells, drops away, full of emotion and power at multiple levels. At times there is plenty of space within the arrangements whereas at others it is a total amalgam of sound, all coming together to provide contrast which invite us in. Yet another stunning release.

Progtector: February 2024

Related Links:

Dreamwalkers Inc Layered Reality Productions


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