Music Reviews

Artist: Neon Dream
Title: Metropolitan West
Format: CD
Label: Equinoxe (@)
Distributor: Masterpiece
Rated: *****
Hey, folks... please take your eyes off the green-filtered (you should know that green is an hypnotic color, shouldn't you?) picture of the entrancing neckline of that cutie model on the artwork and respect our fatigue of reviewing records for hours and hours just for a while as the Munster old gothic school seems to be more active than ever... Well, after the renowned issue of the prog-rock band Long Distance Call, here it is the second long-awaited act (... the whole fan-base and those critics which acclaimed to their debut Anodyne have patiently waited for five years their coming back in a studio recording... ) by Neon Dream, a fine band of contemporary gothic novelist and music translators of "dark" feelings swarming in the bowels of contemporary society into a musical idiom deeply rooted in the traditional gothic-rock ground' it's almost impossible to deny a certain influence of bands such as Paradise Lost - enhanced by some elements deriving from metal and wave and inventing a sort of (not so) fictional plot with a fertile level of metaphorical imaginary. In the illuminating preface to the record, the band headed up by singer Klaus Mollers' his gloomy voice is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable element of Neon Dream's line up... - clearly states that their main theme is "war and aggression against life" and quoting a famous sentence of Platoon ("We did not fight against an enemy. We fought against ourselves. The Enemy was inside us") in order to describe the state of the art of the mankind today, they identify their source of inspiration in a sort of nightly revelation inside of which there could be an hidden remedy ("It is despair, that characterizes all the beliefs in imaginary spiritual forces... call them god. Because: did those powers ever arrive or have been seen yet at all? I watch out for them every night. Hours, in which all lyrics of this album were written"... that's maybe why the album metaphorically begins with an atmospheric intro entitled "Flight to Dusk"... there're even some samples of an helicopter just to underline the technology evolution since the times of wax wings by Daedelus! ). Metropolitan West is not only what is normally known as a "conceptual album", even if its cohesion could suggest it, but the honeycombed way this band well balance gothic influences with metal and new wave excerpts is a body of evidence of their musical skills, which are clear since the first track Black Cicada, a sort of allegorical spell highlighted by a somber vocal interpretation by Klaus, whose visionary but not inducted by hallucinogenic drugs (!) state reach a peak in the title-track, a track which stylistically has a more "commercial" appeal, reminding to us some tv fictional series' soundtracks and classical goth-rock throughout airy sounds and sequenced guitar sets. We really like the inspired lyrics of Stealth, a sort of call-to-arms combined with a disquieting transliteration of a modern incubus in the "trillion lights up to 90th floor" of a skyscraper, which is depicted almost as a treasure of terrible mysteries connected to homologation plans ("crowds rushed beneath dark skies/Woman and man . dressed the same") transcending common people's imagination... ! Melancholy and depression as well as a sick sense of inadequacy are the leitmotiv which seems to inspire Veils , while in Agnostic there's a synth-pop pigment which doesn't disfigure the darkish visions of the whole album as well the touch of medieval folk harmonies roosting on Last Hours harmonies. The next track, "Exil" the only one with German lyrics with his industrial-novelistic wit and a hieratical tic-tac of a pendulum clock is with no doubt one of the most atmospheric one (and one of my favorite one). The harder side of Neon Dreamz' sound is surely Child Night Dream, which partially join with the support the band's giving to the Kim Foundation for helping children who physically or mentally suffer from war experiences (have a look to the foundation website: . Some influences by the famous Finnish goth-roch band 69 Eyes on the luscious Sexaholica, while Human Replica seems to be another lucid inversion of a predictive dreamlike realism. The bonus track, Overscreening, with gears moving from the new-wave scene, is another body of evidence showing how diversified Neon Dream style seems to be! Thanks for your attention... now you can look elsewhere!

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