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Band: The Divine Baze Orchestra

CD Title: “Dead But Dreaming”

Band Website: www.thedivinebazeorchestra.com

Label: Transubstans Records

Label Website: www.transubstans.com

Release Date: 2010

 

With the amount of new music being created these days directly influenced in some fashion or other by what has gone before the terms “retro” or “nostalgic” almost seem pointless. The music is what the music is. The Swedish quintet known as The Divine Baze Orchestra are a band with feet planted firmly in many musical eras. Their inspiration is wide ranging borrowing elements of heavy proto-prog to psychedelia. And it’s all on display on their new disc Dead But Dreaming. Originally formed in 2003 the band is made up of Oliver Eek (guitars, vocals), Tobias Petterson (bass, vocals), Christian Eklof (drums, percussion), Daniel Karisson (organs, Mellotron) and Alexander Frisborg (lead vocals, guitars). For those in the know, Eek has describedDead But Dreaming as a tribute to the late fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft which might give you a few clues as to the general tone found here.

 

Musically Dead But Dreaming is made up of 8 tracks with a couple as short 2-minutes like the introductory “It Came from the Skies” [2:33] with its dramatic and bombastic opening chords which then morph into a dreamy atmospheric section highlighted by some jazzy soft-toned guitar all of which is used as a kind of introduction to “They Rise” [5:00] which gets going with a straight forward blues riff highlighted at first with some nice buzzy synth before changing up to organ. Underneath the rhythm chugs along shifting time and tempo. At about the two-minute mark everything grinds to a halt and the buzzing synth returns while the vocals turn falsetto and remind one of German bands like Grobschnitt. Not to worry though the blues riff returns at the 3:30 mark to close out the tune. The longest track is the closer entitled “1927 – A Homage” [13:04] which starts soft and tentative with vocals plaintively sung over a picked guitar intro. After a short time moody piano and muted drums are added lending an even more melancholy tone. The general mood picks up at the 2:45 mark with some guitar chords strummed which build in intensity taking the song to the next level but never actually exploding. This same pattern is used over and over again and each time the song gains power and intensity. Vocals remain soft and restrained, but these musical crescendos provide ample dynamics. The overall tone of the album is subdued; many of the songs start off soft and introspective with the dramatic accents inserted along the way.

 

Dead But Dreaming is a much more successful effort than their first and as such is a wonderful sophomore effort. With such a strong second album its clear The Divine Baze Orchestra have lots of great music yet to be written. And there’s some great stuff here; a mix of early styled Genesis and any number of German prog bands from the mid-seventies. As before if you like your prog mixed with a little psychedelic blues, some spaceyness and little quirky humour then this is your ticket. Nicely done – I like it.

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