The Dreaming | Rise Again (Metropolis)

rise again_75Purposeful and timely, this album is proof that great hard rock still lives and thrives in the ears of its fans and in the creative core of The Dreaming.

The third full-length album from The Dreaming features former Stabbing Westward members Christopher Hall, drummer Johnny Haro, and keyboardist Walter Flakus. Rise Again consists of 10 scathing, hard rock tracks. With Carlton Bost on guitars and Franccesca D’Struct on bass and with three former Stabbing Westward members in the fold, one would think that they would sound just like their former band…and one would be wrong.

A much more metal-sounding collection of songs reside here. Dark, yet heavily melodic, this album is very well assembled. Produced by three members of the band (Hall, Flakus, and Bost), this work could have hit a creative rut early on, which tends to happen quite easily without an outside ear at the production helm. However, the writing and recording of this opus began in 2013, which allowed the band and producers to take the time needed to carefully mold and craft the sound captured here.

This is hard rock done with a well-edged sense of style. Vocally powerful and laden with hooks galore, the songs are well-balanced, creating a definite flow. While reminiscent of bands like Queensryche and even a shade or two of Dream Theatre, this album is approachable and on point. Purposeful and timely, Rise Again is proof that great hard rock still lives and thrives in the ears of its fans and in the creative core of The Dreaming. The guitar work here is fantastic and polished, while the rhythm section locks everything into place perfectly.

Spotlight tracks here include the album opener and lead single from the album, “Alone,” with its desolate-sounding verses and encompassing chorus. “Painkillers,” carries an off-time drum riff and blistering chord changes, and, “Blink of an Eye,” is a hard-rocking track with an impeccable vocal melody.

While one might feel put off by the label of “progressive rock,” it is presented here without the expected, sometimes forced, baroque stylings found in such a genre. More mainstream in overall sound and delivery, Rise Again is a skillfully written, produced, and performed hard rock album worthy of praise. A | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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