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Factory Of Dreams: Poles

Since the early days of Sonic Pulsar, Portugal's Hugo Flores's output has been prolific and impressive - and Factory Of Dreams is his latest project.

Designed to counterpoint the complexity of his Project Creation music, Factory Of Dreams is - by comparison - more straightforward and approachable, less creative and experimental, and it's song-oriented instead of a sweeping concept piece.

Poles should find a wide audience as it slots neatly into the genre originally created by The Gathering, and since enriched by luminaries such as Within Temptation, Nightwish, Edenbridge, Lacuna Coil, After Forever, and Epica - et al. It is goth metal, though the 'metal' label is used lightly, fronted by the rich soprano of Sweden's Jessica Lehto. But unlike its genre-mates, Factory Of Dreams isn't a band - it's a 2-person project, an Internet collaboration, with vocals and many arrangements provided by Jessica while multi-instrumentalist Flores provides the rest. Consequently, there's a fair amount of variety from track to track, though the dynamics and the energy - and the synth percussion - are consistent, and some might accuse each song of sounding somewhat similar to the next.

Although it isn't a concept piece in the sense of the complicated Project Creation story, Flores remains close to his sci-fi story roots with this one. The theme here revolves around a place on some distant planet comprising two lands called Poles, separated by a river, divided by good and evil - or "positiveness and negativeness". This world is ruled by a "Generator Of Illusions", hence the Factory of Dreams title. It gets more complex, and hints tenuously at modern society's inclination to ingest what we're told as the absolute truth. That may sound somewhat over the top, but the theme does add a layer of sophistication to the record.

"Electric Boom" is a guitar-led piece, and showcases Flores's virtuosity on his primary instrument - rich guitar work underscored by a fat fretless bass, and only a few brief lines sung by Jessica. "Air Powerplant" is a standout - one of the simpler tracks, yet the tempo changes from elegant piano work to a huge metallic wall of sound, and with Jessica slipping in and out of an operatic style, it has an appeal of its own. "The Piano In The Sea" is another soft ballad, with piano and electronica floating above that soothing songstress. Closing track "Crossing The Bridge To The Positive Pole" ends rather abruptly, leading you to check your CD player - because surely there ought to be another song?

If you're a fan of the progressive goth format of a semi-operatic soprano contrasting dark atmospherics and power-chord driven bass-heavy hard-rock, Factory Of Dreams is not Poles apart from others in the genre - but it's a pleasing listen, and has a lot going for it.

Track Listing:
1. Transmission Fails
2. The Sight Of A Better Universe
3. Air Powerplant
4. Factory Of Dreams
5. Gliding Above The Ocean Of Memories
6. Peace Echoing
7. Stream of Evil
8. The Piano In The Sea
9. Generator Of Illusions
10.Electric Boom
11.Crossing The Bridge To The Positive Pole

Added: October 19th 2008
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Score:
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 3659
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Factory Of Dreams: Poles
Posted by Alex Torres, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-10-19 06:48:46
My Score:

I heard Factory of Dreams's Poles as a cross between goth-rock and space-rock. The synthesizer playing, quite predominant in the mix, gives the music an overall ethereal, spacey feel whereas the compositional style is edging towards goth. The band themselves call this a fusion of goth and progressive rock.

Now, irrespective of whether I or the band are nearer to the mark in naming the genres, all three are genres that I particularly enjoy. Perhaps strange then, that I didn't really enjoy Factory of Dreams's fusion of them. This album failed to move me in any way.

Jessica Letho's voice reminded me of Evelyn Downing of British band Mermaid Kiss (whose three CDs have been reviewed by SoT) but Mermaid Kiss's brand of classically influenced progressive rock is far better melded with Evelyn's voice than Factory of Dreams have done with Jessica's. For me, the most enjoyable passages on Poles are those in which the guitar dominates the soundscape and, in these, Jessica's vocal is a bit lost, it just doesn't have the power to cope. Hence, you do not have an Evanescence, Within Temptation or Nightwish here and, ultimately, whilst not unpleasant, the music fails to make much of an impact.




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