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Dreamtide: Here Comes the Flood

Germany has a knack for cranking out better-than-average hard rock: Scorpions, Bonfire, Axel Rudi Pell, the list goes on. In the early Nineties, Fair Warning also emerged from the German scene with a sound that could have gone in a progressive direction, had band members wanted it to. Instead, the quintet broke up, and from the ashes rises Dreamtide — featuring ex-Fair Warning guitarist and chief songwriter Helge Engelke, keyboard player Torsten Lüderwald and drummer CC Behrens. Bass player Ole Hempelmann and expressive singer Olaf Senkbeil, who previously laid down background vocals for Blind Guardian, join the trio.

Packed with snappy hooks, tough melodies, complex arrangements, tribal vibes and feel-good lyrics that recall Yes' sappier moments (To wit: "Dream on, dance with the wind/Turn the wheel, you know it must spin."), Here Comes the Flood crackles with crispness. Granted, there are no elaborate epics, machine-gun drums or operatic vocal flourishes, and don't expect to hear echoes of Rhapsody, Stratovarius or Gamma Ray. But herein lies much of Dreamtide's appeal. The album's first five songs ("What You Believe In," "Ten Years Blind," "Come With Me," "Dreamers" and "Crashed") will appeal to fans of progressive rock, melodic hard rock and even AOR. With so many bands carved into neat little niches these days, it's refreshing to hear Dreamtide — which easily could have become a generic clone of Fair Warning — extend the music's reach.

At 13 tracks, Here Comes the Flood does run a bit long, with the record's best songs coming early on. Still, Dreamtide ranks as one of my most pleasant surprises of 2001.

Added: December 31st 2001
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Now and Then/Frontiers Records
Hits: 4364
Language: english

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