Factory of Dreams: Melotronical
Melotronical is the third release from the Hugo Flores project known as Factory of Dreams, and from the opening bombast of "Enter Nucleon", you quickly get the feeling that you are in store for some seriously monstrous sounds. The project's previous two CDs were stellar collections of crushing, heavy prog rock mixed with symphonic metal, and here, alongside Jessica Lehto once again, Factory of Dreams delivers in a big way. Melotronical is a concept piece dealing with the evolution of an electronic molecule into a living, breathing entity, and the story of its life as it experiences all the normal emotions that humans go through.
Influences from Nightwish, Epica, Ayreon, and Devin Townsend abound on Melotronical. Lehto once again impresses with her gorgeous, operatic vocal delivery, which is simply lovely to behold amidst the massive riffage, battering drum programming, and spacey keys on the catchy "A Taste of Paradise". Flores is a master guitarist and keyboard player, and lays down some impressive arrangements on "Enter Nucleon" and "Melotronical", while his lead vocals, which might remind some of the already mentioned Devin Townsend, are definitely spot on. "Protonic Stream" is an 8-minute gem just dripping with gothic, symphonic metal overtones, as Lehto's soaring vocals just tug at your heart while layers of keyboards and chugging guitars provide the dramatic framework. The vocal interplay between her and Flores really works wonders on this cut, easily one of the CDs highlights. The more pop flavored "Into Oblivion" and "Back to Sleep" offer up some more accessible fare, and feature some catchy melodies that might appeal to the non prog & metal crowd, while the thunderous "Obsessical" is metal all the way, complete with plenty of aggressive vocals from Flores that perfectly combat Lehto's angelic passages. Other strong tracks to look out for here include the crushing "Whispering Eyes", the dramatic progressive metal that is "Subatomic Tears" (Strapping Young Lad fans will love this one!), and the symphonic & gothic tinged heavy rockers "Dimension Crusher" and "Reprogramming".
Honestly, there's not a weak track here, and though at roughly an hour Melotronical might be a tad longwinded for some, those into symphonic, gothic progressive metal with a fascinating lyrical concept would be well advised to check into this one. Toss in some GORGEOUS artwork in the booklet and you have one of early 2011's must hear releases. Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto are a magical combination, and as I've mentioned in previous reviews of their material, it's just a shame that this band can't be fleshed out and taken on the road where this impressive music can be heard by the masses.
1. Enter Nucleon 03:42
2. Melotronical 05:26
3. A Taste of Paradise 03:39
4. Protonic Stream 08:05
5. Into Oblivion 04:40
6. Obsessical 04:23
7. Back to Sleep 03:18
8. Whispering Eyes 04:18
9. Subatomic Tears 04:33
10. Dimension Crusher 04:24
11. Echoes from Earth 04:25
12. Something Calling me 03:37
13. Reprogramming 04:09
Added: March 6th 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Official Website
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|Factory of Dreams: Melotronical
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2015-12-26 09:36:03
A little over a year ago I received "Strange Utopia", which was the second album from Factory of Dreams, to review. On the whole I found it to be a confused and confusing album that had far too much going on for its own good, however as the weeks and months passed I read a lot of positive comments about the album and Factory of Dreams in general and did begin to wonder if I had been decidedly wide of the mark with my opinion. So when the opportunity to review album number three – "Melotronical" came my way, I saw it is a great chance to reappraise this band. Comprised of the same duo of Hugo Flores, who not only plays every note on this album, but wrote and produced all the songs as well, alongside the beautiful vocal tones of Jessica Lehto, the concept behind "Melotronical" is the marriage of "Melo"-dy to elec-"Tronical". It is a fitting concept for the electronic based progressive come symphonic approach favoured by Flores, but after countless listens I have to say that once more I found the end results to sound more like two or three disparate ideas being fused, or even forced together without any huge sympathy for each others.
That's not to say that there isn't a huge amount of skill involved in the construction of this album, but to my ears (and again, judging by the response to "Strange Utopia" I think many may disagree), the mightily pounding drums and clattering percussion clash with the swathes of synth and guitars to the extent that the vocals then just sound superimposed over the top as if almost taken from another song altogether. The closing track "Reprogramming" is a perfect example of a beautiful operatic vocal (Lehto really does have a glorious voice) just not sounding at all at home with the overbearing drums and when you add a piano melody to that which seems unaware of the rest of the song, then the results become an almost jumbled mess.
As I have stressed during this review there is much skill on show across this album and I have no doubt that judging by the excellent sound quality on show that this is a disc that has been painstakingly and lovingly constructed, but fundamentally the concept behind Factory of Dreams music leaves me completely cold.....again.
|Factory of Dreams: Melotronical
Posted by Mark Johnson, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-04-20 18:06:04
The first track, 'Enter Nucleon', sounds more like a stampede of souls running down a hallway on their way towards Valhalla. It is a massive opener, full of thunder, powder keg drums, slashing lead electric guitar, heavy bass, keys - fighting to be heard, and some of the most beautiful female vocals you can imagine. Male vocals join in the celebration to open this track with a truly 'nuclear' explosion, which will remind you of some of Arjen Lucassen's classics. Only instead of waiting until the middle of the album to explode, this one blasts off like a rocket at the opening. Unbelievable. Words cannot describe it fairly. It must be heard.
'Melotronical', the title track, on the other hand opens slowly and full of mystery keys and sound effects. I know I've heard similar piano before, but I'll let you enjoy trying to recall where. Then Jessica Lehto's beautiful vocals fill the air, "Empowering the soul. Empowering the beat. Can you feel the heat? Can you feel it strong?" Of course. And it is wonderful. Like a glimpse back at the majesty of Maria in Fritz Lang's classic film 'Metropolis'. The guitar power and crunch on this one will rock your world.
'A Taste of Paradise', opens with more spacey keys, sound effects, and a slow re-awakening mood and rhythm. Jessica's voice sings softly amidst the columns of keys as some smashing lead electric begins to fill the air, with accompanying power drums and heavy bass. The pace quickens and the mood roars forward on the wings of this motion.
'Protonic Stream' is full of more spacey keys and slow plucked Yes-like electric guitar. One of the best guitar tracks on the album. It will take you back to 'Fragile' and the 'Yes' album. Perfect. Jess's 'oh…ah…oh…ahs', and her vocal interplay with the power drums and lead electric, along with the keys that follow only enhance the overall experience. "You want to live a dream. Fall asleep and never wake up". Yah…something like that.
'Into Oblivion', opens with beautiful vocals from Jess. Nice way to start things off. "Falling into oblivion"…yes, just like that…only safer and much better. The power cannons, bass and lead electric are back to give your ears another workout. Concentrate on Jess's voice and you'll make it through. The soft piano at the end welcomes you through the divide. One of the best interludes on the album.
'Obsessical' is full of more power drums, bass, and lead electric. This time male vocals play the lead role with Jess supporting at the opening. But Jess takes over later and helps drive the pitch higher. Rollicking drums, bass, and lead electric create an incredible crescendo which creates an instant album highlight.
Then it's, 'Back to Sleep'. Jess returns with some of her most mysterious vocals, surrounded by caverns of percussion effects and keys.
Jess is back with male vocal support along with those power drums, bass and lead electric, on 'Whispering Eyes'. I get the same feeling listening to this track as I did with Ayreon's 'Computer Eyes', along with Marcela's beautiful voice. Which by the way…is a good thing.
'Subatomic Tears' opens slowly with beautiful key rhythms and effects, before the turbo nuclear power is unleashed. Jess' siren-like voice is there urging you on as the assault begins from the drum cage and bass, while the electric lead roars forward with all in tow, just like a Medieval battle line.
'Dimension Crusher', opens innocently enough with Jess' voice, but the wolves are right behind her in terms of the power drums, bass, and lead electric, along with avenging male vocals. This track lives up to its title.
'Echoes from Earth' is full of wonderful echoing vocals from Jess mixed well with keys and percussion effects. Later…the crushing guitars, bass, and drums return.
'Something Calling Me', opens mysteriously and quiet. A nice break after all the hammering. Jess' voice slices through the ice and cold, "This darkness fills me with cold and fear. I cannot move". This track takes me right back to Kate Bush's 'Under Ice'.
'Reprogamming', is the closer, where all of the album's loose ends get tied together. It opens with cool spacey keys and then Jess is back to punctuate the finale with her lovely voice. This time she delivers, even louder and with no holds barred.
This is an excellent album for this new band. Full of power chords, drums, bass and a beautiful siren's voice. Songs like 'Enter Nucleon', 'Melotronical', 'Whispering Eyes', 'Something Calling Me', 'Subatomic Tears', Into Oblivion', 'Protonic Stream', and 'Reprogamming' will stay with you long after the albums ends…along with the ring in your ears. ;^)
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