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Dreamwalkers Inc: First Re-Draft

Beginning back in 2004 the TDW project was ostensibly a one man band recording and releasing wide ranging progressive music with a symphonic edge. With new helpers slowly jumping onboard as the idea took shape, so TDW - named after its main man Tom de Wit (vocals, guitar, keys) - became something more. Coming together most recently to add finishing touches to a set of songs that de Wit had written long ago but never quite completed, this collective’s influence was so strong that he decided to officially call his project a band and mark the occasion by renaming it Dreamwalkers Inc. Beginning that journey with a set of re-recorded and rearranged older songs may seem like an unusual way to mark the formation of a new, evolved outfit, but de Wit himself says that his group - made up of Lennert Kemper (guitar/vocals), Radina Dimcheva (vocals), Vincent Reuling (keys), Norbert Veenbrink and Joey Klerkx (both on guitar), Peter den Bakker (bass) and Kenneth Martens (credited with live drums) - took such a strong grip of these tracks that he now views them as Dreamwalkers Inc creations and not just his own.

It’s a bold move but one that, to me, pays off big time, with First Re-Draft the best collection I’ve heard from this project no matter its incarnation. The opening “Endless” gives a strong indication of what you can expect; a harsher, grittier, at times almost grunge tinge added to a symphonic prog base that’s much more bullish than that tag suggests. Harsh vocals play against Iron Maiden like twin guitars, while Bakker and Martens steam roll along with real aggression. That piano/vocal interludes pepper this backdrop allows for some clever contrast and changes of focus, which is an aspect that comes to the fore right across this album. “Mourning After” smashes together biting riffs and symph-strings to great effect, with gang choir vocals backing de Wit behind the mic; with harsh shouts also surging into view when they can.

“Happy Day” finds its energy from some serious kick-drum exploitation, but it’s the main riff and grandiose keys that build a towering push and pull as it plays to more rigid symphonic prog rules - while still coming out as assured and accomplished. With “New Strength” an atmospheric sideswipe of keyboards that makes way for more choir-vocals, and “Your Room” a more obvious nod to Dream Theater in slow-technical mode, the variety on show is impressive but as “My Loss” proves through its enigmatic and forceful close, what Dreamwalkers Inc have achieved on First Re-Draft is to create a sound that while still reminding of many acts along the way, is individual enough to have something a little different to say. That in itself is a validation of the changes Tom de Wit has made to his project and hopefully it’s the first step of many into a brave new world for him and his band.


Track Listing
1. Endless
2. Mourning After
3. Happy Day
4. Innerburn
5. Dreamwalk
6. New Strength
7. Your Room
8. My Loss

Added: May 19th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Dreamwalkers Inc online
Hits: 217
Language: english

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