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Stream of Passion (Featuring Ayreon): Live In The Real World (DVD)

When I first heard the Stream Of Passion project created by Arjen Lucassen I was completely blown away with how different the band had come out. If you have followed any of Arjens work with his Melodic Power Metal group Aryeon you already know of his capabilities in that area. Aryeon has given fans of this genre a series of well-written epics full of melody and tasty musicianship. He formed Stream Of Passion to be a different sort of group and one that would follow the female vocals of Marcela Bovio, whom he had worked on "The Human Equation" with. Marcela is not only an amazing vocal talent but she is also one of the most beautiful women in Melodic Rock music today and together Arjen and she were able to create a very interesting project. SOP is a band that can appeal to those fans of Nightwish, Evanescence and The Gathering for many of the basic principles they hold are also present in this group. Embrace The Storm is a very interesting record and while heavy at moments is no where near being a Metal recording. It is more of a Melodic Gothic Rock that makes use of some interesting keyboards and string arrangements while having a solid heavy guitar crunch underneath. The DVD captures the group live in concert in Arjen's native Holland in front of a sold-out crowd and much to the delight of the viewer and fans present the band does not only perform SOP material. Since the album and bands debut was only released last year around this time it makes no sense to immediately follow it with a live performance of the same album. So instead of this, Arjen and Company bring to the stage a great amount of his work with Aryeon as they touch upon some of the bands back catalog including "The Final Experiment" and "The Human Equation". The Ayreon tracks are also sung by Damian Wilson. I enjoyed the fact that he even slipped a little "Star One" in to the mix, and for those that don't know this project it is another album that you should look into. There is also a DVD concert for that recording which is spectacular in its performance content.

The performers for the DVD Film are Marcela Bovio (vocals, violin), Alejandro Millian (piano), Lori Linstruth (guitar), Arjen Lucassen (guitar, vocals), Johan van Stratum (bass), Davy Mickers (drums), Diana Bovio (backing vocals) & Damien Wilson (vocals). You can imagine that with such a full cast of performers that this DVD has an amazing sound in its overall production. Clean, precise and moving all at the same time it was a DVD that I found myself able to watch from start to finish without skipping around or finding myself bored. I had no one particular favorite on the video and loved pretty much all of it with one exception. They also deliver a cover of Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks" which I admit I did not enjoy too much given it being one of my favorite songs by those legends. The bands interpretation is at least interesting and there is a chance that others will disagree with me on this and enjoy it. This DVD comes with the highest of recommendations if you are a fan of incredible Melodic music and some of the bands referenced in the review. A companion CD of this is also available if you prefer to only have the audio and no visual. Given this band has not yet made an appearance in the US, nor has Ayreon for that matter this DVD is the perfect way to enjoy a full concert of some of their best material. Show your support for bands that need it.

Bonus Features: Behind The Scenes, Photo Gallery, Out In The Real World film, Making Of Video Clip, and Tour Diary.

Song Listing
1. Intro
2. Spellbound
3. Passion
4. Waracle
5. Wherever You Are
6. Computer Eyes
7. Calliopeia
8. Valley Of The Queens
9. Haunted
10. The Charm Of The Seer
11. Deciever/Songs Of The Ocean
12. Day One: Vigil
13. Day Three: Pain
14. Nostalgia
15. Out In The Real World
16. The Castle Hall
17. Into The Black Hole
18. When The Levee Breaks
19. Day Eleven: Love

Added: August 18th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4349
Language: english

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Stream of Passion (Featuring Ayreon): Live In The Real World (DVD)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-08-18 18:18:38
My Score:

I'll be the first to admit that the Stream of Passion debut album, while a solid example of melodic symphonic rock, didn't really knock my socks off like some of Arjen Lucassen's other projects like Ayreon and Star One. However, Live in the Real World is one hell of a DVD, as the band gives a powerful performance dishing up tracks off Embrace the Storm CD as well as some Ayreon and Star One favorites. While it's no surprise the vocal talents of the lovely Marcela Bovio (she does really shine here) it's the monstrous two guitar crunch of Lucassen and Lori Linstruth that really wake these songs up and inject a healthy amount of hard rock and metal into these otherwise symphonic songs. Linstruth especially is quite the capable guitar goddess, throwing in plenty of crunchy riffs and virtuoso solos, more than capably keeping up with the stellar talents of Luccasen. Instrumentally & vocally, there's one winner after another here, and when Damien Wilson joins the fray late in the set for some Ayreon and Star One classics, look out!

Based on this set, I'm more than willing to give this band another shot.

Stream of Passion (Featuring Ayreon): Live In The Real World (DVD)
Posted by Keith Hannaleck, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-07-17 18:59:37
My Score:

Stream Of Passion felt they needed to silence their critics by releasing a live performance of their new music. Some people thought that the band was suspect because the first studio release Embrace The Storm came together by exchanging files over the internet. Arjen "Ayreon" Luccassen and the rest of the band are all over the globe so there was no other way at the time to make the recording happen. The results were fantastic and the album garnered some great reviews and it continues to gather momentum, the critics be damned! This is a common practice these days and many great albums have resulted by using the available technologies to eliminate the logistical nightmares that previously killed many great projects before their birth, leaving just a thought or an idea on the table, never to be revisited again. Welcome to 2006 and all the wonderful mediums at our disposal.

The Live In The Real World DVD (also available as two CD set) removes any doubt or speculation that this band is not the real deal and capable of performing their studio cuts and a range of previous Ayreon tracks just as well or if not better in a live setting. Marcela Bovio is magnetic on stage and she has her equally beautiful sister Diana by her side to provide the outstanding backup vocals necessary for all of the tracks the band runs through on the DVD. Damian Wilson (Threshold, Rick Wakeman) steps up and steers the ship for the Ayreon classics "The Castle Hall" and "Into the Black Hole." His voice is widely recognized in the world of progressive rock and he is one of the most sought after lead vocalist today. Arjen knows who the best are and always manages to bring them into his projects at some point. The title track is one of the more dynamic and exciting performances and I can see why it was the choice for a single and video shoot. Every track has the ability to stand on its own and I enjoyed it so much, a few days later I watched it again.

This DVD whetted my appetite and brought my anxiousness to another level. I have to see this band play live, one way or another it has to happen. I think Arjen has put together a lethal combination of musicians, writers, and vocalists, well he always does but this time it is exceptional, there is special energy going on between these people. Once again, I have to credit the entire band for their excellence.

Here is the lineup:

Arjen Lucassen: What else can I say about him? Over the years I have spoke of his brilliance and my feelings remain the same-He is one of the best guitar players and composers on the planet and he continues to come up with new ideas and compositions that are engaging and unique. This is what makes Lucassen one of the more distinctive artists in recorded music today.

Marcela Bovio: She is a true to form temptress on stage, always dancing about and jumping around with her alluring and mysterious vocals. She works that stage as if it was her home. She is also the lead vocalist for Elfonia, her excellent prog-rock band from Mexico.

Alejandro Milan: He creates a wall of sound with his piano and strings, and then adds some surprisingly good vocals in as well.

Lori Linstruth: Her razor sharp guitar lines and good looks are one of the highlights of the show, although she needs to come out from behind all of those beautiful golden locks and look at her audience some more. Lori does a nice job answering Arjen's guitar lines blow for blow and at times leads the way.

Johan Van Startum and Davy Mickers: They hold down the bottom end with authority, forming a formidable rhythm section that truly stands out as one of the best out there today. When you hear the complexity of some of the arrangements and watch these two put it all together while keeping it all marching in a straight line, it is a thing of beauty to watch.

Diana Bovio: Marcela's little sister. Obviously has a tremendous voice all her own that will find its way leading her own band some day.

And of course, the prominent guest Damian Wilson for his contributions.

The bonuses are great fun as well, the tour dairy, the making of the Out In The Real World video and then the entire full length mesmerizing video, wrap this fine package of entertainment up. This DVD is a necessary purchase for the legions of Arjen followers and prog rockers all over the world that have been waiting for this day to arrive. There is no doubt, and there never has been that the talent of Stream Of Passion was fully realized in the studio, and now it comes to life on stage before your eyes, enjoy the magic.

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