Beyond Dreams is the seventh album from Sweden's Galleon, one of the leaders of the European neo-prog movement. Combining lush keyboards, crisp and melodic guitar work, and soaring vocals, Galleon inject enough of their own personality into their music that helps them rise above many of the other groups that wear their IQ, Pendragon, Rush, and Arena influences on their sleeves. This CD kind of takes up where 1998's Mind Over Matter left off, as it features long epic tunes filled with symphonic arrangements with just the right mixture of complex musicianship and commercial accessibility.
Bassist Goran Fors is the bands vocalist, and he has a fine voice with just a touch of an accent. His melodic yet tortured wailings are the key to a track like "Let Us Be Amazed", a keyboard drenched emotional rocker that features poignant lyrics like "...and there is you in everything I see, and everything I touch, I hear your voice in the songs the birds sing." Surrounded by lush synths, piano, Mellotron, and jangly guitar work, this is a perfect example of progressive rock, Sweden style. Other tunes, like the bombastic "Before the Sunrise", or the intricate "Deamland" recall the early days of Marillion, and really let the talents of keyboard player Ulf Petterson and guitarist Sven Larsson come to the forefront. The band harkens back to their early days on the heavier, Rush influenced track "Parasite." Here the band goes for a more complex, almost prog-metal vibe, as Petterson and Larsson lay down some weaving melodies while Fors and his drummer brother Dan lock into a furious groove. Check out the Mark Kelly influenced lead synth lines soar above Larsson's thick power chords-cool stuff!
This is another solid release from Galleon. While you can argue that the band is sticking to a similar formula, it is still an enjoyable formula that is better than a lot of what most of us hear these days.