|Review: Dreamtone & Iris Mavraki’s Neverland - Reversing Time|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: January 10, 2009
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Rated 3.83/5 (76.67%) (6 Votes)
The collaboration of Greek female singer Iris Mavraki and Turkish Progressive Power Metal act Dreamtone spawned the band Neverland. Boasting an awesome guest line-up, including Hansi Kursch, Tom Englund and the late, great Mike Baker, this album should immediately be of interest to Prog and Power Metal fans. So what's on offer here I hear you cry. Well according to the notes here "a brave venture, into the waters of fantasy driven melodies, and songs of magical places, that come alive every time we close our eyes." Well for one after listening to this album I couldn't really see a magical dreamland after closing my eyes, and to be honest I think I'd be worried if I could. What we have here is a very ambitious release, from a band I feel are too young to realize that ambition. See, much like a child's first steps, it's a very enjoyable moment, but they are not without their trips and falls.
Where Reversing Time is great is in the tracks with guest vocalists, which is seriously worth the price of admission alone. "To Lose The Sun" with vocals from Hansi Kursch, stands proud as the finest this album has to offer, with a beautiful intro and the most melodic chorus on the album, although in true progressive fashion it will throw you during your first listen.. Tom Englund does as only he can do best, and offers the album's most sincere ballad, "World Beyond These Walls" a tale about the world through the eyes of a beggar boy. The final guest mention goes to Mike Barker singing the title track, and what a performance it is. The track even sounds a little like Shadow Gallery to boot, a downright tragedy that he was cruelly snatched away from us.
Where this album falls flat on its face is in the vocal work of male singer Ognalp Canatan. His voice is just so bloody archetypal of a third rate European Power Metal act, it can really grate on you. In the future these guys should just stick to Iris Mavraki on the vocals and reel a few more guests in. Another bad point here is in certain places you can feel a distinct lack of metal, which could send you to sleep if not careful, leaving tracks such as, "Mankind Is A Lie" and "Mountain of Judegement" pretty skip-worthy.
However there is enough greatness on offer here to warrant a purchase; the earlier mentioned special guests really shine. The production if fantastic and the Philarmonia Istanbul Orchestra really benefit the album giving it a beautiful, rich sound. Next time around if these guys added some more metal elements, and ditched their male vocalist we would certainly be on to a winner. Just ever so short of greatness, for a night by the fire Reversing Time is perfect and it's nice to add to the playlist between the sheer onslaughts of what you would normally be listening to.
Standout Tracks: "To Lose The Sun" "Reversing Time" "Black Water" and "World Beyond These Walls"
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