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Luca Turilli has been probably the busiest composer the metal movement has seen in a long while, having 10 full length studio releases in 10 years, and now successfully juggling 3 separate projects. Dreamquest is the latest of his conceptions and the most stylistically removed from his Rhapsody work, lacking the speed elements of the former and being heavily oriented towards keyboard and vocal work. It carries some commonality with the marriage of electronic music and his more traditional symphonic tendencies as found on his solo release “Prophet of the Last Eclipse”, although the tempo of the songs tend to be slower as was the case with 3rd solo release “The Infinite Wonder of Creations”, and flirts with a more Gothic lyrical approach.
The guitar on here is mostly a support instrument, relying on heavily simplistic riffs meant to bolster the sound of the whole. Guitar solos on here are few in number, but when they are present former Dreamchild axe man Dominique Leurquin proves to be just as technically able as Luca. The songs “Dreamquest”, “Kyoto’s Romance” and bonus track “Gothic Vision” contain the bulk of the lead work on here, and their infrequency tends to work to their advantage and give them twice the power that would normally be felt on a more guitar oriented Rhapsody song. Most of the other occasional lead breaks are usually short and sparsely placed upon more Neo-Classical oriented tracks such as “Frozen Star” and “Shades of Eternity”.
The vocals on here are the principle focus of this album, which was the case with Luca’s last solo effort, but here the music and the voice meld together better and the songs have been shortened to keep them from growing tiresome. Many have speculated as to who the vocalist is on here, as her voice is quite operatic, yet also seems well suited to the rock/metal genre at times. Some speculate that it is After Forever’s Floor Jansen, while a Myspace account under the Dreamquest states that the singer is Bridget Fogle, who has worked much with Luca in the past with both Rhapsody and his solo project
The various influences that Luca draws upon for the songs on here is highly varied, but mostly falls into the typical categories that he has previously cited as inspiring past works with Rhapsody and his solo project. “Virus”, which was also the albums single, sounds like an outtake from the Matrix Revolutions movie soundtrack with a more accessible song structure and a more organized keyboard theme. “Dreamquest” and “Gothic Vision” are the most up tempo and are drawn from the better parts of Luca Turilli’s uninspired solo effort “The Infinite Wonders of Creation”. “Black Rose” and “Shades of Eternity” have a more Gothic Metal tinge to them, and end up sounding like a hybrid of Nightwish’s later work and Tristania.
Although I did enjoy this album, it does carry a lot of the same musical elements that turned Rhapsody and Luca Turilli fans off to “The Infinite Wonders of Creation”. We have a bit more guitar activity on here than on that rather lackluster release, but there is nothing on here resembling speed metal. Fans of Gothic Metal and more electronically oriented music will probably like this, as will fans of more Progressive Metal outfits. If you are unsure of whether or not to spend some of your hard earned money on this release, picture a slower version of “Prophet of the Last Eclipse” and then ask yourself if speed is a vital component to your enjoying the album. If it is then obviously spend your money elsewhere, but if not then it will definitely be worth it.