Canadian progrock band Dream Aria finally releases their new album "Transcend" featuring 10 new tracks. Female fronted progrock bands is a rare thing these days, sure persons with too much time on their hands can search the net for more bands than Magenta and Thieves Kitchen but it´s not an easy task. It is with much charm Dream Aria bring thoughts to the glorious 70´s where female fronted bands like Curved Air and Renaissance had much success.
Most female fronted bands today leans more towards the progressive/goth metal genre like Within Temptation, Lana Lane, Nightwish and Ayreon etc. Vocalist Ann Burstyn and keyboard maestro Don Stagg has the delicate taste of combining progressive rock with elements of the orient and even world music. The new album is way much better than the first album, "Transcend" feels more organic and complete even though I miss a couple of tracks that should´ve been on it. I´m talking about "Forever" (an acoustic song recorded for the new album that was lifted off before the final cut) and "Ann Bonny" (a major pomp anthem only released on a collection of Pirate Tales feat. Various artists).
"The rhythm of now" is my favorite on the new album, this Madonna-like "Ray of light" sounding opening track is the perfect start to get into this 41 minute long album. It is followed by "Labyrinth" which is their most rocking song so far but still very progressive, nice! The title track "Transcend" is more electronic and mysterious like a taste of their first album, the orient meets the western world here. "Pandoras box" is the only new track that hasn´t moved me yet, the song structure feels too complex for me. The Vangelis-like "Rebecca" is an ambient and beautiful song that lies perfect as track no.7 on the album, the upbeat "Tigress" feels adventurous and a bit dark but it grows for each listen. "The secret" is a bright song that can be described as Mike Oldfield meeting Clannad, one of the best songs on the new album.
The other 3 are "Compassion", a band fave that is a bit jazzy but quite good. "Serpent nile" plus the half instrumental "Flower duet" with operatic vocals from Burstyn. Do yourself a favor and check em out!