DANTE'S DREAM - Episodes

Dante's Dream - Episodes

12 songs
47:45 minutes
***** ***


Having shared the stage already with bands like Revolverheld, Madsen and Virginia Jetzt!, the Leipzig based quartet Dante’s Dream doesn’t stray too far from the currently very popular German indie pop rock sound. I can’t say that I am overly fond of this genre, but decided nonetheless to give Dante’s Dream a chance. A cursory glance might give the impression of being in the presence of just another young band trying their luck in a genre that has proved to be very profitable, but once you dig deeper into their sonic universe, you will find yourself amazed by the artists’ varied approach. It therefore makes absolutely sense that they define their music as eclectic pop.

Their debut longplayer Episodes starts with Dante’s Theme, an intro borrowing from Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, before the first regular song Supernova offers adult indie rock not unlike what Liquido did years ago. The following title track smartly combines a funky jazziness with a chorus that could have stolen from some boy group. The result is very unusual and maybe even a little shocking, but ultimately 100% fun. The album’s best track is Insane, They Say where once again the musicians freely experiment, this time by adding electronic elements with lots of knob twiddling and distorted vocals to their melancholic indie sound. Give In is a very laid back ballad, something I generally don’t approve of, but the warm synth line makes this another redeeming moment in music. The second half of the record can’t quite keep up with the first one, but still surprises with two memorable pieces. Elegy is a gooey rock ballad with exaggerated choir vocals that is on par with the worst Kiss have ever done… but it works within the context of the album. The concluding Das edle Herz is the only song with German lyrics, and shows the band at their sparsest when the vocalist is only accompanied by a discreetly picked acoustic guitar.

One thing’s for sure: Dante’s Dream have not chosen the easy way. Their melancholic indie pop rock would have had more commercial appeal if they had done without their constant experimentation. And that’s exactly why I have come to respect this quartet that blatantly shows that the usually unsubstantial indie genre can still, from time to time, enchant with bold artists unafraid to follow their very own musical vision.

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