NeverDream - Said

7 songs
65:04 minutes
***** ****
Twilight Zone


Although Italian music is often stereotyped as sugar coated pop with absolutely no redeeming value, the general populace doesn’t know that this South European country has a strong tradition of progressive sounds, starting in the Seventies with bands like Le Orme, Area, Premiata Forneria Marconi and Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso, and still quite vibrant today with such different acts as Eldritch, Rhapsody Of Fire and Ephel Duath.

NeverDream from Rome are therefore anything but a generic prog metal band, instead the sextet has been doing ambitious concept albums since their debut Chemical Faith about Christiane F. in 2006, following with the Chernobyl themed Souls – 26 April 1986 two years later. Keeping up with their regular release schedule, this year’s Said is about the origins of mankind in Africa, as can be guessed already from titles like Kinshasa, Voodoo and Amistad.

Already the eight minute long opener Kinshasa shows us right away that these guys are definitely not just another Dream Theater clone. The song begins with African tribal drums that are soon followed by a complex techno thrash pattern, and from there on the six Italians prove that they are not afraid of any stylistic limitations. They even have one member in charge of the saxophone and programming, which procure occasional jazz and electronic touches.

The first six songs are all between seven and ten minutes long, and the concluding The Long Walk To Freedom makes it even over a quarter hour. This means of course that NeverDream don’t come up with catchy short tracks, instead you really need all of your attention if you want to get maximum satisfaction out of Said. It’s great to see that there are still bands out there that don’t just want to jump on the progressive metal bandwagon, but who still know about the importance of the word “progressive”: creating a music which is the exact opposite of the mainstream and full of wonderful little details. If you have grown bored with the genre because of a lack of interesting contributors to the cause, then NeverDream might just be able to put your faith back into the true meaning of progressive metal.

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