Over the years, the Italian band Lucid Dream has released a number of very fine and interesting albums. The Great Dance Of The Spirit, their latest release marks the end of the trilogy that started with The Eleventh Illusion (2013, see review), followed by Otherworldly (2016,see review). Where the previous albums saw a relatively stable line up, the 2020 release sees an almost completely renovated line-up. With the remaining bandleader and guitar player Simone Terigi steady at the helm, you could almost reckon The Great Dance Of The Spirit as a Terigi solo album. New are lead vocalist Karl Faraci, keyboard player Luca Scherani and Labyrinth's Roberto Tiranti, who plays bass and adds his vocals to several compositions. Previous album's guest drummer Paolo Tixi returns and very special is the exceptional string trio consisting of Andrea Cardinale on first violin, Sara Calabria on viola and Rachele Rebaudengo on cello.
Musically also things have changed, especially due to the vocals the overall feeling has shifted from an eighties feel toward a more modern progressive rock atmosphere, with intelligent compositions, well balanced guitar melodies and riffs. Supported by many fine keyboard parts and like, I already mentioned a very different kind of vocalist. Listen to the ballad By My Side and you will agree with me; Karl is a talented vocalist. However, let us not forget about Roberto, whose vocals nicely contrasts in the only half a minute lasting Moving Sands. I guess, with two fine voices on board, Lucid Dream might be ready for the next step in their career. The War Of The Cosmos brings the two vocalists together in a magnificent catchy but progressive rock track, which also holds one of the finest guitar solos of the album. Another highlight is the smooth instrumental The Realm Of Beyond. A track that shows the perfect harmony between the string ensemble and the instrumentalists in the band. The Great Dance Of The Spirit is an album that both serves the fans of powerful progressive rock tracks with the likes of Wall Of Fire, The War Of The Cosmos and Desert Glass, but mainly in the smoother, melancholic progressive rock regions. For me these softer tracks are the ones that impress the most; Invisible Stranger, Golden Silence and By My Side, alongside the aforementioned killer The War Of The Cosmos are my personal favourites of the album. A special mention goes to the final track on the album, Wakan Tanka, which is so beautiful!, listen to this one and find out if I am right.
Although the album has been produced by Terigi, credits also have to go to DGM's Simone Mularoni, for his crisp and clear mastering. As I mentioned, The Great Dance Of The Spirit takes a huge step forward and should appeal to a larger audience than the previous album, although I also liked them pretty much. For me, The Great Dance Of The Spirit is their best effort so far and I am curious for the next musical steps of Simone Terigi.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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