Machines Dream -
Black Science

(CD 2017, 53:24, ‎Progressive Gears Records PGR CD0007)

The tracks:
  1- Armistice Day(1:34)
  2- Weimar(10:40)
  3- The Cannons Cry(4:18)
  4- Heavy Water(8:36)
  5- Airfield On Sunwick(6:11)
  6- Black Science(8:17)
  7- UXB(4:59)
  8- Noise To Signal(8:47)

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The 3rd album of the Canadian quintet Machines Dream gives a powerful statement on the wars from the recent past. Not only in the lyrics but also in the music. As I am a music lover and don't pay too much attention to the lyrics (maybe it's my flaw). I'll limit this review to the music only. As I've noticed that many of my colleagues already paid much attention to the lyrics anyway.

Power prog, is that a trend in prog music? Or rather neo prog with slightly heavy influences? No, not prog metal that's a step too far. The album sounds powerful in nearly all tracks. Maybe it's because of the theme. Roger Waters tries to do that too on several albums. Although I think he tries too hard. All tracks seem to have the same ingredients, threatening sounds, noisy guitars, some synth solo's it all makes this a dark album. I'm not very fond of the singer though. Sometimes he overacts. Just like Steven Wilson did in his early works like Radioactive Toy (but he gets away with it). Especially the last track (Noise To Signal) breathes that atmosphere, alas without the psychedelic ending instead we get a sax solo. Not my cup of tea to be honest.

The musical quality is of a high standard, but for the singer the bar is set too high. And the saxophone, especially in Noise To Signal is lacking. It should have sounded more like in Pink Floyd's Money but it failed. Apart from these 2 rather negative comments Black Science stands it's ground. And I still think it's worth a listen.

*** Erik van Os (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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