Days Of Delirium & Nocturnal Nightmares (GR-171)
- Drums, Percussion: Harold van der Heijden
- Guitar: Frank Dorittke
- Synthesizer: Eric van der Heijden, Frank Dorittke, Ron Boots
We start off with “Between the Barriers of Reality” and what we hear immediately is some warm, phased string synth and twittering effects. Sounds like a classic to me. Dramatic key changes follow and a deep bass pulse starts. This is pure Berlin School that reminds on Klaus Schulze’s “Timewind” even. The key changes and the flowing quality of the music made me think of that classic work immediately. More sequences are added and after a while we hear a nice and lush symphonic synth solo. Extremely pleasant stuff to listen to. Soon Frank Dorittke steps in with his fine guitar soloing and Harold provides a nice steady beat with his drums. More synth solos follow and before you know it, the 10 minutes are over. This track is a perfect trip into the land of dreamy synth textures and pulsations, floating guitar, and compe tent drumming.
“Daylight In A Nocturnal ScareScape” has a fittingly atmospheric beginning, but soon a simple tinkling sequence starts, supported by lower-end pulsations. Some key changes follow and then a symphonic synth solo. You can easily tell this track continues what was started on “Between the Barriers of Reality”. Again, all the ingredients of a good EM track are there: quality sequences, fine programming and emotional solos. However, after 6 minutes a certain orchestral bombast seeps in, personified by heavy string stabs and over-the-top choirs. There’s a certain soundtrack quality to it all. However, it was fairly strange and I can’t decide yet if it goes well with the otherwise typical EM sound of this track. The guitar solo by Dorittke on this track is excellent.
“Prophecies of A Pagan” begins like a formulaic Dark Ambient track – weird murmuring voices, windy effects, “spooky” string sounds… Distorted guitar sounds add a certain grungy touch to the proceedings. Don’t even know how to describe the sound of this track. Tangerine Dream meet Richard Pinhas on a bad day, perhaps? Having said that, I found this track highly enjoyable, especially the second part thereof. It’s not what you would expect and hey… you gotta love Hard Rock EM! Nice synth solos are there, too, alternating with wailing guitar from Frank.
“Sandman’s Journey Through Sanity” brings forth those Pink Floyd influences by means of spacey strummed guitar from Frank. A wonderful, unusual sequence from Ron (or maybe that’s Eric’s?) adorns this track. Also worthy of mention are the melodic solos that seem to go extremely well with the pulsating soundscape. And before I forget, Harold plays excellent complex drum patterns as well. The final section is dominated by a wailing guitar solo from Frank.
“Drowse At Dawn” is a relatively minimal and serene piece that relies on gentle pulsations and warm pads. Melodies played by a very electric piano sounding synthesizer are a unique touch. Finally,
“Fearful Awakening” continues from previous track without any interruption. And you could say that this is the Rock piece of the album – it’s gets pretty intense in the guitar department while the keyboards resort to sequencing combined with intense Hammond-like stabs.
A nice instrumental Rock / EM hybrid. “Days of Delirium…” is an interesting effort that will be especially enjoyed by those who like a bit of guitar pyrotechnics in their EM.
Artemi Pugachov, Russia – Groove.nl