Album Reviews

Dreamfire – Atlantean Symphony

Sometimes a piece of music will come along which is totally left field and so far out of my usual musical remit that it might as well be from another Galaxy. Delving into my natural curiosity, I will always give something like this a listen. To be fair, it might only ever be once but, I will always take a chance on something different.

Amongst our last batch of promos over at Lady Obscure Towers was a, well I’m not really sure what it is to be honest. Is it conceptual? Is it a soundtrack or is it even orchestral? Actually, the jury is still out on that one for now. The artist is called Dreamfire and the musical release is ‘Atlantean Symphony’. The man behind Dreamfire seems to be mysterious and reclusive as, all I seem to be able to find out about him is that he is a British artist of renown that has been making music for the last 20 years. Also, his name might be Paul, then again, it might not be! I told you, highly enigmatic.

The general gist about Dreamfire, given in the press release goes as follows:

Dreamfire came into being in 1999 as a symphonic musical project to explore ancient mysteries, magic, legends and majestic themes. The work of Dreamfire exists in the spaces above the physical realm, and is a conceptual manifestation of journeys through time, space and reality, within the boundless and timeless expanses of the macrocosmic universe. The ‘Atlantean Symphony’ journey began over a decade ago, when the [3rd Dreamfire] demo recording [of the same name] was released. 2012 saw the completion of what began with that vision. The demo was but a seed, the beginning of an enlightening journey; the alpha to the omega of what grew into the ultimate realisation of the album.

And now, 2014 sees the re-release version, with 2 exclusive CD only bonus tracks, including a re-imagining of arguably the most haunting piece of music ever written: Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ – here presented in a fusion of nature and mysticism for piano and storm.   The main body of ‘Atlantean Symphony’ is composed of 12 sections; all part of a single, seamless musical journey into the deepest part of the soul. Reawaken memories of that which has passed, and become totally immersed in the wonder, the mystery, the power, the fragility. The key to the kingdom lies within the listener; Dreamfire merely provides the portal through which one can choose to step, and become part of a greater shared experience.

Released on CD as a lavish antique book style pressing [containing 2 exclusive CD only bonus tracks], as well as worldwide through all major download platforms, ‘Atlantean Symphony’ offers an opportunity for the listener to take their first step on the road into the world of legends.

I am going to review this release, which comprises 12 sections, as one whole track as, in my opinion, that is how it is best listened to. Put your headphones on and have one, uninterrupted, musical epiphany.

Atlantean Symphony is a truly amazing piece of music. The whole album soothes the soul and calms the nerves. If your heartbeat hasn’t dropped to an all time low and all the cares of the world haven’t been lifted from your shoulders then, trust me my friend, there is something seriously wrong with you or you have been taking too many illegal substances! This music that has an epic soundscape, music that hints at incredible vistas that could be far beyond the imagination.

The piano is haunting and ethereal and conveys a sense of longing, even a feeling of loss at times. I cannot convey with my pitiful words just how much emotion is contained in this delightful musical extravaganza. There is a sincerity and honesty to the whole movement that is magical and delightful. The strings have a faery quality to them that is as sublime as it is celestial.

The sound effects of rain, thunder and wind convey a melancholy scene that, despite the sombre note, has a quite uplifting effect. The orchestral and symphonic nature of the pieces adds to the narrative effect and aids the listener on a vast and profound journey through a cavernous world of musical influences.

The closest comparison I can come up with is some of the works of Ludovic Einaudi, enigmatic and transcendental. In no way could you dip into this deep musical well at will or at any point, it is a wholly immersive musical venture and one that, once you have had some exposure, will demand that you complete this odyssey in one complete visit.

Throughout this recording there are portentous choral sections that add to the dreamlike quality and allow the music to gently unravel before you. Like following a predetermined set of clues, you must take it a step at a time then the whole glory of Dreamfire’s vision unfolds before you. The final, three part, title section is a thing of utmost beauty and fragility and, when you complete this out of world, fantasy exploit, you will feel you have been on some sort of fantastical, maybe even religious, pilgrimage. I must confess that I felt an eternal lightness of being after my own sojourn.

If you are prepared to put your life on hold for 46 seconds and take an ambient, rarefied and exquisite journey into the fantastical world of ‘Atlantean Symphony’, you will come out of the other end with a feeling of accomplishment and solace. I have not heard another album in recent times that has left me with such a light heart and has cleansed my soul. Not to everyone’s taste but, to me, a beautiful, solemn and enlightening piece of music.

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