The Dreaming Tree - 'Silverfade'

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The Dreaming Tree - 'Silverfade'

Excellent throughout.

U.K. Prog Rockers The Dreaming Tree have been round for more than ten years now. 'Silverfade', their fourth studio album, is packed with songs that highlight the best of their Progressive/Alt Rock style with plenty of Hard Rocking guitar from Dan Jones, combining flawlessly with the lush harmonies and dynamic keyboard work of Stephen Barratt.

Opening track 'Yesterday's Tomorrow' immediately showcases the band at their best. A lone Jazz style piano intro leads into a strong guitar riff and the laid back vocals of Chris Buckler. The switching of keyboard and guitar riffs is prominent here (and indeed throughout the album) combing with a strong chorus and nice lead break. 'Heart Shaped Bruises' is again guitar and keyboard driven, alternating through the song and giving one of the heavier middle sections with both competing in some searing lead work.

The real joy of TDT is their ability and quality to seamlessly combine both some tough Rocking and calming melodies within the same song. More than just time changes, there's a natural generic feeling of development and progression of the tracks. I'm still not sure whether to say TDT are a Heavy Rock band with Melodic/Progressive leanings or a Prog band that lets rip with some heavy guitar sounds. And that's certainly not meant as a criticism, quite the opposite, it's a compliment of just how well the songs on 'Silverfade' work and how well the band have managed to encompass and combine Rock, Jazz and Progressive influences.

Other highlights included the understated Bluesy feel of 'Cherry Winters' and 'Song in 7' where the band just locks into a groove that carries you along effortlessly. The drumming of Neil Ablard is impressive throughout, bringing that Jazz/Swing feel to the sound in a similar way to Ian Paice. Indeed, there are several parts of the album that brought to mind some of the keyboard dominated rhythms of Deep Purple's last album 'Now What?', where bass and drums just combine to set a pattern that the rest of the song flows over. Buckler's vocals also impress as a key part of the whole sound; subtle, restrained perhaps at times, but still a focal point in the sound that doesn't get overridden by everything else going on.

With this, their fourth album, The Dreaming Tree have undoubtedly surpassed any of their previous work in developing a style that is both easy to listen to – to relax and let the whole sound wash over you – or with just that little bit of effort there is some serious musicianship going on here to appreciate and admire. Excellent throughout!

Ian Parry

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