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Nathan P. Holly : tHe drEameR

Three years after his debut, Nathan P. Holly returns. 'The Suffering' received a lot of acclaim from many different origins. The acclaim from the doom metal community includes my own review (which can be read here) as well as the comment "it totally rocks" from Vito Marchese of Novembers Doom fame. With 'tHe drEameR' however, the focus is on melancholic ballads and while the mood can indeed be considered "doomy", the doom metal elements are absent this time.

Nathan himself categorizes this album as a "dark acoustic project" and as far as those three words go, it's a pretty decent description. I would probably call it deep blue rather than dark because of it's miserable tone but basically it still focuses on a balladic structure. 'tHe drEameR' mainly consists of an acoustic guitar, bass and the same clean, sad vocals as on 'The Suffering'. In addition, there are tiny hints of other instruments including piano, flute synth, violin synth and single chord playing on an electric guitar. These latter instruments are very subdued and only add a final touch to achieve the right feeling for the song. Those who find it annoying would only need to listen to the last six tracks which are acoustic versions of the first six tracks.

'tHe drEameR' is a concept album which is based on the contents of an eight verse poem that Nathan wrote. The main difference is that the well written poem concentrates on "The Sleeper's" point of view as he wanders in exploration through his inner dark side, while the lyrics based on the poem include a "she" and are more romantic in tone. While I don't have a clear answer as to what is really happening, my interpretation is that this "she" might have some similar function as with the lost love on 'The Suffering'. Her demise lives on in his mind and appears to him in his dreams, haunting him with grief until he finally faces his sorrow and puts her memory to rest. In simple sentences, Nathan none the less creates a very emotional tale that encourages one to listen to it as it's being told. The lyrics easily inspire one's own feelings.

Whether or not this new style is permanent is a good question. As he himself says: "My first project was originally supposed to be something similar to this but somehow lost it's way. So I decided to revisit that idea in order to more fully understand a part of music that I plan to make more integral in my future work." I'm pretty sure this means that we'll get more from both styles of Nathan's music in the future. It's also clear that even with a great debut, he's still improving and thus I believe we'll hear music with even more maturity in the future.

Nathan P. Holly is a modern bard who tells intimate stories of mourning. Those who find my description to be of interest should download this album here: http://www.NathanHolly.com, yes the first version is free. I find no reason what so ever not to recommend this album to just about any fan of sad music.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Sleeper
2. The Dreamer
3. Lucid
4. Wait for Me
5. Awake
6. Farewell
7. The Sleeper*
8. The Dreamer*
9. Lucid*
10. Wait for Me*
11. Awake*
12. Farewell*

* The tracklist only lists the first six tracks, but the last six are the acoustic variants of them.

Duration : Approx. 52 minutes.

Visit the Nathan P. Holly bandpage.

Reviewed on 15-03-2009 by Arnstein Petersen
Aesthetic Death
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