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A Dream Of Poe : The Mirror of Deliverance

Despite being mellow, A Dream Of Poe's music remains very close to its Doom roots.

After a demo, two self-released EPs and a live-album, A Dream of Poe from Portugal present us with their first full-length studio album, The Mirror of Deliverance. Apart from the track 'Lady of Shalott', which already appeared on the appetiser EP of the same name, there is plenty of new material here for Gothic Doom fans to enjoy.

Stylistically, the music has a lot in common with the most recent My Dying Bride albums, especially A Line of Deathless Kings, but it is generally slower and less dynamic. The vocals are another considerable difference: while A Dream of Poe primarily use melodic singing as well, the voice is not very distinct and striking – it could even be described as unspectacular and is not mixed to the forefront that much. This can actually be an advantage because such a 'neutral' voice is unlikely to put off potential listeners, but on the other hand, I consider it the music’s biggest weakness because it leaves a lot of potential unexploited. With more, say, 'daring' vocals, the music could have become more interesting and intense, for sure. The only moment where the vocals in fact are a bit daring is when a really weird falsetto voice appears out of nowhere in the background of 'Lady of Shalott'. The occasional death vocals, on the other hand, sound quite bellow-like and therefore more aggressive than one might expect in this musical context, but they are not bad nonetheless. In addition, there are some spoken word passages, an element which connoisseurs of the genre will be familiar with.

The instrumental work is very genre-typical as well: melancholic, yet powerful guitars, elegiac leads, atmospheric clean guitar in the background or as the basis of calmer breaks, slow drumming and unobtrusive bass support. There is little variation in the structures and atmospheres of the songs, but still there are some moments which attract attention, such as the long-winded psychedelic solo towards the end of 'Os Vultos', slightly reminiscent of Opeth’s calmer moments. The album benefits a lot from the very clear, strong production which could already be heard on the preceding EP and marked a great step forward from Sorrow for the Lost Lenore. It makes the music even more easy on the ears than it is anyway, ensuring good accessibility. A big plus is the fact that, despite being mellow, the music remains very close to its Doom roots all of the time, which cannot be said of many bands within the Gothic Doom framework – unfortunately. However, those looking for something more abysmal and depressing will be disappointed here.

To sum up, A Dream of Poe have certainly become one of the better bands inside the Gothic Doom scene and we should keep an eye on their career. The Mirror of Deliverance is a good release with solid, enjoyable songs, but it lacks some depth and distinct identity to really stand out. It will delight fans of this particular style nonetheless and should be a worthy addition to their collection.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Neophyte
2. Os Vultos
3. Lady of Shalott
4. Liber XLIX
5. The Lost King of the Lyre
6. Chrysopoeia

Duration : Approx. 51 minutes

Visit the A Dream Of Poe bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-04-02 by Dominique Sonders
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