Reviewed: May, 2020
Released: 2020, Sliptrick Records
This has been the longest stretch between album releases for Lucid Dream, the last album coming in 2016. THE GREAT DANCE OF THE SPIRIT is the band’s fourth album, and the conclusion to the trilogy of concept albums begun on 2013’s THE ELEVENTH ILLUSION and continued on 2016’s OTHERWORLDY. The band has always had some changes in lineups, but on this album only guitarist Simone Terigi and drummer Paolo Tixi remain from the last release. This has almost no impact on the quality of the album, as Terigi has always been the composer of music and lyrics for the band.
The time between albums has been well-spent, as Terigi has invested considerable effort to produce this final chapter of the trilogy. The immediacy of the cover art has rightfully caught the attention of many people and was designed by Nicoletta Mignone. This attention to detail continues with the guest musicians Terigi has enlisted to help execute his vision. On vocals the talented and versatile Roberto Tiranti of Labyrinth guests on five songs while also playing bass guitar. Karlo Faraci of Arcahadian capably handles vocals on the other songs and a string trio of world-class players adds to the quiet and introspective pieces of the album.
There is no doubt that this is the most varied and ambitious album Lucid Dream has crafted. Terigi’s many influences shine through, and while past albums leaned more towards NWOBHM, hard rock and traces of prog, this album clearly embraces more prog and less traditional metal elements. The first two songs “Wall Of Fire” and “Desert Glass deftly combine direct guitars with a few progressive twists, the latter being aggressive with numerous, weighty riffs. The increase in progressive elements does not come from mathematical time signatures or technical playing, but from Terigi’s love of atmospheric and Floydian-type ballads as on “By My Side.” The catchiest song though is “War Of The Cosmos”, featuring a happy guitar riff and a memorable chorus from Tiranti. “A Dress Of Light” is another darkly brooding highlight and features Farachi’s finest vocal effort on the album. Mixed in are a few acoustic numbers and as mentioned previously, some string trio sections.
Terigi’s guitar playing throughout is memorable: fiery in places, tasteful and restrained in others. Tiranti is given a chance to sing songs in a much different style than the normal high register of Labyrinth, with quiet deeper tones and only a brief foray into the upper registers on album closer “Wakan Tanka.” Like other Lucid Dream albums, there is much to absorb here with an album running time of 57 minutes. The mix sounds fantastic though, and while there are more mellow parts here than on any other Lucid Dream album they are well done and melodic. Recommended for fans of Labyrinth, Pink Floyd, Rush and Jim Matheos’s solo work.
1. Wall of Fire
2. Desert Glass
3. By My Side
4. Moving Sands
5. A Dress of Light
6. The War of the Cosmos
7. The Realm of Beyond
8. Golden Silence
9. Wall of Fire (acoustic reprise)
10. Prayer for the Great Spirit
11. Invisible Stranger
12. Wakan Tanka
Simone Terigi – guitars
Roberto Tiranti – bass and vocals ( Labyrinth, Wonderworld, Ken Hensley )
Karlo Faraci – vocals ( Arcahadian, Odyssea )
Luca Scherani – keyboards ( La coscienza di zeno, Hostsonaten )
Paolo Tixi – drums ( tempio delle clessidre )
Andrea Cardinale – first violin ( virtuoso Paganini performer all over the world )
Rachele Rebaudengo – cello
Sara Calabria – viola