"Traveling After Midnight" (Foreshadow; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Dream System’s CD came to me with a message from my editor: “May not be a fit for Rough Edge – I'll let you be the judge.” And isn’t that what you all expect of me? To judge an album on its merits and provide my little slant on things? Of course.

But even after a few spins of “Traveling After Midnight” I was still struggling with this very question. 

The music on “Traveling After Midnight” is predominantly keyboards, synthesizers, and heavily processed guitars (almost to the point that they are unrecognizable). The few times the guitars are prominent they tend to take on a mechanized, technology-infused sound that wouldn’t sound too out of place on a Meshuggah album (“Pure Morning Light In Memories Of The Days” and “One Of Many Others”). Hypnotic electronic beats permeate the band’s soundscape (“Street”) providing a soundtrack for urban paranoia and loathing of technology. The vocals are mere spoken word passages and muffled “singing” – but for the most part are really edgy and really add to the mystery that exudes from “Traveling After Midnight.”

The beginning of each new song reveals a new facet of Dream System’s sound. After each song ends the brief pause between tracks only opens a new swath of sonic possibilities. “Traveling After Midnight” isn’t immediately accessible, but proves itself to be a worthy listening experience with patience.

To provide some perspective, it wouldn’t be too far of a stretch for me to say that it wouldn’t surprise me if Dream System found a home on a label like Release Records or Neurot Recordings. Fans of progressive music that caters to the fringe would most appreciate Dream System’s “Traveling After Midnight.”

So, the question must be asked again: “Is Dream System’s “Traveling After Midnight” a fit for the pages of Rough Edge?” In the grand scheme of things probably not – as we tend to focus on guitars, loud guitars, and even louder guitars. But there’s enough progression and aggression for Dream System to find their own little space given that their music can be alternately alarming and haunting. And if Rough Edge can consider efforts by Chroma Key and early Porcupine Tree to be worthy of our pages it would be unfair for to say that Dream System’s “Traveling After Midnight” would be unwelcome our pages.

“Traveling After Midnight” was produced by Stanley.

Dream System: Thomas (vocals, guitar, lyrics, psycho-ideas) and Stanley (vocals, guitars, bass, programming, keys, drill, and drums).

For more information visit http://www.dreamsystem.foreshadow.info

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to RoughEdge.com Home

Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:08 -0400 .