"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Australian progressive metal act Arcane. The album was released through Arcane Australia in September 2009.
The band released a promising debut album in 2007 titled "Ashes", and the dark and melancholic progressive metal style featured on that album is continued and further developed on "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream". While the debut album featured a 24:15 minutes long title track, which was divided into five parts, "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" takes that concept a little further as all tracks on the album seque into each other to form a regular concept album. Arcane play a layered and keyboard heavy type of progressive metal with both really heavy moments but also mellower emotional sections too. While the instrumental part of the music is impressive enough, it´s the vocals by Jim Grey that really set Arcane apart from most other progressive metal acts. He has a very distinct sounding voice and a convincing emotional delivery.
The tracks are structurally challenging, dynamic and it´s hard to pinpoint just one influence. I think I hear influences from both "classic" progressive metal in the vein of Dream Theater, but also influences from the more alternative part of the progressive metal scene. Acts like Riverside and A Perfect Circle probably aren´t strangers to these guys either.
"Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is not an easy listen and it´s taken me quite a few listens to grasp the full 59:15 minutes long album. There´s simply a lot to take in, but in a positive way. So if you enjoy your progressive metal challenging (not necessarily focused on constant technical playing though) and delivered with great emotional impact "Chronicles Of The Waking Dream" is definitely a recommended listen. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.