CD Review

Let Me Dream - "Medley Rain"

By Marcus Pan

Medley RainFormerly Congestion, Let Me Dream has been playing and recording throughout Finland for nigh on a decade. A number of demos as well as a full-length CD, "My Dear Succubus" through Adipocere Records (France), precedes the mini-disc of "Medley Rain," a four track collection of dark pop/metal with clear influences from guitar-driven NWOBHM music of the mid 80's. Let Me Dream has appeared on Finnish Much Music in mid-1998 and the band has toured extensively with others of their ilk. News from Let Me Dream says we should be expecting a new release in June through Italy's Nocturnal Music label. Entitled "Grayscale," Jani admits they're a little behind schedule but still hopes to have the album out by the end of the summer (1999).

Although demos and various other releases of a not-so-public nature have been put out by Let Me Dream, "Medley Rain" is their first official release since their 1995 debut through Adipocere Records. Jani, guitarist/vocalist for the band, describes his band as "gothic/dark metal," and that's an excellent description. Other members of Let Me Dream include Marko Tuominen (bass/vocals), Jari Koskela (Strings/Keyboards) and Janne Peltoranta (drums/vocals). I've already mentioned that their style is similar to the NWOBHM takeover of the mid 80's. To clarify, I would say influences to their sound would be old heavy metal favorites like Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and the like. It's old school Ozzy with more keyboards and melody. The vocalists provide either a deep, melodic bass sound (lower than nearly all others I've heard) or a growling incantation style.

The second track on this release, "Windride," is my favorite. The keyboards provide a driving force to this tune, falling to the background during the lyrics and then driving through and pushing the song along forcefully with a scale-driven melody. The guitars do the same, but I think the keyboards stand out because of their higher octave - they stand out for this or some other reason anyway. The vocalists suddenly switch part way through the song going from the low-bass drone of one to the growl of another. It takes you completely by surprise and whisks you away.

Following "Windride" is "Julia," one of the best metallic love songs I've heard in a long, long time. Taking poetic, Shakespearean lyrics and wrapping around them standard guitar-driven rock and roll melodies, "Julia" is a great song. Some criticism for Let Me Dream is few - but there. The lower bass vocals, while appealing and well done, need to be raised a bit on the volume scale. The use of such a low voice obscures vocal sounds and makes lyrics harder to hear and understand. This could be overcome by upping the lever on the vocals just a bit. It didn't bother me in any song more than it did in Julia - a song that's dependant on its lovesick story.

Let Me Dream has a strong, albeit short (only four tracks), release with "Medley Rain" and I'm therefore looking forward to their upcoming release of "Grayscale." I enjoy their style - it takes me back to the days where I'd sneak a smoke out in back of the school during gym while listening to Iron Maiden's "Powerslave" or "Seventh Son" clad from head to toe in whitewashed denim.

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Mail: Jani Koskela, Leppasenojantie 243, 12100 OITTI, FINLAND
Phone: + 358 40 555 1606
Fax: + 358 19 782 683