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Cyclopean Walls - Enter the Dreamlands

Cyclopean Walls
Enter the Dreamlands
by Alex Barnard at 29 December 2021, 9:42 PM

CYCLOPEAN WALLS is an international Progressive Metal band with members hailing from Greece and the US. “Enter the Dreamlands” is the band’s first full-length album, released by Steel Gallery Records on October 29, 2021.

This album is pretty good. The band sounds like a mix between DREAM THEATER and QUEENSRŸCHE with a dash of CELTIC FROST – but nothing more than a dash sadly. Raphael Gazal clearly takes his vocal cues from James LaBrie (who, by the way, is unfortunately one of my least favorite singers. No offense, Raphael). Yiannis Tziallas’ guitar lines are perhaps the most interesting aspect of this band, borrowing elements from Jeff Loomis, VOIVOD’s Piggy, and Dave Mustaine. He could stand to work on his guitar tone, though. And finally, Jonas Schultz exhibits the speed and technicality of drummers such as Mike Portnoy, Scott Travis, and FEAR FACTORY’s Raymond Herrera.

To elaborate more on my earlier comparison, the band’s songs typically tend to follow riffs based around chord progressions, with various tempo and key changes, kind of like a QUEENSRŸCHE song (“Celephais”). However, sometimes, Tziallas will throw in a riff like the opening to “Dagon,” which combines the speed and occasional dissonance of a SLAYER riff with the attitude that only Tom G. Warrior could possess. It’s only fleeting on certain songs, but on this one it’s very prevalent.

Other highlights from the record include “The Rats in the Walls,” which is probably the Thrashiest tune on this album; “The Doom that Came to Sarnath,” whose main riff and guitar solo make up for the sappy, ballad elements; and “The Dweller in Darkness,” which felt like an homage to KING DIAMOND at times.

Overall, this is an alright album. If you really like Progressive Metal, you’ll dig “Enter the Dreamlands.” Personally, I enjoyed the parts where the band got a little rough around the edges musically. Maybe they could explore that a little more on their next records without losing their progressive elements.

Production: 7
Musicianship: 7
Songwriting: 5
Memorability: 5

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Polaris
2. Dagon
3. Festival
4. The Rats in the Walls
5. The Doom that Came to Sarnath
6. The Church of Starry Wisdom
7. Celephais
8. The Dweller in Darkness
9. The Garden
Lineup:
Raphael Gazal – Vocals
Yiannis Tziallas – Guitars, Bass
Jonas Schultz – Drums
Record Label: Steel Gallery Records
     


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