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Proletarian - Dreaming through Dystopia

Dreaming through Dystopia
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 July 2020, 8:16 AM

PROLETARIAN  came into fruition as the result of sole creative member James Gale’s writing, starting in late 2018. The project began to quickly develop as James started to write more tracks that stylistically and thematically felt made sense and had a specific coherent sound of a mix of influences. While recording the majority of the album at home, the drum tracks were completed in May 2019 at Summerhouse Studios in Ealing, London with Ross Collins performing the parts. Everything else was recorded by James; guitars, basses, vocals, electronics and keyboards. The album is due to be mixed and mastered soon with a release date for the summer months, and to be made available on all streaming media platforms.

The album is a conceptual story, and very much influenced by dystopian novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World by the British authors George Orwell and Aldous Huxley. We get put straight into a brutal and unforgiving landscape of a post-apocalyptic world, where there is a force of resistance against the totalitarian regime who controls society. After the resistance finally overcomes the current regime they are puzzled in which direction to take their new found freedom. With promises for a better, fairer world and the persecution of people to end, they become caught up in ensuring that anarchy isn't the result of the new society and start to control the people once again. The resistance thus turns into a very similar guise of the previous controlling powers validating the paradox of a catch-22 where social order is a delicate balance in democracy. The album contains eight tracks.

“Intro” leads off the album, with pleasing clean guitar notes, and some background ambiance, complete with charming piano notes. “The Revolt” is next, and close to ten minutes in length. Those pretty clean guitars continue, along with some light drumming. Then, the main riff drops, and it’s a bit heavy, but very melodic. The vocals come in, and it turns a bit dark, pursuant to the concept. The chord progressions are very unusual, proving the band has the chops to do whatever they want. “Awakening” opens with doleful and melancholy sounds. The guitars build ambiance in the background, until the chorus comes in, full and rich. The tones here and very catchy, and the bass guitar notes can be heard clearly.

“Consciousness” is a very short, one-minute instrumental, place here to give you pause, and remind you of the concept. “A Moment of Beauty” is five minutes of bliss, though a bit despondent. Some harsh vocals mix in with the cleans, as the guitars turn to aggressive notes, while the vocals are held for extended effect. I absolutely love the bass guitar on this album, as its notes are clear and take the melody for much of the album. “Denial” is another short instrumental track, riding with electronica, pulling you further into the concept of the album.

“Relapse” opens with shining melodies. The vocal harmonies are strong here as well, and the guitars carry the melody for the most part. The tone is positive, though the song title is not. It has a hint of melancholy, especially at the ambient passage around the half-way mark. The harsh vocals indicate a bit more of what the song title reads. “Recovery” is a short, one-and-a-half-minute closing song, with charming piano notes. Overall, I thought the album was very charming and with a lot of catchy moments. They paint dreamy landscapes, where in the end of the concept, the citizens get what they want. I was also able to follow the concept quite easily, and its reflection in the music is strong. This is just what I needed to hear on a Monday morning…an album where Joe Citizen creates his future.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Intro
2. The Revolt
3. Awakening
4. Consciousness
5. A Moment of Beauty
6. Denial
7. Relapse
8. Recovery
James Gale - Everything
Record Label: Independent


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