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TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc.- The Antithetic Affiliation

TDW & Dreamwalkers Inc.
The Antithetic Affiliation
by Riccardo Gaffuri at 18 September 2017, 12:06 PM

TDW has its gravity center in Tom de Wit, with Dreamwalkers Inc. being the lineup giving birth to their live shows; born in 2004, they’re now releasing a behemoth double LP “The Antithetic Affliction”, built on the juxtaposition between a dark (The Cynic disc) and a light side (The Idealist disc); this contrast between sides is not on a musical side, as the whole release deals with TDW symphonical prog production, musically comparable to fellow Dutch AYREON. Being the magnum opus that it is, THE ANTITHETIC AFFILIATION will require more than a few spins to fully develop its infinite layers of complexity, all coming, created and produced by the mind of Tom de Wit. However, he is able to insert throughout the LP’s 85 minutes hangers and appealing tunes that will make it easier for the listener to “survive” this voyage and make it through the length and complexity of each song, which would however discharge their full potential only with several listenings. The general approach on prog by TDW while being theatrical can steer away from cheesy and epic derives; although being focused on vocals by Tom sometimes these sound a bit drowned by the heavy setting.

The ambitious 23 min opener “The More We Remember” is a well varied essay on the band potential, fueled by power metal but with broader views and roots dating back to 70’s prog. Strings driven “Anthem” contains a sample of the catchy hooks, in the form of a chorus in this instance, I was talking about and looked better than its sister as an opener. “Lovesong” makes good use of acoustic guitar to welcome listeners to a somewhat melancholic atmosphere. “Monolith” is a mirrored door between the two discs, with the first part “Ascent” leading to darker atmospheres, rendered by darker vocals, and “Descent” setting back to lighter air. This honestly worked better as an idea than on reality as it seems a bit forced to make it work. “Aphrodisia” is built on a growing crescendo, starting with a soft duet and destined to an explosion of strings and guitars. “Dirge” is a slow one, laying on acoustic foundations. “Lest We Forget” closes the album in the same way it was opened, with a 23 min symphonic track, in which we see sprawls of growling vocals.

“The Antithetic Affiliation” will surely please its target audience, showing a good grip on this genre and good brakes to avoid predictable clichés. While the album structure sometimes creaks a bit, above all in the central connection between the discs, it shows overall good songwriting that won’t bore the listener; being an almost homemade release, through Tom’s Layered Reality Productions label, production and engineering suffer a bit and are not always to render at the highest level all the potential behind. Having said that, we cannot forget to praise Tom’s ambitions and abilities behind the whole project.

Songwriting: 7
Originality:  7
Memorability: 6
Production:  6

3 Star Rating

Disc 1 - The Cynic
1. Monolith – The Descent
2. Aphrodisia
3. Dirge
4. Lest We Forget

Disc 2 - The Idealist
1. The More We Remember
2. Anthem
3. Lovesong
4. Monolith – The Ascent
Tom de Wit - Vocals, Synths, Piano, Rhythm Guitars, Percussion
Lennert Kemper - Guitars, Vox
Norbert Veenbrink - Guitars
Joey Klerkx - Guitars, Vocals
Peter Den Bakker – Bass
Vincent Reuling - Synths & Vox
Kenneth Martens – Drums
Hanna van Gorcum - Violin & Vox
Record Label: Layered Reality Productions


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Edited 09 February 2023

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