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TDW – Fountains

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 03 October 2021, 5:56 AM

TDW is the acronym for Tom de Wit. The live line-up, while part of TDW, plays under the name of DREAMWALKERS INC. in order to play the material. Formed in 2002, the band has had a long career in the business, harkening back to their debut album in 2004. “Fountains” is the band’s ninth release, and contains ten tracks. The title track leads off the album.

It opens with heavy rhythms and some light symphonic elements. The vocals are tender and expressive. Out of nowhere comes some harsh vocals, augmenting the cleans. The music is both solemn and powerful. “Inner Enemy” begins with some electronic elements, a-la DEVIN TOWNSEND. The music features some heavy harmonized vocals, both harsh and clean at the same time. The instrumental parts are super-tight, and the staccato accents are quite pronounced. “Hope Song” is a shorter, more tender song, with minimal instrumentation. The vocals really shine through here. They are both charming and solemn.

“Gratitude Song” opens with a faster and more weighted sound. Once again, symphonic elements occupy the background, and he gets just a little pitchy at times with the clean vocals. A little keyboard interlude reminds us of the versatility of the composer. “Hunters Eyes” begins with folky instruments before the main, menacing riff comes through. The sound is mired in mystery, akin to the title of the song. A hunter’s eyes must be both quiet and perceptive. “Anthracite” begins with a slow beat of percussion, bass guitars and whispered vocals. Progressive elements come through here, though they are subdued.

“Another Choice, Another Universe” is a slightly darker song that features some harmonized vocals and keys, reminiscent of DREAM THEATER for me, especially in those spacey keyboard parts. “Graveyard Boogie” did not come through on the EPK for some reason…it’s “Traveller” twice in a row. Oh well…the song is heavy, with tight accents and some strong background elements. The middle section slows to a near whisper…where the elements are dialed back, waiting to attack. The vocals are very pretty. “Hope Song II” closes the album. It’s a nine-minute beast, featuring some strong musicianship, combined with a seasoned exercise in songwriting. The lead guitar work is fantastic as well.

This was an interesting album. Coming from a single composer, you might expect this album to be very personal sounding, with a wide variety of sounds. Instead, we get a tight and rigid effort that also breathes. The harsh vocals…I could do without, but they are not the main focus of the album. This collection of mostly solemn sounding songs is put together nicely, and with the detailed eyes of a seasoned musician.

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


4 Star Rating

1. Fountains
2. Inner Enemy
3. Hope Song I
4. Gratitude Song
5. Hunter Eyes
6. Anthracite
7. Another Choice, Another Universe
8. Graveyard Boogie
9. Traveller
10. Hope Song II 
Tom de Wit – Vocals, Keyboards, Piano, Orchestrations, Guitars, Percussion, Drum Programming
Record Label: Layered Reality Productions


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Edited 28 March 2023

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