Chaplin’s Dream – Genesis (2017) Album Review (en)

For quite a long time have I been looking forward to doing this: review a good progressive metal album from an underground band. Finally, I got the chance to do this! Chaplin’s Dream! What a band name, you might say! For some, it is silly, while others might think of the wonderful 1940 film of the famous actor and director Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator”.
The band started playing sometime in 2014 and, until recently, they only had one EP, suggestively called “Chapter I” (2016). The songs on this EP can be found on the album we’re going to talk about as well. This one was released on June 16th, 2017, and it called, even more suggestively, “Genesis”.Chaplin’s Dream from Shumen, Bulgaria is Ivaylo Todorov – vocals and rhythm guitar, Yavor Stanchev – drums, Filip Lyubomirov – bass, and Danail Petkov – lead guitar, surprises us with an onset which is more than surprising. An album manifesto for the progressive metal genre, which has been constantly being revived for the past few years!
With 10 songs going on for 60 minutes straight, “Genesis” is that kind of album you start enjoying and discovering more with each listen. Maybe the first time you will it normal but, if you give it a second and a third chance, each time you will notice new elements, and it will most surely leave a pleasant impression on you.
This is why I recommend you to listen to this album alone, since this is the only way you can truly enjoy it! It is emotional, aggressive, sad, real, surreal, melancholic, all of them at the same time! It’s a true prog metal album in all its might! It features a great mixing and mastering, and offers a live vibe, given by the recordings performed during live sessions. The songs are orderly and diverse, and keep your interest awake up until the end.
Chaplin’s Dream, a band that Romania is only dreaming to have! The prog scene in Romania is suffering a lot, it is poor, weakly developed, and lacks interest from a public who rather targets bands instead of becoming fans of a specific genre. At the first edition of SoundArt Festival, which took place this May in Quantic Club, this band played in front of almost 50 people! A band you rarely see playing in our country!

On the other hand, publicity, excessive promotion, and herd instinct made Arenele Romane too small for Dream Theater’s concert, a band which, for a few years now, doesn’t bring anything new! Where’s justice? Right there, in those 50 people who went to see Chaplin’s Dream live and chose to support new and good bands among the prog underground.
Now let’s return to what interests us – an analysis of this wonderful album! “Genesis” starts with “War”, both the shortest and the most aggressive and most “in your face” song from the album. It strikes us with political and protest lyrics directed towards a society long condemned to self-destruction.
Next is “Crown the King”, my favourite, song which has initially been featured on the debut EP, a clever song, melodic up to the extreme, which makes you want to listen to it a hundred times, not get bored, and still feel like whistling it on your way to work! Ivo’s voice (the band’s frontman) is glistening, and the lyrics are melancholic, romantic, prog to the core!
With “A Taste of God”, another masterpiece of this album, Chaplin’s Dream tries and succeeds to put us on a journey through various states of mind. Pure madness, empty passion, delusive aspirations, utopia, and unfulfilled love, all of these happen to you if you’re trying to have a taste of God. This song was also featured on “Chapter I”, but the LP variant comes with better mastering.
“Host” comes as a binding element which strengthens the album’s structure, to make it more intense and make us want more. This makes you curious about what comes next, as “Host” is a little slower, a ballad which highlights both the voice and the incredible instrumental skills.
“Today I’m Reborn” is a manifesto for a generation indifferent to everything that’s happening. It’s a song of spiritual maturity in front of a masked world you come to look at through different eyes. It’s precisely that symbolic spiritual revival.
“The Friday Song”, a song which attracts your attention from the beginning, a story of disillusionment acknowledged on a Friday, with probably the catchiest chorus on the whole album. Again, the voice is impeccable, and the sound flows through your eardrum and floods it with pleasure. Another song which also was present on the debut EP.
“Silence” is the transition towards the final part of the album, another ballad, but not completely. It starts in a calm manner, followed by a regular crescendo, which materializes into a spiral you can barely get out of. You feel how the song overwhelms you, but its ending brings you back to the calm of the beginning.
“Epic”, probably the most prog rock song of the album, was played for the first time last year, during a local festival, and shows us the incredible artistry of these guys. Both the lyrics and the composition are close to what we may call prog perfection. It’s definitely an epic song from all points of view.
The next to last song, “Us vs Them”, bring back into spotlight an old theme. But, who’s “Us” and who’s “Them”? “Us” is everything “Them” is not, a religious, moral, ideological antithesis. The song completes the theme of the first song but, this time, “Us” has the power to stand against “Them”, to say NO to everything which opposes us as humans led by philosophical principles. By saying NO, we can resort to nihilism, isolation, and spiritual autoconservation, to protect from “Them” everything that’s ours. From a musical point of view, the song continues the sound of the previous song, with true prog rock accents, somehow contradictory to the last song on the album.
“Machiavellian”, just like the first song on the album, starts in an agitated, agonizing manner, with an aggressive and accusing voice. As in a damned vaudeville, the renowned Renaissance philosopher teaches us how to be unscrupulous, how the ends justify the means when you get something in your mind. This theme is incredibly actual in today’s way of thinking, in the Machiavellian society we ended up living in.
The song ends with an extremely calm passage, so calm that it makes you think this is the end, so linear, monotonous, in shades of white and grey, while you’re waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Chaplin’s Dream’s album “Genesis” is a must have for all lovers of prog sonorities, as well as lovers of good music in general. This piece of art is complete, complex, meticulous, and ingenious. I’m looking forward to seeing how these guys are going to evolve, and I’m sure they’ll make a beautiful journey through the paths of music. With “Genesis”, they managed to reach the prog climax. I wonder, will they be able to exceed our expectations with a future album? YES, they definitely will!

The album can be listened here:


Eduard Farcas – Metalforce



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