Exposé Online banner

Drama — Stigmata of Change
(Cyclops CYCL 148, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

Stigmata of Change Cover art

Seven years has passed since this French band’s last release, Flying over the 21st Century. Lineup changes include new vocalist Yvon Lucas, who suits the material well, even if he’s not a great singer. The modus operandi behind Drama’s musical style is relatively intact: accessible symphonic-tinged prog in the vein of Saga or 90s Genesis. Positive steps have been taken to update the production values on this album and the keyboards and percussion tracks now feature techniques that bring these songs in line with modern prog bands like RWPL. Lucas often sounds like Yogi Lang as well, making the similarities even stronger, even if none of the material here approaches their German counterpart’s songwriting gifts. This concept album — evidently regarding a relationship gone awry — leans mainly on vocal songs given expansive symphonic texturing, akin to Dutch group Like Wendy. Instrumentals typically feature keyboard player Ralph Adam who has a good feel for orchestrations. Several shorter pieces, in fact, are entirely orchestral and in “A Revelation” even ape the sort of hip atmospherics from Enigma and Deep Forest. The album reaches its height with catchy pieces like “A Start” or the closer “Smoke” that, while not about to win any awards for originality or instrumental genius, do what they set out to do very well and should only be considered on those terms. As long as you aren’t looking for yet another retro-sympho- band or anything too difficult on the ear then this just might be worth checking out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Drama

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Niacin - Niacin & High Bias – The cover of the first Niacin shows the venerable Hammond B3, a creature of legend. So you get an idea what you are in for. Who is Niacin? I think this would be called a "pet project" where...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues