Drama — Strange Expression
(Fortress 007, 1992, MC)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1994-05-01A trio from Erie, Pennsylvania, Drama's music combines three qualities that are seldom found together in the right proportions: hard hitting, high energy progressive rock; an excellent singer; and a semblance of accessibility. Much of the music here harks back to earlier times, in a very authentic way, rather than hitch-hiking on the Dream Theater prog-metal wagon. Musically, parallels could be drawn with early (pre-2112) Rush, although vocalist/bassist Kevin Hulthberg has adorned that sound with some outstanding vocals, occasionally reminding of Greg Lake or Brad Delp of Boston. Add to that some keyboards added by guitarist Chris Rodler, and one might have an idea of where Drama seems to be coming from. As the album progresses, the band takes that basic sound and expands it out into some new directions, with tracks like "Sign of a Mystic Moon" and "Miracle of Great Device," where the keyboards begin to play a more important role within the sound, capably balancing some of the more hard edged tendencies of the guitar-bass-drums format with smoother attack. The last track, ""What Words Can't Say," is worthy of special mention, a slower, more relaxed track than all the others, with a splendid solo for Chapman Stick.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more