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Memory of a Dream

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Album Review

The infamous sophomore slump is not uncommon in the music world. There have been plenty of artists who showed considerable promise on their debut albums only to disappoint us by running out of artistic steam on their second. But gratefully, there is no sophomore slump on Transmission0's second album, Memory of a Dream (which was originally released on GoKart in 2006 and reissued by Candlelight in 2007). Those who enjoyed the Dutch alternative metal's band first album, O, should have no problem getting into Memory of a Dream, a 64-minute disc that — like its predecessor — carefully balances the extreme and the atmospheric. Transmission0 is a band that clearly thrives on contrasts. They can be brutal and heavy-handed, drawing on the jagged assault of industrial metal favorites Godhead as well as the harsh screaming vocals of metalcore. But they also have an equally obvious appreciation of the atmospherics and spaciness of Neurosis. This album's gentler moments, in fact, even bring to mind Pink Floyd (a definite influence on Neurosis) and Tangerine Dream. But when Transmission0 start to chill, they don't chill indefinitely; they inevitably take things back into the brutality realm. Of course, that type of melody/extremism juxtaposition is hardly unprecedented in metal; plenty of bands specializing in melodic death metal or symphonic black metal have done a fine job integrating elements of heaven and hell. So have some of the better screamo bands, although God knows, plenty of sloppy screamo bands have popped up in the 21st century. Transmission0 just happens to be combining heaven and hell using what has been broadly defined as alternative metal, and they do it pleasingly well on this solid sophomore outing.

Memory of a Dream, Transmission0
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