81 DB – A Blind Man’s Dream By Ben Spencer

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/ Label: Bakerteam Records

Band Line up:
William Costello: Voices
Kostas Ladopoulos: Guitars, Bouzouki, Additional Voices
Filippo Capursi: Drums
Vieri Pestelli: Bass

Album Track listing:
1. Manicomium
2. Sirens
3. When the Cat’s Away
4. Vanessa’s Box
5. House Rules
6. Food for Thought
7. Electroshock
8. Alien Invasion
9. Insane Wishes
10. The Great Escape
11. A Blind Man’s Dream

Having taken root back in 2009, its been a busy time for progressive rock band 81DB as they have caught acclaim for their early endeavours and even shared a stage with hard rock veterans Deep Purple. Their latest offering A Blind Man’s Dream is about to raise the bar higher as they dish out another dose of their unique blend of folk, classical rock.

With a brief acoustic introduction, ‘Manicomium’ kicks in with some heavy guitars and consistent drum work. The pace speeds up with gruelling clean vocals and solid chorus sections. The charging riffs disperse into a progressive use of melody before swinging back in with some impressive solos.

Next up, the punchy beats of ‘Sirens’ comes with a bombastic time signature changes and group vocals thrown into the mix. A further use of lead mixed with violins further validates the band’s tight musicianship and vast scope of influences that work surprisingly well together.

‘Vanessa’s Box’ features a stronger emphasis upon the acoustic layers found earlier with a heightened sense of tension within the tonality of the track. Effortlessly, the structures meld in and out of melody into a more edgy sounding beast.

The obscure use of bass and guitar work in ‘Electroshock’ help to keep everything sounding refreshing and showcases an even more versatile sound. Vocally, everything feels distant, as some interesting brass interlude weaves its way into the final moments before fading out.

Stand out track, ‘Alien Invasion’ features some of 81DB’s more heavier moments with metallic driven guitars, ecstatic drumming and some well measured lead colliding together. Many of these qualities can also be found in ‘The Great Escape’ that bursts with energetic beats and an impressive range of vocals.
Closing off with the smooth sounding bass of ‘A Blind Man’s Dream’ the whispering vocals serve as a foreshadowing of the darker themes being explored in the narrative. The riffs glide along with a grunge induced vitality, whilst the drums propel the pace forward into an infectious degree that make everything feel much more tangible before culminating and some serious guitar shred that sets this as a well rounded closure to the record.

In short, this is an album that never stays in one place for long. Not only are they able to pull together a vast terrain of musical influences, they appear to possess an ability to shift in and out influences at will and constantly catch you off guard.

Although this may not be for everyone, the level of professionalism these guys brings to the table cannot be denied and what’s more they avoid straying into pretentiousness either. The production was also another high point making this a more accessible listen for anyone who enjoys something that is as proggy as it is focused.