Waking Dream - Castle of Fear - (7.5/10)
Published on July 26, 2016
There is no sub-genre of metal that Russia has not managed to produce at least one great act in. In pure symphonic metal, though, hasn’t really seen any band that really showed a whole lot of promise, but that is something that might change with Moscow’s Waking Dream. Castle of Fear is the fourth release in a somewhat convoluted discography with EPs, albums and acoustic albums, but if this is any indication of what the band is headed towards, the symphonic metal community should take note.
Coming from the unlikely background of a punk band (Hamster Attack), the two main members Aleksandr Imaykin and singer Olga Karbusheva are on a path to symphonic metal greatness, if they can keep up what they are offering here. While technically not having anything truly new to offer, they exude this freshness that sometimes can push something just that one notch further.
Where “Vai a Trieste” surprises with Italian lyrics, it doesn’t stand out of the crowd either way, but the title track “Castle of Fear” is the one, where things get really interesting and hint at the band’s true potential. Varied in tempo, yet with good drive, great melodies and just enough heaviness to put the “metal” into this EP, which sees “Fiamme Alti” turn down that dial a little and then “Uncertainty” ending it on another high.
They are not quite there yet to break through, but definitely have all the potential to leave their mark on the sub-genre, especially since it’s the one, where Russia has been somewhat lacking in the past. Castle of Fear is a recommended pick-up for fans of the genre and can put Waking Dream on the map!