Stockholm’s SEPIA DREAMER pack a number of tactical progressions into the four tracks that comprise “The Sublime.” The instrumental release mocks PELICAN with many passages in dropped tunings and most progressions layering upon each other to build to a grander conclusion; however, the tracks cover a wide array of emotions and embellish listeners with musical interpretations of nature’s brighter and more climactic nuances. The atmospheric elements of the release emulate visual tranquility while often with a storm builds in the background and forces its way to the surface.
In spite of a few slips in tempo, the mood and musicianship of this release communicate a strategic and indulgent journey. Session drummer Leon Macey has a knack for emphasizing changes in theme at the right time to make each transition work. The lead work provided by Jonas Wrenninge and Sam Brokenshaw keeps within the melodic vein, which assists in distinguishing the works of SEPIA DREAMER from others in the Progressive Instrumental genre. Neither player showboats; nor do they slouch. Jonas’ bass lines broaden the impact of many key passages, but the bass never overpowers or overtakes the composition. Keyboards and piano appear throughout the release, but often with traditional tones that add color to the pallet rather than take away. All in all, the instrumentation on “The Sublime” takes listeners through many layers of emotion without seeming uncontrolled or sporadic. Every riff fulfills a purpose and contributes to a greater design that fans of Instrumental metal will enjoy.
In addition to the well-orchestrated attack of “The Sublime” several surprise transitions merit individual attention. “The Exposition” and “Development” both contain brief sequences of experimentation that hinge on a style similar to those provided by Erik Rutan on releases by ALAS and MORBID ANGEL. The drums in these passages have a loose but frenzied flow at some incredible tempos, and much can be said for how the band skillfully regroups at the conclusion of these moments and provides yet another seamless transition into more familiar territory. The artists carefully consider their options when composing and provide listeners with much value in terms of composition and overall quality. The execution of artistic intent makes this an important release that many should consider one of the finer achievements of 2007.
(Online May 23, 2007)