Bavaria is turning into a hotbed for Metal more and more and they are branching out, too, not just Viking and Death Metal, but now also Progressive Metal. DRYAD’S TREE is a still pretty young band that is combining Progressive Metal with some Death Metal and atmospheric influences. Does this sound overtly original and/or exciting? Not necessarily, as there are way more bands out there that tried and failed than actually managed to combine these styles in a cohesive way.
Now if you want to oversimplify things, you could describe this quartet as a mix of influences by OPETH, PORCUPINE TREE and, well, themselves. And I am happy to say that in the case of “Comfort In Silence”, their debut album, the total is far more than just the mere sum of all parts, as they take the influences and run with them, adding a healthy dose of accessibility to their Prog, not shying back from acoustic guitars, organ, even some vocal filters here and there, thus adding their own touch.
“Life” is the maybe most “common” Prog song of the album, also incorporating some Death Metal growls into the mix, but after that DRYAD’S TREE really find their groove. Be it the intricate acoustic guitars on “In These Moments”, the excellent integration of the acoustic passages into the otherwise pretty heavy “Disdream”, the incredibly intense and emotional “Clouded Emotions” or the many layers of “Touched By Temptation”, creating a little progressive masterpiece in itself, showing tons of potential that only is beginning to be tapped here.
DRYAD’S TREE already have a very good hand for intelligent arrangements and a good balance between demand and accessibility, putting the song into the centre of focus instead of the technical prowess (which they still possess, don’t get me wrong), as well as many different emotions expressed through the music, giving the compositions soul and heart. They still have work ahead of themselves to take the next step to get closer to the genre leaders, but as a first step “Comfort In Silence” is already pretty impressive and even though it is hard to pinpoint their sound, anybody attracted to the style mix described above should check these guys out, because they might be one of the next big things coming out of Bavaria!
(Online September 1, 2007)