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Breathing Water in a Dream

The Benzene RingAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Price: $14.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 12, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD Baby
  • ASIN: B000MGTK4E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

1. You and Me in the Absence of Predators
2. An Old Man Dies and Finds Himself in Hell
3. We'll Keep You There
4. Sweet Pioneer
5. Treasures in the Straw
6. Magical Road
7. Shuffling the Deck
8. Help Is on the Way
9. Sleeping
10. How to Be a Girl
11. Pretend I'm Not Here

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Throwing off Prog Convention November 5, 2008
By Brian G
Format:Audio CD
New York's The Benzene Ring gives me great hope for the next generation of musicians interested in creating progressive music. Bands like Tool, Mars Volta and Primus have, to me, too often been pointed to as the direction progressive music is taking. Personally, I find them harsh and with an incomplete concept of the classical music influence in progressive music.

Now comes The Benzene Ring with the musicianship and inventiveness to throw off prog convention. They know how to fuse their many influences into an interesting and challenging whole, and not merely lean on easy attention grabs like crazy staccato drumming and flashy arpeggios.

Stylistically, the album is very much in the alt-rock camp with straining high vocals and fractured guitar backgrounds. The songs are very melodic with some of the best segues between sections of the songs heard in a long time. The first two songs sound like alt-rock standards using crescendos and intricate melodic breaks. "We'll Keep You There" is a quiet respite before moving into the more complex "Sweet Pioneer" which sounds like it has an Echolyn connection, though it's hard to determine who could have come first if one does not look at the track dates. "Treasure In The Straw" is another ambient intermission leading to heavier songs to follow. The band also experiments with vocal chanting and ambient rock leaving one waiting for more.

A major strength of The Benzene Ring are their vocals. In particular, Erin Barlow's vocals are a big adder when present, but used too sparingly for my tastes. In support of this, the lyrics should have been included to enhance the conception of the song.

By the time the listener gets to track 8 - "Help Is On The Way", one expects the quality to relax somewhat. Not so!
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