Multi-instrumentalist Hugo Flores rose to international attention with his first solo album in 2000. After that he formed the band Sonic Pulsar that would further refine his sound and style and lead to the release of 2 albums, one in 2002 the second in 2005. These albums further inspired Hugo to the point of creating a massive multi-album story arc under the moniker Project Creation , which has release 2 albums so far, one in 2005 and one in 2007. In 2008 Hugo was once again inspired, this time by vocalist Jessica Lehto to create new music outside of the style he d been working in for the last several years. Now in 2009 they are back with a new album of goth and progressive metal that is sure to catch your attention.
At the age of seven Jessica started playing the keyboard/piano. She took a few piano classes but learning notes bored her and Jessica ended up learning mostly everything by ear. Jessica started singing when she was 15. That was when Jessica discovered more metal driven music such as The Gathering, Within Temptation, Nightwish and Blind Guardian. Since then her interest in music has grown much deeper, and at the age of 17 Jessica started writing pieces of her own. She s currently keeping this passion for music up in her project Once There Was, and also through participating in different collaborations like the new fantastic Factory of Dreams developed by Hugo Flores.
From the music of Project Creation's mastermind and the beautiful voice and talent of Jessica Lehto, is born Factory of Dreams an incursion into a Fantasy World of Gothic Electronic and Progressive Rock music. 'Poles' is the new album by Hugo Flores, the debut for Factory of Dreams.
The place: A land with two sides, Positiveness and Negativeness, Dark and Light called POLES.
The World: Ruled by a Generator of illusions, the Factory of Dreams.
The Fuel: Human minds.
The Blood: A river of emotions.
The Ignition: Your cd player.
Album: POLES, the debut release for 'Factory of Dreams' brand new Project by Hugo Flores and Jessica Lehto. A cd with a fantastic booklet fully designed for the story told in 11 songs.
I don't know why but when I received Factory Of Dreams I had the same feeling I had when Ambeon's ''Fate Of A Dreamer'' was released. Do you know that album? No? Well, it is an ambient ultra atmospheric melodic Metal album, written by Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Vengeance, Bodine). Behind the microphone was Astrid Van Der Veen, in those days 14 years old and her angelic voice was impressive at this fantastic album. I often listen to this release, consider it as a pearl in my collection! One day I will write a review about it...
Listening to the first notes of this release it seems I wasn't that wrong about my considerations... This seems to be a very atmospheric album too, indeed in the same style as the Ambeon release. Jessica Lehto is the front woman and although I have never heard of this girl her performance are impressive! The music is very touchy, full of character and will easily bring you into another dimension; one of the future or a very dark dream!
The soft innocent voice of Jessica Lehto delivers you cold shivers, those of the pleasant kind. The high notes she touches, the warm sound of her voice and the emotional way her vocal lines are present on this CD, will electrify you too! Nowadays there are a lot of female 'Gothic' voices in the Metal scene but I have to admit only of few of these women are able, vocal-wise, to convince me. There's no one like Tarja Turunen, she's the only Goddess, but at some points Jessica Lehto sounds similar... Jessica Lehto sounds tempting and the strength of her voice will never again let you go!
The main song writer is Hugo Flores, a Portuguese musician who delivered some interesting projects before. Not only is he an outstanding guitar player, the way he uses the keyboards is impressive too. He knows perfectly how to bring the listener in a very special mood. Mister Flores mixes Progressive Metal arrangements with Gothic elements. Most songs are calm and very sensitive, overall dark. This album is melancholic, proving that even this emotion is beautiful!
If you know the releases from Ambeon and Ayreon or if you adore bands like Nightwish, Beto Vazquez Infinity or even After Forever you should hold your attention on this release. ''Poles'' will easily seduce fans of these bands. This is the kind of album you won't listen to every day but I can assure you it will be on your CD-player at those special or emotional moments. Good release! My points: 85/100 --Metal to Infinity
Prolusion. Hugo Flores is a Portuguese composer and multi-instrumentalist who has been highly active since the new millennium, at first releasing a solo album, followed by two releases with the project Sonic Pulsar, two more under the Project Creation moniker and most recently in 2008 with a new project called FACTORY OF DREAMS. This new creation started when Flores discovered the talents of vocalist Jessica Lehto, and the sole aim was to utilize her voice in the best possible manner for Flores' own musical ideas.
Analysis. Hugo Flores is a prolific artist in the progressive rock scene, and of what I'm familiar with of his output he blends various musical elements with progressive metal on his productions. This is the case on this most recent creation of his too, although there's arguably even more of a focus on progressive metal this time around. As instruments go, synthesizers dominate this creation from start to finish. Electronic rhythms, both industrial modern loops as well as more traditional-sounding drum patterns are at least partially delivered using synths, giving the rhythm section a distinct modern sound on this production. But a much more prominent place is given to the melodic output from Flores' electronic tangents on these compositions. Massive synth walls are a common feature throughout this production: majestic, fleshed-out, multilayered melody patterns with swirling sounds on top and deep brooding layers underscoring, and quite often dramatic symphonic layers with a sound like classical symphonic violins in the mix too. Most compositions contain calmer segments as well; many songs start off lush and mellow in an ambient atmosphere, and the massive soundscapes either dominating or being built up gradually following the opening will be broken up by similar sounding parts as well, where floating synths and piano are key features along with the electronic rhythmical sounds. The guitars aren't given that much of a dominant place in the mix for this release, but are very much an integral part of these tracks, still. Sometimes given dominant spots while in other instances subdued, dampened and placed back in the mix, drawn out chords and slow to mid-paced riff patterns mix with the synth layers to form melodramatic atmospheres, dramatic contrasts and massive sounding segments in general, adding the metal bits needed for this music to be coined as progressive metal and then some. Atmospheric guitar soloing with some select instances of fretboard frenzy is a feature on this production too, not in a dominant role though. But the main features this time around are vocals rather than instruments. Jessica Lehto's singing gets to soar and dominate from start to finish. She has a strong, clean voice with operatic qualities and she is a perfect choice of vocalist for music exploring big contrasts, dramatic build-ups and generally melodramatic atmospheres. Lehto's powerful vocals contrast with the instruments to some extent of course, but mostly she builds upon the mood provided by them, adding to the tension and nerve of the individual compositions in the big, majestic sounding segments with ease, but also supplying a calmer, soothing side to the ambient-sounding calm moments found throughout this production. Personally I would have enjoyed this album to a much greater degree if it had been less dramatic in scope; there's not much room for nuances and finer details in these compositions, and the individual tracks tend to sound a bit too uniform throughout as well, which ultimately makes this an enjoyable production for me. --Progressor
There s not a lot of musicians on this CD, in fact, there is no band, and don t look to find them performing anywhere soon. This is a project, but one with some exceptional music composed and delivered by some exceptional musicians. Factory of Dreams is a musical effort by acclaimed Portuguese musician Hugo Flores. It s gothic metal with all the elements in place. . . and most are delivered by Hugo. He covers Music and Lyrics, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Bass Guitars, Synthesizers, additional drum arrangements and loops, Percussion, Sitar & 12 String Guitar emulation (and occasional background vocals). The primary vocal component is delivered by the rich soprano of Sweden's Jessica Lehto.
Hugo Flores is a man of many talents. Clearly, his musical range of skills should impress most people, however, he goes way beyond that. Among his previous accomplishments are SONIC PULSAR, a mixture of progressive rock/metal, instrumental music and classic rock. For that work, Flores used several additional musicians and produced an innovative progressive work of significant sophistication, a well received offering that caught the eye of many and signaled Flores as a name to be reckoned with. A second project entitled Project Creation is even more expansive. The project includes a number of highly regarded musicians and is delivered through an expected 4 individual CDs. Additionally, the project includes a high budget film being produced along with the music, all in CGI plus a videoclip featuring Zara Quiroga who serves as the lead vocalist on the production. The dude likes to keep busy.
Factory of Dreams, however, is a little different, at least in terms of participation. The two musicians, however, do put out a lot of music. The musical theme is an incursion into a Fantasy World of Gothic Electronic and Progressive Rock music. There is a distinct story line, as there always seems to be in Flores s music. For this title, Flores takes us to a land with two sides, Positiveness and Negativeness, Dark and Light called THE POLES. The world is ruled by a Generator of Illusions; the Factory of Dreams where the fuel is the Human mind and the blood is a river of emotions. It s a science fiction story delivered through a gothic symphonic operatic musical vehicle.
Be clear that the music, although metal in a sense, is not the metal of other names in this area. There are guitars but they are not the guitars of the heavier bands, the After Forevers, The Epicas or the Nightwishes. Drums are digital. The keyboards deliver much of the symphonic components and are put to good use. And the extremely talented voice of Jessica Lehto is used to full effect. There are electronically generated components which serve to provide an electronic or industrial feel on some titles. A little different from the typical metal sound, but extremely interesting and richly delivered.
The production is exceptional. Individual titles often focus on individual skill sets. On Electric Boom the guitar is front and center. It is Flores principle instrument and is used to good effect over a fretless base with only limited vocal components. Other titles make more use of the flawless vocals of Lehto. The Piano in the Sea is one of these. It s a soft ballad, with piano and electronica floating above the soothing vocals of the Swedish songstress.
Factory of Dreams, and Hugo Flores in general, may be a new name to many on this site. However, this is a serious talent, one that has already made a mark throughout parts of the world. It s great music, an interesting lyrical story and a first rate production. And, it s a good way to enter the world of Hugo Flores, a world of great music and rich thought. Just don t plan to see it live. --Sonic Cathedral