Traumhaus - In Oculis Meis,
True to their career history to date, German band Traumhaus took seven years from the release of the third album to give us their fourth. There were also the customary line-up changes, with just founder Alexander Weyland (keyboards, vocals) and guitarist Tobias Hampl (who joined for the second) still there, with the line-up now completed by Ray Gattner (drums) and Till Ottinger (bass). The band have always been known for releasing their albums with German vocals, and that is again the case here, but this time we have a double CD set with Alexander also providing the lyrics in English. Personally, I do not see the need for this, but if it gets them across to a wider audience then that has to be a good thing.
It is interesting to play this against the reissue of the debut as one would not imagine there is nearly 20 years between as the two are very similar with the same mix of neo-progressive rock with some symphonic tendencies and metal here and there, plus they tend to keep to a darker place than many progressive bands. While the rhythm section keep it nailed down, they feel more restricted than others, with the guitars and keyboards really stretching. Here is an album where they have more embraced their inner Threshold, and it is this move into more progressive metal territory which is the most noticeable difference in the overall sound. However, they firmly keep their feet inside the neo prog territory as opposed to going full bored and the result is an album which is both polished and accomplished. I have been fortunate to now hear all four of their studio albums, and they are all incredibly enjoyable, and here is a band which definitely needs to be far wider known across the progressive community. Definitely worth seeking out.