DREAM DISCIPLES: In Amber (Renaissance)

What would you get if you combined the guitar sound of early U2 with the progressive edge of Marillion, and then had a touch of UFO thrown in for good measure? The answer is: a group from Scotland called Dream Disciples. Originally released in Europe in 1994, this is the US debut of In Amber. The title track gets things off to a great start. This is one of those songs that sound familiar the first time you hear it. "Mark 13" keeps things rocking with its U2-like rhythm and basic riff. "Remember Bethany" evokes the sound of Marillion at its best (when Fish was still in the band).

Colin Lowing's vocals on the CD run the gamut from a falsetto to an ominous growl, depending on the song. On "Burn the Sky," his voice sounds almost like Frank DiMino from Angel. On the next track, "The Dream is Dead," he sounds like Jon Bon Jovi. Musically, it's not bad, but someone else needs to sing the song. Up next is a cover of Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams (are Made of This)." The combination of menacing vocals over a hip-hop backing track just doesn't work. The next track, "Love is Fatal" more than makes up for it though. If you're a fan of any of the bands I mentioned earlier, you'll like this CD.

In case you have trouble finding In Amber in your local record store, you can order it direct from Renaissance through their web site. Click here for more information on Dream Disciples or any of the other Renaissance artists.

© 1997 Steve Marshall