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“Live In The Real World” (DVD) by Stream Of Passion

Artist: Stream Of Passion featuring Ayreon
Title: “Live In The Real World” (DVD)
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Progressive Gothic
Rating: 5/5

When I first heard the Stream Of Passion project created by Arjen Lucassen I was completely blown away with how different the band had come out. If you have followed any of Arjens work with his Melodic Power Metal group Aryeon you already know of his capabilities in that area. Aryeon has given fans of this genre a series of well-written epics full of melody and tasty musicianship. He formed Stream Of Passion to be a different sort of group and one that would follow the female vocals of Marcela Bovio, whom he had worked on “The Human Equation” with. Marcela is not only an amazing vocal talent but she is also one of the most beautiful women in Melodic Rock music today and together Arjen and she were able to create a very interesting project. SOP is a band that can appeal to those fans of Nightwish, Evanescence and The Gathering for many of the basic principles they hold are also present in this group. “Embrace The Storm” is a very interesting record and while heavy at moments is no where near being a Metal recording. It is more of a Melodic Gothic Rock that makes use of some interesting keyboards and string arrangements while having a solid heavy guitar crunch underneath. The DVD captures the group live in concert in Arjen’s native Holland in front of a sold-out crowd and much to the delight of the viewer and fans present the band does not only perform SOP material. Since the album and bands debut was only released last year around this time it makes no sense to immediately follow it with a live performance of the same album. So instead of this, Arjen and Company bring to the stage a great amount of his work with Aryeon as they touch upon some of the bands back catalog including “The Final Experiment” and “The Human Equation”. The Ayreon tracks are also sung by Damian Wilson. I enjoyed the fact that he even slipped a little “Star One” in to the mix, and for those that don’t know this project it is another album that you should look into. There is also a DVD concert for that recording which is spectacular in its performance content.
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“Embrace The Storm” by Stream Of Passion

Artist: Stream Of Passion
Title: “Embrace The Storm”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Genre: Gothic Melodic
Rating: 8/10

Proving that he is never one to rest of his laurels Arjen Lucassens has done it once again. His last album was the epic “Human Equation” (released with Ayreon) and it would be received with considerable acclaim and justifiably so. He would put aside Ayreon for the next musical adventure and bring us a totally new band entitled “Stream Of Passion”. The band would be new but listeners would not be a stranger to some of the players for joining Lucassens would be Mexican singing sensation Marcela Bovio who recently recorded with Ayreon. The remainder of the band would be filled by an internet contest and with members residing all around the world a truly unique musical experience was the end result. Marcela is an amazing talent and her voice will instantly appeal to those who enjoy the presence of a beautiful female vocal on top of their rock. It’s a Gothic meets Progressive meets Atmospheric group that will appeal very much to fans of The Gathering more than something like Nightwish. Ms. Bovio’s voice while powerful is not one of the operatic styled ones. The other members of the group are Davy Mickers (drums), Lori Linstruth (guitar), Alejandro Milan (piano), and Johan van Stratum (bass). Arjen himself is of course a member not only providing guitars but also largely responsible for the music composition. For this release he centered his composition on Marcela’s voice and ideas in order to make her shine as much as possible. The result is fantastic and with songs like “Passion”, “I’ll Keep On Dreaming” and “Spellbound” there is a very positive result for the listener. I enjoyed these particular songs as well as “Out In The Real World” and “Calliopeia” since there was a lot of the heavy vibe I enjoy.
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