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Machines Dream biography
MACHINES DREAM - it wasn't supposed to be a band!

Lead vocalist Craig WEST will tell you that the reward for being in MACHINES DREAM is simply getting together and making music in a rehearsal studio.

The rest is all a bonus.

MACHINES DREAM began as five guys getting together a few times a week to jam, to improvise and follow their hearts musically. Those jams and ideas resulted in songs, which led to recording and - in March 2012 - the self-titled debut was released.

The album is a collection of progressive rock songs with a scope both atmospheric and cinematic that embraces tales of mental illness, alienation, communication and the need to find safe haven in a destructive world.

It's easy to see the lineage of MACHINES DREAM. The members listened to groups like PINK FLOYD, GENESIS, MARILLION, KING CRIMSON, PORCUPINE TREE and TOOL and those influences are recognizably referenced in their own music.

However, this was just the starting point. The goal for MACHINES DREAM is to compose new music, experiment with original sounds and create meaningful songs that are more than just a tribute to the prog bands of yesterday. MACHINES DREAM want to build on the progressive music they enjoy, reflecting it, not treating it like dogma and moving it forward. The decision was made to put their debut album 'out there' as a free download so as many people as possible would hear it and - if liking what they heard - making a donation or buying a physical copy. However, the overall aim - as it is for any emergent band - was awareness and judging whether or not there was an audience for their style of music.

The response was overwhelmingly positive! The band were signed to SONIC VISTA - a UK record label based in Blackpool - and the album stayed at the top of the AUROVINE (digital music distribution) download charts with a six month stint at Number 1.

In 2013 the group began work on a follow-up and the result is 'IMMUNITY' - an album due for release in September 2014 - an album of just 5 songs including an epic title track - an album made by accomplished musicians and accomplished human beings - an album that is - in every sense - progressive.

'IMMUNITY' is not a concept album, but it is thematic. The songs on the album speak to the dark side of media, infotainment and information overload, and the desire to escape the reality that creates.

The appointment of a manager in July 2014 saw the development of...
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MACHINES DREAM discography

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MACHINES DREAM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.18 | 25 ratings
Machines Dream
3.57 | 15 ratings
5.00 | 2 ratings
4.22 | 9 ratings
Black Science

MACHINES DREAM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MACHINES DREAM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MACHINES DREAM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MACHINES DREAM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
100 Afternoons
4.67 | 3 ratings
Heavy Water
4.50 | 2 ratings
Airfield on Sunwick (for Wojtek)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Immunity by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.57 | 15 ratings

Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Canadian band MACHINES DREAM became a band more or less by accident back in 2012, when five fellow musicians that had jammed together for some period of time suddenly found themselves discussing and creating music as well. They released their self-titled debut album the same year, and in the fall of 2014 they signed to UK label Sonic Vista Music for the release of their sophomore production "Immunity".

There are probably many talking points one could make about this band and this specific album, but for me the features that stand out is that this is a band that is navigating through many of the more accessible varieties of progressive rock. Their music appears to be made with at least some thoughts for how much it reach it may potentially have, and if by accident or design they generally stick to a generally appealing style and delivery.

The opening and ending epic length compositions are perhaps the least appealing however. Not due to the style as such, or one should perhaps say styles in this case, as both of them touch base with both neo-progressive rock and a more delicate take on a Porcupine Tree tinged expression, as well as progressive metal for the latter of them. It is more a matter of some details not quite managing to come together, at least as I experience them, what might be a too liberal use of sampled voice effects in some atmospheric interludes and a perception from me that there's just not that element present that elevates those features from the pleasantly engaging to the emotionally engaging. This is of course a subjective experience, and other listeners not quite as jaded as myself may well feel otherwise. When that is said, the most compelling sequence on the album as a whole, to my ears, was the four or so minutes long section on concluding epic Immunity (Part Two), where the bands shifts into a tight, vibrant expression closer to progressive metal. That section was at times a goosebumps-inducing experience.

The three shorter songs here impressed me a bit more as a whole. Arguably with less of the neo-progressive aspect included as well, these come across as creations with more of a foundation in a Pink Floyd meets Porcupine Tree kind of sound. Wandering elegant plucked guitar motifs alternate with more majestic sequences here, with delicate ethereal distanced guitar effects invoking something of a subtle post-rock feel as a clever details in many of the calmer passages, and occasionally shifting over to a harder edged expression that alternates between sounding like a heavier version of Pink Floyd and being in more of a Porcupine Tree kind of spirit.

All in all this is a a well made album, and one that should have a fairly broad appeal to boot. I would suspect that those with an equal affection for Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree might be something of a key audience for this band, and would recommend those recognizing themselves in such a description to give this CD a spin.

 Immunity by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.57 | 15 ratings

Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Come 2013 and Machines Dream had to face the departure Keith Conway with the remaining members handling multiple instruments at the beginning of the recordings of a new album.However they eventually responded to this loss with the addition of two new members.Rob Coleman took over the lead guitar and Jake Rendell, who was helping on backing vocals during the sessions, was handled the responsibility of multiple instruments.Finally the new album ''Immunity'' came out in 2014.

Opening mini-epic ''Immunity (part one)'' is a modern prog suite along the lines of PINK FLOYD and PORCUPINE TREE, where the slow guitar lines and the hypnotic piano textures are showered by some sax parts and string sections, leading to a lyrical depth and a couple of mellow guitar solos.I do not know if this is a Mellotron used to build a bridge between the opening track and the 7-min. follower ''Battersea transcendental'', but it definitely sounds so during this second track, which is an engaging mixture of Heavy/Alternative Rock sounds with more vintage echoes.The receipt is more or less the same, even if the guitar parts are heavier and sharper, somesort of Heavy Orchestral Rock with clean vocals and a mascular atmosphere.In ''Broken Door'' the music returns in slow motion, the vocals are limited and the focus is on a powerful atmosphere, a bit reminiscent of later period PENDRAGON, with the dominant use of electric riffs and the discreet use of keyboards and flute strings.''My ocean is electric'' plays the role of the album's rocker, more fast-paced stuff with rhythmic patterns and distorted instrumental parts over Craig West's expressive vocals, featuring an angular keyboard execution by Brian Holmes.The immunity concept will close with the 15-min. second part, which is also the strongest of all compositions to my ears.The smooth piano lines are following the same atmosphere as heard in the opening piece, supported later by the nice electric tunes and the calm sax parts.What follows is a storm of dynamic drumming, mascular guitars, distorted vocals and flashy keys in a rhythmic delivery, leading to a PINK FLOYD-like salvation solo and the farewell, symphonic piano/synthesizer work of Brian Holmes.

An nice little album along the lines of MICE ON STILTS, NINE STONES CLOSE and COSMOGRAF.Atmospheric Heavy Prog with Neo Prog sensibilities and some well-placed psychedelic flavors.Warmly recommended.

 Machines Dream by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 25 ratings

Machines Dream
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by tribeca

5 stars An album of contrasts and high production values. I heard the epic Toronto Skyline on an internet radio station and decided to check out the band.

The album is available as an uncompressed (WAV or FLAC) free download at the Aurovine site and is impressive on a decent Hi-Fi system or good quality headphones.

Unarmed At Sea, Boundaries and The Session have enough for hardened prog fans to get their teeth into. It's much more Floyd than Dream Theater so don't let the 'Crossover' labelling put you off.

As a debut, the album stands up there with some of the best and it will be interesting to see if they can follow it up with an album delivering the same impact. I would, however, like to see the boundaries (no pun intended) pushed a little in terms of putting their own stamp (or definitive sound) onto the next collection of songs.

 Machines Dream by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 25 ratings

Machines Dream
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Machines Dream is going to be one hell of revelation to avid prof fans out there, having flown underneath my radar and discovering its existence only via candidacy into joining PA within the crossover sub-genre. This talented crew are based in tranquil Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario, Canada, not exactly a hotbed of prog, but it becomes apparent that these lads have definitely passed their exams on progressive rock, a clever blend of harder-edged Pink Floyd influences, perhaps similar to Norwegian band Airbag or German band RPWL in taking the highly-schooled style into different horizons.

Scratchy needle opens the book on a glittering prize, as 'Boundaries' evokes a particular interest in cool lyrics , motored by tremendously effective vocals (a consistent trait throughout the disc) from bassist Craig West , some spectacular guitar slinging from Keith Conway, Brian Holmes keyboard colorations are spot on, while Ken Coulter drums with authority. This is a bruising and heavy affair in order to get the juices flowing and the attention firmly on the upcoming features.

To prove the point, "Toronto Skyline" has a hook, line and sinker that could easily propel this song and its creators to legendary status, a true prog anthem for the eternal ages. Firstly, build a solid melody with a soaring and hummable chorus, an incandescent guitar solo and enough mood and space to sink deep into one's pleasure nodes. West sings brilliantly.

The nearly 5 minute "London at Night" is a completely different feel, perhaps more of a basic rock ballad, adorned with swoon and groove courtesy of a rollicking bass furrow, slide guitar frills, good propulsive beat and more seasoned West vocals. There is a more Roxy Music, Bowie, Peter Murphy-like feel here (bands they used to cover in their formative period) than, say KC, Floyd or Genesis. In fact Conway sounds more like Manzanera than Gilmour (which is funny because the two are close friends and collaborators).

This poppy respite only serves to elevate the torrid "Unarmed at Sea" , a mellotron-drenched epic that simply takes the listener's breath away, a sublime lead vocal within churning symphonic waves, 'gradually going tornado' into more passionate fury, like some storm of melancholic solitude unleashing the deepest pain. Conway then blisters on the fret board, curdling bolts of electric despair as it fizzles onward and upward. The somber piano keeps on playing the same desperate, forlorn and vulnerable lament.

The jaw-dropping "Mad for All Seasons" goes beyond the 10 minute mark and as such, is one of the more constructed epics presented here, Craig West has the uncanny ability to modulate his voice into unending variations, sounding here like the perpetually angry Derrick Dick (Fish), while the band does a fair flattery of Marillion by the book. The impossible guitar prefers a screechy tone, the overall mood ominous, vaporous and beguiling. There is a barely suppressed sense of rage that makes this piece feel like a shaken champagne bottle ready to blow its cork to kingdom come. But instead of the expected splashy eruption, the piano and bass veer into more tremulous mid-section that felt almost like the Legendary Pink Dots, before a tempestuous Manzanera-like solo scours the skies like some rough cleaning implement. "Closing time again", West bellows.

We then are witnessing two shorter tunes that showcase a more accessible slant, I must admit that they , while very pleasant and well-constructed, really do not highlight the band's strengths. "Stop Waiting for Miracles" is best described as the most immediate song on the album, a straight ahead boomer, constructed in very basic form, direct vocals and clinical playing by all aboard. "Locusts" opens with a familiar piano refrain, some the Who-like guitar phrasing, early rock 'n roll meets psychedelia that, again caters to the poppier side.

Things revert to haunting and majestic with the rather amazing "Colder Rain", a blustery hurricane of sound and vision, propelled by a Manfred Mann-like synth solo as well as profound symphonics, roaming bass and devastating sonic drums. A totally unexpected electric piano solo only compels one deeper into amazement.

"Everyone Says Goodbye" is another briefer ditty that has more of a blue-rock feel, almost hints of Robin Trower. As stated before, very good but not essential within the confines of the longer pieces.

All is well that ends well, and "the Session" is the perfect finale, suggesting nearly a dozen minutes of intense cinematographic prog, loaded with tons of delicious detail, quirky synth bubbles, rash guitar slashes and , once again, a new vocal modulation from Mr. West, a voice to be reckoned with. The essence of progressive rock is caught within its grooves, a sense of unexpected luxury and divine expression fluttering at the fingertips of the players as they manipulate their instruments. Fantastic debut , a band we all need to keep an eye on.

It is not uncommon for debut albums to showcase some diversity and that is why it's called a debut, a need to provide all the tendencies which make artists want to express themselves. I am sure that their next effort , the soon to be released 'Immunity' will concentrate on what Machines Dream do best, an album of longer, well-thought out compositions that extol the virtues of smartly crafted music and present a vocal performance that only serves to further enhance the talent on display. The artwork, production, arranging and playing are world-class.

4 android hallucinations.

 Machines Dream by MACHINES DREAM album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.18 | 25 ratings

Machines Dream
Machines Dream Crossover Prog

Review by JPWOWS


Like many of us I got my early musical education at the hands of older siblings and - thankfully for me - a fair slice of classic progressive rock was included. And I lived quite happily with bands like Rush et al over many contented years. Until. The Internet gave me access to new artists and new ways for me to hear their music.

It was during one surfing expedition that I found myself listening to this album. I was intrigued by the artist name with its connotations (for me) of Philip K Dick/Blade Runner. I am sure that there are many other strange reasons to start listening to any band!

And I'm glad that I did for this is an excellent debut album by a set of very accomplished musicians.

Album opener Boundaries has a brief almost Eastern opening before the guitarist starts with some shred riffing. The vocals come in fairly quickly and tell a wistful tale of memories before a very uplifting chorus break. Overall, though, it is quite a heavy track that offers a lot of promise for what is to come.

This is followed by a killer track in Toronto Skyline which seems to be about the real sense of alienation in a large city. After some intro vocals there is an explosive guitar solo underpinned by nice keyboards. The lyricist excels himself in this song and perfectly tells a tale that will be familiar to many of us. The last 1/3 of the song is the lead guitar player letting rip with some lyrical playing - I just loved where it took me - reminded me in places of Steve Rothery.

Track 3 London By Night follows a similar theme - another city, another lost soul. There is an FM feel to this and I imagine it would sound very good on a radio station. Once again the latter part of the song has some nice psychedelic guitar playing to close things out.

The next track Unarmed At Sea feels very much like the centre piece and is probably the most cohesive song on this album. There is a dramatic keyboard-led opening before the vocalist begins his plaintive tale of being alone in some desolate place with rotting boardwalks. Things do take a heavy turn mid-way through with another great guitar solo that reminded me of Neil Young in rock out Crazy Horse mode. The keyboards dominate the end of the song and you feel it is going to end quietly until the guitarist reminds you that he is still there!

One of the two 'long' songs on the album is next. Mad For All Seasons reminded me of Garden Party by Marillion and has a stomping riff to get some prog dancing going. The middle section quietens a little with some guitar/keyboards interplay before the vocalist starts to get a heavy groove on again encouraging the rest of the band to show their rockier side.

Song 6 Waiting For Miracles is a straight ahead rocker with some of the best vocals on the album and more great soloing from the guitarist. Less of a classic progressive feel, but none the worse for it.

Quiet keyboards introduce Locust before the guitars announce themselves. The overall feel of the song is quite psychedelic throughout though there are some great power chords to remind you that these guys are not totally laid back!

Colder Rain returns to full blown classical prog with guitars/keys underpinned by some tub thumping drumming to start before quickly slowing down to some atmospheric vocals with understated backing. The sound levels are then cranked up again and I found myself shaking my head to the crazy Moog (?) solo around the mid point. The guitar then joins in with the motif - some excellent drumming behind this section - before wandering off on a solo journey. Things are brought down several levels where I started to imagine the colder rain on some dark street as I made my way home from a night out.

Penultimate track Everybody Says Goodbye has that recurring psychedelic theme in its opening musically. The lyrics repeat the lost/alone feel of other tracks. I did feel that this was a weak track given what had gone before. I hesitate to say 'filler' but it had that feel about it and probably cost the review a star.

The longest song closes the album. The Session starts off with some vocal soundbites before the guitarist pops up to say hello everybody with a cracking riff. I imagined the band all wigging out behind him as he goes headbanging crazy with his axe. The keys come in to provide a wandering lead line behind the vocals telling a further tale of leaving/emptiness. What follows is quite an eclectic mixture - Moog (?) solo, shredding, crashing drums, quiet acoustic plucking, even the bass comes to the fore - before the song/albums winds down to one last thought:

"I'm afraid of everything."

That's the closing line! Well the vocalist may well be, but fans of great music have nothing to fear from this album.

Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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