Vera : A new Oberon album? That is quite a surprise! Once we bought the self-titled debut album (actually a MCD), being one of the first issues of Prophecy Productions. The reason for that was the beautiful song ‘L.I.T.L.O.T.W.’ which stands for ‘Love Is The Light Of The World’. In this title you already notice the spiritual, mystic approach of life by the moving spirit of this outfit: the Norwegian Bard ‘Oberon’ Titlestad. After that another two albums were released by himself: ‘Mysteries’ (1998) and ‘Anthem’ (2001) on which he chose more and more the path of experimental ambient. Years of silence followed, dedicated to personal development. This inner search towards higher consciousness lasted until Christmas 2011. At that moment Oberon started the preproduction of what would turn into ‘Dream Awakening’. Of course, before that some ideas had been merged into songs. It is the reflection of the personality of this musician in all its facets, a seemingly sober record that shows so much depth that we are silenced by it.
The image of the phoenix, rising from the ashes, symbolizes the conceptual theme of ‘Dream Awakening’. It deals with the path of the soul on its way to the grand awakening, or even enlightening. Without being stuck in a naïve hippie feel or unworldly vague thoughts, Bard puts the finger on the wounds of our society. These keen visions are expressed in poetic words. More than once we just write them down while listening to enjoy the beauty of it. Consequently the result of this thinker has led to an album that brims with purified maturity, musical as well as lyrical, yet at the same time it is ultimate genuine and pure. Not restricted by earthly concerns and that is exceptional.
The album begins introvert and thoughtful with ‘Empty And Marvellous’: a man with a sonorous voice and his acoustic guitar. But do not fear: this will not be another stuffy acoustic plea. There we have the electrified ‘Escape’ as second track with all its Pink Floyd-ish beauty! This is soaring atmospheric music with delicious contemplations and soon it passes into an amalgamation of heavy guitars with momentum, with a marvellous instrumental part as result. Then Bard presents himself mainly as proper singer-songwriter in the next four songs. With acoustic guitar and piano/keyboards he really charms us during ‘In Dreams We Never Die’ and ‘Flight Of Aeons’. But surely the title track and ‘Dark World’ give us goose-bumps. ‘Dark World’ goes until the bone in its melancholic darkness, with a menacing gloomy choir to emphasize the drama of this matter. Concerning the title track I just suggest to listen to the first three sentences… when it does not send shivers down your spine, my words are not meant for you. The contemplative atmosphere promptly changes in ‘I Can Touch The Sun With My Heart’: an up tempo rock song that has the potential to hit the charts, due to its catchiness and fetching melody lines. Yet the artist adds the dark choir in it as well as a magnificent glissando guitar solo. The cosmos: that is another topic close to the heart of Bard. During ‘Phoenix’ a feeling of resurrection is not that far away indeed. It almost sounds prophetic with its amazing poetry. The dreamy ‘Secret Flyer’ is catchy too and goes from acoustic to electric with loads of… here we go again… Pink Floyd-ish guitar sounds. This is a very spiritual album, serene, with pumping bass lines in ‘Machines That Dream’ and an eclectic performance of the emptiness of material things, even though they might be helpful from time to time. ‘Age Of The Moon’ is swinging rock, with orchestration and special sounds towards a climax. Finally it ends with introvert moments as passport to a better world. More than ever this is very actual as a matter of fact… Let this music soften the blow and let it make you sink into reveries.