Argentina’s Bad Dreams started out life as a bit of a Genesis tribute band. After 10 years of that, they moved into doing their own material. Their new album “Chrysalis” still owes plenty to classic Genesis: musically, vocally, and melodically. While I wouldn’t call the album a Genesis clone, it certainly has the feel of what Genesis might sound like had the original five tried their hand at a new album.
Before you get too excited, the results on “Chrysalis” are of a mixed bag. Vocalist Gabriel Agudo has a really strong voice and is quite easy to listen to. He does remind me a bit of vintage Peter Gabriel but not too much. Unfortunately, there are some moments that he falters including an inexplicable “yeeow” during the song “Darkness” which sounds very out of place and silly. Cringe worthy. Musically, the band know their way around the classic prog sound but do slip into a more comfortable neo prog vibe. The sound is far less Genesis and more akin to the bucketload of bands that emerged in the 80s and 90s.
The only complete misstep musically is “Goblin’s Seduction,” which sounds like bad lounge music rather than actual prog. Granted, the band deserves credit for trying something different. My favorite track is the instrumental closer “Butterfly” which isn’t a “noodle-fest” at all. The band showcase their chops in a very tasteful manner. I do wish that drummer Fernando Cornejo pushed the songs more than he does. Often the drums seem to lag and his fills lack the power that I prefer.
Overall, “Chrysalis” is an album that neo-prog fans will no doubt exalt. Bad Dreams don’t really stand out from any of those bands but at the same time, they write very good songs and understand the classic side of progressive rock. “Chrysalis” proves that there’s life beyond being a Genesis cover band.
3. Silent Run
5. Goblin’s Seduction