Zen Carnival – Lucid Dreamer (2015)

ZenCarnival_LucidDreamer3.5 out of 5 Stars!

Lucid Dreamer, the third and latest album from Zen Carnival, contains touches of various Prog-Rock sub-categories such as Avant-Prog and Jazz-Fusion along with Neo-Prog and Symphonic Prog, yet with also a healthy dose of straight-up AOR and Pop Rock when it comes to several vocal melody lines, such as the catchy closing track, “Love is the New Way.”

Overall, the music on Lucid Dreamer, which incorporates a pleasant variety of keyboards (including Mellotron), both aggressive/mellow and electric/acoustic guitars, plus mostly upbeat and often-punchy rhythms, occasionally reminds me of the more poppier side of groups such as Camel and Caravan with some quirkier instrumentation (as on “Medieval Suite,” for example) that would seem right at home on albums by Gentle Giant or Spock’s Beard.

A fun album from a promising group!

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