Exposé Online banner

Drama — Stigmata of Change
(Cyclops CYCL 148, 2005, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01

Stigmata of Change Cover art

Seven years has passed since this French band’s last release, Flying over the 21st Century. Lineup changes include new vocalist Yvon Lucas, who suits the material well, even if he’s not a great singer. The modus operandi behind Drama’s musical style is relatively intact: accessible symphonic-tinged prog in the vein of Saga or 90s Genesis. Positive steps have been taken to update the production values on this album and the keyboards and percussion tracks now feature techniques that bring these songs in line with modern prog bands like RWPL. Lucas often sounds like Yogi Lang as well, making the similarities even stronger, even if none of the material here approaches their German counterpart’s songwriting gifts. This concept album — evidently regarding a relationship gone awry — leans mainly on vocal songs given expansive symphonic texturing, akin to Dutch group Like Wendy. Instrumentals typically feature keyboard player Ralph Adam who has a good feel for orchestrations. Several shorter pieces, in fact, are entirely orchestral and in “A Revelation” even ape the sort of hip atmospherics from Enigma and Deep Forest. The album reaches its height with catchy pieces like “A Start” or the closer “Smoke” that, while not about to win any awards for originality or instrumental genius, do what they set out to do very well and should only be considered on those terms. As long as you aren’t looking for yet another retro-sympho- band or anything too difficult on the ear then this just might be worth checking out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Drama

Latest news

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Black Stage - Black Stage – This is a project featuring Keiji Haino (electric guitar, flute, harp, voice), Natsuki Kido (acoustic guitar), and Yuji Katsui (violin) that – despite its release date – was recorded live...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover

Merkaba streaming



Print issues