“Star Tales” is the debut album of Dol Ammad, the one that started it all for this unique music project. It features 12 tracks of operatic and progressive fantasy metal lasting 62 minutes.
Dol Ammad is the brainchild of composer-keyboardist Thanasis Lightbridge who formed this innovative band in 2000 trying to blend his many influences of electronic, metal and classical music. The result is a highly descriptive, unpredictable and artistic sound that is totally fresh and original. The vocal tasks of Dol Ammad are taken over by a 12-part classical choir consisting of members of one of Greece’s best youth choirs and are all professional musicians. The band describes itself as “Electronica – Art – Metal” and in 2002 Dol Ammad were presented and interviewed in the Music University of Thessaloniki Greece for giving birth to a new music genre!
Dol Ammad released 2 demo CDs in 2001 and 2002 which were incredibly well received by the metal world.
By the end of 2003 and during the first half of 2004, Dol Ammad arranged and produced their much anticipated debut full album with the inclusion of drummer Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire, Sieges Even). The drum recordings took place at the famous “Gate Studio” in Wolfsburg Germany under the production and engineering skills of Sascha Paeth and Olaf Reitmeier.
The rest of the recordings, mixing and mastering took place in Thanasis’ personal project studio “Theeta” in Thessaloniki Greece by him and sound engineer Argy Stream.
“Star Tales” was released by Greek label “Black Lotus Records” in November 2004 but after the label declared bankruptcy in 2006 all the rights of “Star Tales” have returned to Thanasis Lightbridge and his personal record label “Electronicartmetal Records” who is now distributing all the past and future works of the composer.
“STAR TALES” QUOTES
A quest in unexplored fields of hard music…. I sweat only by thinking how much work this man must has done in order to materialize this ambitious attempt with such spectacular results and it is a work that demands time and multiple hearings in order to reveal its virtues… It is almost certain that in the future we will be impressed even more from Dol Ammad.
METAL HAMMER Greece - 8/10 –
Therion needed a double album ('Lemuria / Sirius B') to create (finally) another small masterpiece. Dol Ammad does the same, but managed to do it with a single (and debuting) album. This album is a revolutionizing landmark and will possibly set new, synthesized standards for the evolution of future metal. The Luke Skywalker of metal is born and his name is Thanasis Lightbridge.
LORDS OF METAL - 90/100 -
….if this is just a debut, what can we expect from DOL AMMAD in the future?
METAL INVADER - 4,5/6 –
“The band’s brilliant debut . . . is a virtuous trip into bombastic riffs, majestic sci-fi score, and full on choral arrangements that’s wholly (and guiltily) enjoyable.”
Dol Ammad have created a new way of making music, they saw what was lacking in the Metal scene: originality, and they injected that in their music, the result, an overdose of musical creativity.
Probably the most promising band that emerged from Greece in the last decade or something.
Dol Ammad are relentless in their pursuit for a higher dexterity and the results they produce are frequently astonishing.
Dol Ammad are a large group whose grandiose numbers relay a massive amount of talented wailing, unbelievable atmospheric effects, and competent musicianship.
ULTIMATE METAL FORUM
This is an original, challenging and extreme album. The choirs give it an accesibility that shall appeal to fans of bands like Therion, but the bizarre electronics and agonizing pace throughout big parts of the recording, will make extreme metal fans happy as well. if there is such thing as 'futuristic metal', then let Dol Ammad be one of its better manifestations…Easily one of the best 5 albums of 2004.
FORESHADOW MAGAZINE -4,5/5-
One of the best albums of the year in 2004, and one that I unfortunately missed when making up my 'Best of' year end list, you owe it to yourself to hear it if you consider yourself remotely interested in the direction the band is heading, because more discs like this are going to follow from other bands. I only hope they can match this disc, the one that started it all.
METAL CRYPT -5/5-
The major factor of why this album works, is that you never know what to expect next. And that constantly keeps you on your toes. The differing styles, admittedly take a while to become accustomed to, but once the formula is absorbed, then it's a very pleasant journey to take.
LIVE 4 METAL
I’ll let you know right now, Dol Ammad’s genre shattering mix of Therion, Rhapsody (not surprising since Rhapsody Alex Holzwarth drummer is in this band), Bal-Sagoth (The Power Cosmic era) and Jean Michel Jarre is about the most fun and brilliant album I have heard in a long time. Had it been released 3 days later, it would easily be one of my top 5 albums of 2005, something no Black Lotus release has ever done.
All this combined produces a stirring and intense final result; the classical, symphonic and orchestral "Electronica Art Metal", which has a science fiction theme, sounds cosmic and grand. This space opera summons visions of alien civilisations, enormous space fleets and intergalactic schemes. This record was released at the end of 2004, work has already started on a successor with the sea as source of inspiration. Until that second album is available we'll have to do with Star Tales, since we're dealing with a magnificent cd here that shouldn't be a problem at all!
This music is practically defined by the huge sounds contributed by the the 12-piece choir. In fact - everything is big on Star Tales. Without the choir this would be an interesting CD that may or may not catch your attention. But with the choir the music takes on epic qualities and is elevated to a higher level.
SEA OF TRANQUILITY –3,5/5-
"Star Tales" just may have raised the bar for other Prog Metal acts, possibly becoming the standard by which all others in the genre are judged! Without a doubt one of the most original bands to come out in many a moon. Highly Recommended!
WEST SIDE DAVE
Whether or not you like Dol Ammad is going to be directly proportionate to your tolerance for progressive fantasy space metal. If listening to Hawkwind in headphones tickles your fancy, or you like to pile your musical plate high with fancy cheese, Dol Ammad will have you turning down the lights and lighting up your favorite vegetative fiber in celebration.
…allowing oneself to get lost in the fantastic, pastel music vision of the universe interpreted through double kick drums and plastic fantastic instruments yields exponential returns. Very highly recommended.
Fans of Symphonic metal will absolutely eat this album up, there are a lot of layers to every aspect of it that just need to be pulled back and explored, and those who want something a little different should seek this album out, it’s definitely a trip you’ll want to take many many times.
NO OFFICIAL CAPACITY -8/10-
This was a wild album that was beyond anything I have ever listened to before. It is worth checking out if you have an open mind.
THE GREAT NOTHING
I said it with Therion and I’ll say it with Dol Ammad: this album is large. Not just in size, but in scope. The sound is big, bold and very, very unique. The End Records is distributing them exclusively in the United States. Power, symphonic and progressive metal fans would do well to investigate further.
MUSIC TAP -4,5/5-
It is, in fact, quite impossible to explain all the finesses of the music without myself and you (the reader) having had a decent musical instruction. I can tell you this though : it's a pity this album was already released on November 11th, and that I've already turned in my 'Best Of 2004' list, because this album would've been listed in there for sure! Absolute top quality this is, and fully deserving my highest rating!
CONCRETE WEB -100/100-