Dogma – Twin Sunrise

1995 (Progressive Rock Worldwide)

1: Midday (5:52)
2: The Search (7:19)
3: Burn The Witch (5:36)
4: Hymn (8:21)
5: The Place (4:03)
6: The Landing (10:00)
7: Twin Sunrise (12:19)

Dogma is a Brazilian band that gained some fame in the 90s with two albums. In 1992 their self-titled debut was released and three years later it was followed by the album discussed here, “Twin Sunrise”. Listening to the more progressive sound of this successor you unfortunately have to realize that the world could have received a lot more beauty making it a real gem. Personally “Twin Sunrise” holds an additional special value for me as it was the first CD I bought from the warm-blooded continent.

Of course it is the music itself that has stolen my heart. Apart from the variety the band brings through the use of choirs, strings, sound fragments and various cinematic soundscapes it is primarily the interaction of the four musicians that constantly captivates. In a delightful Camel-like manner guitarist Fernando Campos effortlessly connects with his keyboard-playing companion Renato Coutinho to bring out the best in each other. The album is filled with their delicacies and as the icing on the cake there is the virtuoso bass playing of Barao, who joyfully dances through it all. Drummer Daniel Mello provides appropriate rhythms to the whole without shortchanging himself. The gentlemen’s performances are all very impressive and yet it was wise to occasionally seek the help of guest musicians and vocalists.

In the opening track Midday the quartet handles the task on their own. Fiery guitar playing and Rick Wakeman-inspired keyboard color the picture of this instrumental track beautifully. When the organ comes into play everything gets even better and it becomes increasingly clear that the gentlemen of Dogma know perfectly well how to shape their music. Thus the diverse The Search is a beautiful combination of neo-progressive moments. It features a calm acoustic guitar intro, a passage with nimble bass spots, a Tracy Hitchings-like vocal section and a bombastic finale. In the instrumental track Burn The Witch strings, flute and an overwhelming choir take the stage. It may be needless to say that the music here leans towards classical influences although Steve Hackett’s tranquil works can also be mentioned as a point of comparison. It is a magnificent song and the following Hymn also abounds in beauty. It begins with the sound of water splashing followed by a mermaid’s singing. A choir joins in building up to a melodic piece.

After these four captivating compositions Dogma takes a slightly different approach. The Place is an accessible song with theatrical vocals and the only amusement being the thundering drums towards the end. What truly casts a negative light on the song is the intro which is a direct copy of Van Halen’s Jump. Later in the song, the piece resurfaces and it keeps haunting your mind why such talented composers allow themselves this slip-up. Fortunately The Landing and the closing title track Twin Sunrise are once again gems with The Landing actually starting with the sound of a landing Boeing. It’s all cool once again.

The music of “Twin Sunrise” has an elusive temperament. Describing it is impossible, far too personal. Go experience it, go experience it.

Fernando Campos: acoustic and electric 6- and 12-string guitar
Renato Coutinho: keyboards, sequencers
Barao: 5-snarige bass
Daniel Mello: drums, percussion
Titi Walter: vocals (2,4)
Lígia Jacques: lead vocals (4)
Guilherme Bizotto: vocals (5)
Mauro Rodrigues: flute (3), stringarrangment, conductor (3)
Elias Martins De Barros: violin (3)
Erasmo Fernandes: violin (3)
Cleusa De Sana: viola (3)
Firmino Cavazza: cello (3)
Valdir Claudino: contrabas (3)
Henrique Santana, Matheus Braga, Luis Flavio Freitas, Flavio Fontenelle,
Ligia Jacques, Titi Walter: choir (3,4)

© Dick van der Heijde 2022