Austrian ensemble Dreams of Sanity straddled the worlds of gothic rock and heavy metal, exploring the marriage of classical music and rock, aggressive metal and angelic female lead vocals, some years before that format became the soup du jour of European metal. Formed in 1991, the band underwent numerous membership changes over the ensuing years, but after refining its sound with a pair of demos, vocalists Sandra Schleret and Martina Hornbacher, guitarists Christian Marx and Andreas Wildaur, keyboardist Stephan Manges, bassist Michael Knoflach, and drummer Romed Astner recorded their 1997 debut, Komödia, for local Hall of Sermon Records. A concept piece inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, this set the stage for additional album-length thematic enterprises like 1999's Masquerade (based on The Phantom of the Opera) and 2000's The Game (a story of the band's own devising). Both of these featured new members Frederic Heil (keyboards) and Harald Obexer (drums), and the first saw guest vocalist Tilo Wolff (also the owner of their record company, curiously enough!) subbing for Hornbacher, who had just departed to join Korova. That ill-advised mixture of business and art may have ultimately contributed to Hall of Sermon's dropping of the band, which subsequently broke up in 2002.
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