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Huis - Despite Guardian Angels CD (album) cover





3.88 | 183 ratings

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5 stars For my first PA review, I deliberately chose an album from a band that I considered was worth discovering. It would have been easy to talk about Steven Wilson or Rush, but I doubt anybody would have learned something from it? So here I am writing about Huis' debut Despite Guardian Angels.

One will easily say that this new canadian band (from Montréal, Québec) is influenced by such acts as IQ, Pendragon, Marillion and Knight Area. That doesn't mean they are a copy of these neo-prog heroes. Neo-prog being what it is, you'll find plenty of odd times and lots of keyboards, mainly expressed through Minimoog, Mellotron and Hammond sounds. But the song constitution is more reminescent of a symphonic structure, layering different instrument lines to one dynamic whole -the finale of the track If by Morning being a perfect example. Some will say it is not totally original... but it still is quite creative!

A question : So, what is it about this band? A part of the answer : It's all about the ambiance that emanates from their music! Sometimes mellow and nostalgic (The Last Journey, Little Anne), sometimes strong and energetic (Haunted Nights, Oude Kerk I and II), sometimes swaying form one mood to the other (If by Morning, Salvation), all the 11 tracks are incredibly well conceived. The rhythm section lead by Régnier (drums / percs) and Joncas (bass) is carefully crafted and brings a great houmpf to the wonderful work of St-Père on guitars and Lapierre on keys! Finally, Descôteaux's heavenly voice sparks on every song (3 out of the 11 titles are instrumentals), with a special mention to Salvation!

Important notice : If you're looking for fast playing virtuosos, you may be disappointed? But, hey, they don't pretend to be and that's just fine with me! That being said, Huis displays true musicianship and a fine mastering of each instrument, production included! Nothing is overplayed or takes a disproportioned space, so you can realy feel the band's cohesion. They are tight musicians and you feel that they play to serve the melody, not their vainglory. The music is complex without being pretentious. As a matter of fact, a distracted listener could get an impression of simplicity, but careful and repeated listenings reveal all the richness and the subtlety of Huis' work. For all those reasons, a solid 5!

Mellomoog | 5/5 |


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