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Ken's Novel - The Guide  CD (album) cover

THE GUIDE

Ken's Novel

 

Neo-Prog

3.13 | 16 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars If you like the hard neo-prog style ("Arena" oriented), this album might well be for you.

The opening number is truely exciting : very strong rhythm, good vocals and lush keyboards. It is a powerful number which should please all the fans of this genre. The highlight of this album. Being a Belgian band, it seems that the singer wants, here and there, to sound as Mario Guccio (from Machiavel). This is obvious during "Guilty Witnesses", an average funky song.

Ken's Novel will bring us back in the heavy sounds during "Homeland". Fortunately, some nice and melodic keys and guitar breaks will smoothe this orientation a bit. The track is very-well balanced but you have to be able to digest these hard moments, otherwise you might well be knocked down or just quit this album after this track.

Some sorts of world music intro for "Power and Dignity". But this song is more pop-oriented; pleasant riff and good chorus are the ingredients here. Maybe a bit too long. With the next track "Be Yourself Again" It seems that "Ken's Novel" does not not really know which direction to choose from : hard or prog ?

So they will again mix both. Even adding some Oriental flavours to it (but it was already the case on previous numbers). Again, the chorus moments are pretty much OK. The finale is totally world music oriented. It is really a strange mix. Catchy at times but noisy and pointless during others. Quite difficult to find a guideline in here.

To confirm this, the next short song is almost pastoral. It is good to help the listener to breathe a bit and it contrasts drammatically with the other songs featured on this album so far. Needless to say that we will be submerged again with the hard mood during "Rumour of War". It reminds me at times the "tribal" rock sound from "Adam & The Ants" (no, I'm not joking. Just listen to the percussions). But while "Adam" was funny and fresh, this song isn't. Inspiration is lacking and at this point, the album sounds too uniform.

Strong percussions again (which is another trade mark for "Ken's Novel") during "Shielded". Another pleasant number, featuring again nice vocals and a solid guitar break. It's probably the best number since "The Guide". Your ears will again be bombarbed again during "In disgrace". Hopefully, only for ninety seconds completely ... disgraceful. The poorest moment.

This album is not bad but nor is it good enough to deserve more than a two star rating. I have listened to it lots of time and I never was charmed in its totality. Some good numbers (three) and a monotonuous tone almost all the way through (even if the closing number breaks again with this sensation but it is just an average ballad).

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |

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