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Huis - Neither in Heaven CD (album) cover

NEITHER IN HEAVEN

Huis

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 119 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Huis is a band project assembled by Michel St. Pere, the man behind the heavy neo-prog band Mystery, and "Neither in Heaven" is the band's second album. As with Mystery, Huis on this album follow the course of a heavy prog band with lots of synthesizer solos and abundant use of a heavy guitar sound. Similarities between Huis and Mystery might be easy to come by, and I wondered why St. Pere would want to run two bands of similar style at the same time. However, I haven't heard the latest Mystery album so I can't say if that band has changed at all.

There are several points worthy of mention regarding this album. First, I have to mention singer Sylvain Descoteaux who also handles piano and keyboards, one of four members in the band to have his hands on the keys! Sylvain can sing with a voice that agilely slides up to higher registers for Gillan-like howls and screams as in "Synesthesia" and "The Man on the Hill" but delivers melody and more soothing notes when required. You might soon clue into his French- Canadian accent, though this only adds charm to the vocals in my opinion.

Although many songs feature a heavier guitar with riffs that rival Arena, the album includes plenty of lighter passages either nestled within songs like "Synesthesia" or making up the bulk of the song in "Memories". I especially enjoy some of the piano with the final piano instrumental concluding the album being a favourite. "The Red Gypsy" begins with some lovely acoustic guitar and "Entering the Gallery" is a tease with a light and beautiful piano introduction that soon gives way to the heavier side of Huis. Three instrumental tracks "Neither in Heaven", "Insane" and "I Held" give the band opportunity to show off their instrumental skills free of the burden of lyrics.

This is an album written and performed by seasoned musicians, and I often find myself marveling at the perfection that has gone into the creation and recording of the songs. Still, depending on my mood, I may also feel the denser atmosphere of the heavier parts is not the best way to present the music of the album or that the same audio density is detracting from the lighter, prettier music. In general though, It's difficult to find fault with this album and at times during the day, the music may begin playing freely in my head. Worthy of four stars for certain.

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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