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Hidden Lands - Halcyon CD (album) cover


Hidden Lands



3.18 | 19 ratings

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4 stars 2017 will evolve to another glorious Prog year, it seems, very promising. I'm continuously coming across new inspired albums appearing on the scene. In terms of niveau and style HIDDEN LANDS are acting similar to Sanguine Hum, Iluvator and maybe Nice Beaver somehow. All are representing a sort of remoulded modernized prog orientation, while flirting with some pop and art rock appeal too here and there. This quartet is hailing from Uppsala, Sweden, the musicians are experienced, singer Bruno Edling and Hannes Ljunghall (keyboards, guitar) for instance are deriving from a predecessor unit named Violent Silence.

Meanwhile 'Halcyon' is their third production actually, promises diversity, and some real prog pearls are emerging sooner or later, this counting the album opener in for sure. The Prince Of Goofs bears a rather tricky execution, though also runs in a catchy manner anyhow. Or let me also emphasize the (partially) uptempo No One Is In This For Love, which won't let me go anymore, inviting to sing along on top of that. Besides the electric piano Ljunghall caters for a somewhat quirky synthesizer within. This may annoy one or two, but definitely not me. A perfect tune! Ulleraker on the other hand appears like something I normally would expect from an avant band.

Or by way of variation with The Silent Service we also have an extended charming (quasi pop) ballad at hand. Not my preference basically, but this is really really well done. So finally I take the risk to claim, this is something for connoisseurs. No filler, and melodic compositions overall, though challenging, not straightened in any case. Bruno Edling delivers a very good singing voice, the focus is on the instrumental expansion anyhow, including enough room for solos like on the closing Rooftop Farewell. Eh ... now it feels like it's time for the preparation of the 2017 best-of list at the latest.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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