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Ulysses - The Gift Of Tears CD (album) cover

THE GIFT OF TEARS

Ulysses

 

Progressive Metal

3.77 | 15 ratings

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Rivertree
Special Collaborator
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars 'The Gift Of Tears' appears with a new vocalist compared to their 2003 predecessor album 'Symbioses' and can be considered as a big hit for some reasons. ULYSSES offer progressive heavy emphasized rock music here with a metal and symphonic edge. That means when listening to the songs you immediately realize that guitarist Sylvester Vogelenzang de Jong comes more from the metal side of life whereas keyboarder Ron Mozer likes to play a lot of typical symphonic respectively neo progressive keyboard stuff. Both are the band's core since the beginning in 2001 and responsible for the band's unique output. All in all this is really convincing based on a sophisticated songwriting and sometimes reminds me of DREAM THEATER's 'Falling Into Infinity' phase and the last two SIEGES EVEN albums stylistically (and that's a benefit though considering my taste).

A typical Portnoy attacking bass drum attracts attention when the album opener Family Portrait starts. Besides the fact that the seven songs are damn rocking with a lot of breaks and changes the vocals are really attractive during the whole 60 minutes furthermore. Not knowing their former stuff I can state that Michael Hos' voice matches quite good - what the ballad Lost confirms first and foremost. You can detect keyboards with an orchestral touch on Guardian Angel for example and enchanting melodies with polyphonic vocals on How Much More. The Gift Of Tears shines with heavy riffing guitars and diversified keyboard contributions coming from organ, piano plus a vibes similiar sound.

And you won't miss the mandatory epic song named Anat provided with a heart wrenching story about young parents who lost their one-year-old daughter because of a brain tumour. Musically this piece is divided in different moods alternating between melancholic and heavy - a typical prog metal sound, including slight growling vocal impressions, as well as some ballad characterized parts. A highly recommended album by this band from the Netherlands. Not ignoring the cheerful rhythm section this album is headed at first by an excellent matching vocal, keyboard and guitar work.

Rivertree | 4/5 |

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