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Neo-Prophet - Monsters CD (album) cover

MONSTERS

Neo-Prophet

 

Neo-Prog

3.92 | 29 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars This Belgian formation is rooted in 2005 when Hans 'Mac' Six and Sjoerd 'CAP' Bruyneel stopped their activities in Marsta Blasta (in which they played both together for many years) and decided to found a new band named New- Prophet. This in order to realize their musical dreams to make melodic rock with progressive influences of the known Seventies and Eighties bands. While Hans switched from guitar to bass, drummer Rudi Lins and guitarist Stephane Landtmeters completed Neo Prophet. The first rehearsals and jam-sessions started in spring 2005 in the own "WAMP-studio" (Without Any Musical Pretension) and within a couple of weeks this already resulted in promising new songs. Due to different musical ideas Stephane decided to quit the band. But fortunately Frank Debruyne soon joined, on the same day after placing the advertisement on the internet, and turned out to be a gift of heaven. And a mutual gift, as Frank, as a big prog-rock fan, was also for a long time in search for a band playing his favorite kind of music.

A first try-out was given on the night of September 24th in Vlamertinge only a few months after Frank's entrance in the band. To answer the continuous demands for demo's and CD-material by fans and organizers and taken into account the empty wallet of the band, it was soon decided to try to record and produce an own record in their WAMP studio. Armed with only a cheap laptop, a stereo soundcard, one condenser mike, a free software Cubase program, but with a good pair of ears, a new challenge started early December 2005 for Mac: the recordings for the 5-track demo The Feeblemindedness Of The Inept And The Ignorant. Meanwhile the first gigs were booked, the first reviews appeared, all with positive feedback. Recordings of the many new compositions started between December 2006 and mid 2007 and from April 2007 the first results of the new recording were presented as the promo single An Introduction To Monsters with the songs The Blessed One and The Vast Machine. Finally late 2008 the debut CD entitled Monsters was released as an own production, it was received very well.

On their debut album Neo Prophet scout the borders between melodic rock, Art-rock, neo-progressive rock and symphonic rock with a very powerful and accessible sound. The first part of Monsters (tracks 1-5) contains songs that alternate between melodic rock and neo-prog, embellished with strong solos and good musical ideas. Like an exciting Savatage-like break and a fiery guitar solo in The Vast Machine, orchestral keyboards and a sensational synthesizer solo in (March Of The) Boneless and a swirling Hammond solo and jazzy saxophone in Man Without A Name. Listening to these songs bands like Seventies Saga and Styx and early Marillion come to my mind.

The second part of Monsters showcases more elaborate and varied compositions. First the wonderful ballad Song X with some heavy eruptions featuring splendid work on keyboards (Moog, Hammond) and guitar. Then the outstanding track 911 Pianoid that delivers an exciting mid-tempo with propulsive interplay between piano and guitar, a moving Rotherian guitar solo and a sensational break with a Saga-like duel between guitar and keyboards, goose bumps!

But the absolute highlight of this CD is the long and alternating final composition The New Prophet (6 parts, almost 21 minutes), you can enjoy:

a spectacular Moog synthesizer solo,

an Alex Lifeson inspired guitar solo,

an interlude with Fender Rhodes electric piano that sounds like 'Neo Prophet Goes Riders On The Storm',

a piece with exciting heavy guitar riffs and bombastic keyboards,

and in the end a compelling final part delivering majestic strings arrangements, sparkling piano and vocal harmonies, concluded with tender piano and a mellow church-organ sound, awesome!

After this promising debut CD the band went into some line-up changes and in 2015 finally released the second effort entitled T.I.M.E. I just checked their website (on July 2018), I notice that this second album is announced as their 'new album coming soon'. So I am afraid that Neo Prophet belongs to the past. Anyway, I have seen this very promising band twice (on Symforce III and during a triple concert with Yesterdays from Rumania and Dutch Knight Area in Amsterdam), Neo Prophet on stage is a real treat! So perhaps, as a kind of goodbye to the fans, the band will release a live CD? Thanks in advance!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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