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Harvest - Underground Community CD (album) cover

UNDERGROUND COMMUNITY

Harvest

 

Neo-Prog

3.63 | 21 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Released in 2009, this is a nice album available as a free download on the band's website, although I for one will be sending off for a copy of the CD. Classified as neo-prog on the site, it probably, in my opinion, sits better in crossover prog, but wherever we argue about where it should be placed, this is an accomplished and very good debut work.

As a piece of trivia, this band have supported Marillion on Spanish dates, and it is this wonderful band to whom Harvest clearly owe much in loyalty and influences, certainly in their very knowing way of writing and performing catchy and instantly accessible pieces of music. The second track, Beyond The Desert, is one of the best pieces of pop/prog I have heard in quite a long time, and on this, as, indeed, everywhere, lead vocalist Monique Van Der Kolk absolutely shines. Hers is a beautiful voice which adds so much atmosphere and flavour.

There is one cover, and that is of the marvellous Marillion track Waiting To Happen, from Holidays In Eden. This track was a highlight of a relatively ordinary Marillion album for me, and to hear it reinterpreted in a far less "in your face" way by this band is an enjoyable experience. In addition, there is a piano sequence on She Tries lifted straight from that all time classic, Brave, and is no less enjoyable for showing its influence.

All of the band perform extremely well. The guitar solo on No Return by Jordi Prats is particularly evocative, lifting a track that sits deep in melancholy.

There is a foray into prog folk territory, with clear knowing nods to post indie sensibilities, on The Story Of Tim Ballas. Indeed, as I mentioned at the top, it really is very hard to classify this album, aside from stating that it is a collection of extremely well written, well performed, emotional, and enjoyable songs. Perhaps my only criticism is that the forays into harder material, such as Mara, are not as effective as much else here. Harvest are, I think, a band who should stick to the tuneful, because it is clearly what they are best at.

Definitely one for those who, like me, are a sucker for killer female vocals, this will also strongly appeal to those who don't have to have epics on their prog albums, and also to Marillion fans curious to explore a little more the bands associated with them.

As for a rating, 3.5, but rounded up to four simply by virtue of the exceptional maturity displayed on a debut work. This is a band that is definitely one to watch in the future.

lazland | 4/5 |

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