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King Eider - Somateria Spectabilis CD (album) cover


King Eider


Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 40 ratings

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erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer
4 stars King Eider is a Dutch duo featuring Derk-Evert Waalkens (keyobards, drums and bakcing vocals) and Hans Gerritse (electric - and acoustic guitars, guitar- synthesizer, bass and backing vocals). Hans also plays in other Dutch progrock band Nice Beaver (what's in a name?!). King Eider has invited some guest musicians: Dik Pomp on drums and Rinie Huigen (ex-Cliffhanger, now Knight Area) and Eric Holdtman. The name of the band is derived from a beautifully coloured Arctic duck and the CD has been released on the known French progrock label Musea. This is an honour but King Eider fully deserves it, what a splendid symphonic rock album!

1. Hatching (1'56) : A dreamy operner that contains atmospheric sounding keyboard and electric guitar.

2. Somateria Spectabilis (10'37) : The long titletrack opens with a slow rhythm and sensitive guitar work, then the music developpes into a wonderful, very alternating and captivating composition: from dreamy with twanging guitars and soaring keyboards to bombastic eruptions featuring fiery electric guitar and lush keyboards. The colouring of the keyboards is very tasteful (from warm piano to moving Mellotron samples) and the guitarplay is breathtaking, so senstitive and compelling with obvious hints from Andy Latimer! The final part is great, "the gateway to progheaven" with splendid howling guitar runs.

3. King Of Ducks (5'08) : This track is in the vein of neo-progressive rock, more polished and less elaborate: a mid-tempo with a strong, tight beat, pleasant vocals and a flashy synthesizer solo, accompanied by a beautiful strings sound.

4. In Detain (10'46) : Another beautiful and alternating composition in which symphonic rock and neo- prog changes frequently. The keyboard work is very tasteful featuring the sound of the Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano and spectacular synthesizer flights. Halfway some fiery, wah-wah drenched guitar soli, sensitive electric guitar with awesome choir-Mellotron samples, GOOSE BUMPS! The final part delivers bombastic symphonic rock at its best with heavy guitar, propulsive drums and sensational synthesizer runs.

5. Hatch, Walk, Fly (2'20) : A mellow piece with twanging acoustic guitar and soaring keyboards, followed by wonderful classical guitar in the vein of Steve Hackett.

6. The News (7'02) : First acoustic rhythm- guitar, then a more and more lush sound with organ, duo vocals, slide guitar and organ, great!

7. Arctic Skies (4'36) : After a mellow keyboard-intro we can enjoy warm en melodic guitar runs with hints from Andy Latimer. The sounds becomes more and more dynamic featuring majestic violin-mellotron waves and fragile guitar.

8. Atlantis '69 (11'34) : This long track showcases King Eider at their pinnacle, incredible how mature they sound on this debut CD! It starts with classical guitar, then a slow rhythm with bombastic organ and synthesizer work. Lots of shifting moods and strong musical ideas follow, the lush instrumentation is also worth listening: choir-Mellotron, steel guitar, cello and harp. In the final part again goose bumps because of the very compelling guitar work and floods of organ and choir- Mellotron! The subtle last moments are from fragile Grand piano runs and acoustic guitar.

9. Exxon Valdez (2'24) : This is a song to dream away featuring soaring keyboards and howling, often volume pedal driven guitar play, halfway the music erupts with howling guitar.


erik neuteboom | 4/5 |


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