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Harvest - Chasing Time CD (album) cover

CHASING TIME

Harvest

 

Neo-Prog

3.62 | 19 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

octopus-4
3 stars This is an album which requires many listens specially for me because I'm no longer used to neo-prog. My first impact with this second full length release by the Spanish band HARVEST has left me undecided, so I had to bring my ears back to when I was a Marillion's (Fish) fan.

I mean that neo-prog fans will surely like this album. It sounds between MARILLION and MOSTLY AUTUMN. Monique van der Kolk has a voice that I find similar (but not identical) to Heather Finlay and Steve Rothery guests on one track.

"Roundabout" is a very good song with the rhythmic part and even the guitar which appear influenced by the Marillion. It's Monique's voice which gives an added value to the song. It's very melodic. It's the kind of song that could become a hit with the right promotion but because it's good, not because it's more or less commercial.

A good start for the album, followed by "Intuition". Also on this song the vocals are the most relevant element together with the 12-strings guitar (at least I think it's a 12-strings) which helps the drums. I don't hear any Marillion here, maybe just a bit in the guitar solo. The melody is strong enough.

Piano and vocals open "The Spell". This is one of the highlights. Something in the sounds used made me think to pop bands like Cranberries or early U2, but the core is surely progressive.

"The Machine" is another very good song perfectly midway between MARILLION and MOSTLY AUTUMN on which Monique's vocals are almost perfect. Let me say that while the Marillion's influence is very clear and confirmed by the presence of Steve Rothery, a link with Mostly Autumn is something that I feel but I don't know if it's really an influence or just my idea.

"Time Lapse" starts on acoustic guitar with chords not very original to be honest. This song makes me think to PHIDEAUX, not a bad thing, anyway, and if you don't look for surprises the melody is good enough. After Monique there's a male voice (I don't know who is), then the two sing in choir in a little crescendo. Also the melody changes so that the song appears not so trivial like at a first glance.

A bit of rock comes with "In Debris", but it's only the intro. After few seconds we are in another very melodic song. Good melody also here, but there are probably too many slow songs in sequence. Probably a different tracklist with uptime and slow songs alternated would have been better. In any case this is not a boring song, don't get me wrong. Before the moment when electric guitar and drums make it rockier, it makes me think to Susan Vega, that's not prog but is an artist that I like. The second part of the song is again between Marillion and Mostly Autumn with an excellent interlude leading to a good guitar solo. Forgive the repetition: this album even if apparently easy requires several listens.

Another acoustic guitar intro for "Yesteryear". This song has a country-rock flavor. Monique sounds like a folk-singer. When the bass enters musically it's like being in the Fish era with a touch of Peter Gabriel here the vocals are very high-pitched. Nice song.

I again hear similarities with Susan Vega on the opening of "Unknown Skylines", but Susan's voice is not so powerful. This song is not comparable to Marillion or any other band. It's like the band is slightly finding its own sound.

"Silent Run" is an atmospheric track on which the vocals are sometimes very high-pitched, like KATE BUSH on Wuthering Heights. I don't know on which track Rothery plays,. Whoever plays, it's a very good solo. Not fast or difficult, but with all the notes in the right place. As in the previous song, also here I have the impression to hear the research of a more "personal" sound.

"Stars" which closes the album is the longest track. Imagine the Marillion of the early Hogarth period with Heather Finlay at the vocals and you'll have an idea of how it sounds. The guitar is more gilmouresque (can it be this the Rothery track?). I like particularily the bass solo interlude after 3 minutes and a half which leads to a section dominated by the guitar. This is the most complex track and an excellent closer. I haven't realized how good it is on the first listens, probably because I'm currently so involved with Avant and Zeuhl that I had to adapt my ears to less experimental music.

I have some difficulties about the rating. In the 4 stars definition "Excellent addition to ANY prog collection" I'm a bit concerned about the word "ANY".

Surely neo-prog and prog-folk fans will like this album a lot. "Non-essential" doesn't make justice as it's effectively a good album.

I'm rating it with 3 stars but I strongly suggest it to whoever loves this subgenre. The band is more than promising and I like their musicianship other than the excellent vocals. Having rounded up their debut I'm not feeling guilty also because I have taken 3 days to write this review and I hope to have done a good job.

With my compliments to the band. 3.5 stars.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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