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Hangover Paradise


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4 stars Hangover Paradise is a prog rock band from Holland formed few years ago, it might be considered a young band, but the musicians involved are not quite youngsters, they are really good over 45 in age, minus the keybord palyer who is the twin brother of the main keybordist of the band, in fact are two use of keybords on the album. The band released few months ago their first album named simply Mirrors and was and is well recived both by critics and aswell fans. I really like the album a lot, is on the melodic side of prog, going towards neo in places with some popish overtones, but excellent combined together those two genres. What I like quite much is the keybords, they sound so '80s , imagine beside keys the overalll bands sound is like Eloy (Planets era) with Saga, the result is Hangover Paradise. Some great passages on opening track I rest my case, melodic lines with great use of each instrument, warm pleasent voice from Elias de Vries, a totaly winner, anopther highlight is Take Away little more up tempo with fascinating keyboards and aswell quite impressive guita lines, it sounds like in 1983 for example, great, and the main atraction of the album the moster piece clocking around 9 min - Army of Innocents (feat as guest on vocals Bert Heerink), kick ass tune, with everything that must have a prog piece today to be really solid, inventive and damn intresting, both in arrangements ans aswell lyricaly. The album ends with another up tempo tune combined with more calmer moments , the title track, who is aswell quite pleasent. All in all this is a fairly solid and damn catchy debut by this dutch band, everything is calculated, pleasent, warm and elegant. Easy 4 stars from me, one of the best from this year for sure, at least for me.
Report this review (#1065887)
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Review originally posted at

When the music's over, we will be dead. I say this, because it is impressive the way we are enlightened by wonderful musicians from all around the globe, bands that we never imagined they existed, bands that create music to keep progging on for ages, forever. So when some people say progressive rock is dead, they are terribly wrong, and though some nowadays bands use elements of classic 70s-80s bands, they put their own identity in order to have an own sound. It happens with Neo Proggers Hangover Paradise, a band composed by six talented and versatile musicians that together released their first child entitled "Mirrors", an 8-piece album that will please many of you.

It opens with "I Rest my Case" and I can tell since the first seconds one can notice their style goes towards Neo and Symph prog, you can tell it by the keyboard nuances and the emotional guitar riffs. The vocals appear after a couple of minutes and continues with the same structure for two more, until there is a bridge where keyboards take over and a new rhythm appears, of course, they had to put keyboard solos, so the whole Neo Prog spirit is covered here.

"Out in the Streets" starts calmer, with acoustic guitar and a delicate sound in the first minute, later the other instruments enter and a catchy structure appears, with nice vocals, cool bass lines and constant drumming that greatly support keyboards and guitar, which to my ears are the instruments that take the leadership of the music here. As you can imagine, it brings different instrument passages with some solos.

"Back Home" is one of the shortest compositions, it is a soft track driven by acoustic guitar chords, nice melodic vocals and a cute background created by piano, bass and drums; the tune is actually poppier, but good anyways. "Take Away" has more rock on its veins, the sound will surely remind you of some 80s pop-rock bands, so if you like them, you will love Hangover Paradise, otherwise, I think you will not like the taste of this album.

The "Army of Innocents" comes next, in a mid-tempo rhythm offering a high quality neo prog sound whose textures are almost always produced by the background key boards, and sweet guitar solos. After four minutes there is a pause, and some spoken words appear, it seems to be part of a war film, you can hear a man saying "pull the trigger" and then shots come, all of this is wonderfully matched with the tension made by keyboards. Later the rhythm is faster, all in 4/4 time but it does not matter, when music is nice, we don't need odd time signatures This is a great, great track with outstanding lyrics.

"Religious Minds" has a sympathetic sound, but it is a double edged-knife, I think you either love it, or you may hate it, I think this is not the brightest moment of Mirrors, actually I could skip the song and feel no harm to my listening pleasure, though the last minutes become more interesting. And more interesting (at least for me) is the short "Coming Home", though its 4 minutes have the same sound, its nuances caught my attention, the delicacy of the voice and how it becomes more passionate, I like it.

The album finishes with the name of the band, so "Hangover Paradise" shares 9 powerful, energetic and emotional minutes of high quality Neo Prog. I cannot say I am the keenest man on Neo Prog, however I do like it, and when bands like these dutch guys make quality albums, I cannot help but enjoying it. Fortunately, this was not an exception.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#1158193)
Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 | Review Permalink

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