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Joost Maglev - Alter Ego CD (album) cover


Joost Maglev

Crossover Prog

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kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars Apparently Joost has been recording and performing with different bands since 2002, but I believe this is the first time I have come across any of his music. What makes this stand out is just how many different styles are being incorporated within the album, and while one can point at one song and say that he has been influenced by Saga, another is far more towards Cardiacs while he isn't afraid to use acoustic guitar when the time is right which adds yet another dimension to the piece. But, this isn't a solo album, as he has brought in a range of guests to help him which include Annie Haslam (who is certainly busy at present as she has recently appeared on something else I have been sent), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Mark Bogert (Knight Area), Sebas Honing (Equisa) and renowned solo artist Ben Craven. Stefan Maas (Equisa) provides drums throughout.

The song which features Annie, where she takes some lead vocals, is "Ever After", which is based on acoustic guitar with wonderful symphonic keyboards adding additional touches and a delicate electric guitar solo. Compare that to the song which follows, "Judith Episode II", which is Cardiacs combined with some PEH and King Bathmat with neo- prog to create something which is dynamic, special, and so very different to what has gone before. There are even pop style harmonies which have no place at all in a prog number yet are simply superb as they definitely bring in thoughts of City Boy and the mighty 3rdegree. This is poptastic crossover prog which is commercial, accessible, and damn good fun. I keep finding myself smiling while I am playing this album, but I am working hard at keeping a straight promise and won't let it happen again. Damn, oh well, not my fault this is so enjoyable. Joost Maglev is a new name to me, but one I will be definitely looking out for in the future as this is a superb release and one I am sure I will often be returning to.

Report this review (#2244624)
Posted Saturday, August 17, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't recall how I first heard of Joost Maglev's music but I did enjoy his first solo album, "Overwrite the Sin". I was looking forward to his next offering and at last it came! "Alter Ego"!

The album begins with a short and very lovely lullaby with acoustic guitar and soothing female vocals. Then we are welcomed into the dream with a tremendously punchy and uplifting pop rock tune called, "ANGEL". I can't help but think of eighties bands like Tears for Fears or It Bites for that super eighties pop prog sound. This song will have you dancing around and shooting rainbows and twinkle stars from your aura. Be warned though that there is a rock edge that becomes stronger as the track approaches its final minutes.

One thing you'll learn pretty quickly about Joost is that he's got the creativity of Queen when it comes to putting together albums. "Corpus Christi" is more rock with that prog story-teller approach, perhaps not far from Pain of Salvation but very different in sound. Watch out for that almost Dream Theater-ish break and guitar solo before we almost get a bit of David Bowie and then jump back into the main melody of the chorus of the song.

"Ever After" is the first track to really stick into my head, beautiful and longing. I believe Annie Haslan sings in the chorus, which is sung by the female character in the story, who I think might just be deceased...

"Judith" was my favourite track from the first album and here is "Judith - episode ii -". Different from the previous track except for the melody at the beginning, this track makes a great follow-up, adhering to the musical stage show approach to the music. The title track is insanely catchy and even more like a musical number. You will not forget the lyric, "Wasn't she a cutie / playing with her boobies". Try too get the chorus out of your head once it gets in. This song is a delightful diversion from my usual heavy rock and metal pastimes.

Two more tracks to go and "Burning Girl" sounds almost industrial metal at first, then later in the last couple of minutes does seem to go industrial. Devin Townsend perhaps? "DEMON" is the grand finale with a huge climax to the album. Then we wake from the dream with the closing track "Dreams-", which brings us back too where we started.

At 52:00, this album doesn't seem as long. It's a lot like a movie that just delivers the story in the perfect time frame and ends with you feeling neither that it was too long nor that there should have been more. The album will likely have you wanting to hear more from Joost. The good news is that "Overwrite the Sin" is out there and a new album is currently coalescing with a 2020 release planned.

Report this review (#2288915)
Posted Saturday, December 21, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars JOOST MAGLEV is multi-instrumentalist, though; he has released three albums since 2012, in a somewhat unclassifiable genre, a genre melting pot of genres that have swept the last decades. It's inside of pop, a little variety, FM radio, symphonic, full of hard and derivatives prog there! At the musicians level, looking a little more closely, we find BOGERT KNIGHT AREA (a group largely unknown in my opinion!), CRAVEN BEN CRAVEN "himself", RENAISSANCE voice in the person of Haslam, the framing EQUISA with the "brothers" and HONING MAAS and finally the participation of Arjen LUCASSEN, giving some weight, finally even the heavy muscles to drive!

In purely musical level, there is more to my sense of sounds from bands like ABBA, ALAN PARSONS PROJECT, ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, AYREON on certain securities, KANSAS for voice and musical flights, some of THIS WINTER MACHINE and aND YOU WILL KNOW US BY tHE TRAIL oF DEAD for atmosphere multi-prog and prog- crucible that these two groups can bring; finally, some STYX also and especially beautiful music keys from the convoluted universe and / or crazy QUEEN !! I do not hide that QUEEN is and will remain my group from my early youth, when criticism is going to be tough!

From "Lucid" and a capella intro harp, I feel the excitement of the old albums that say to what planet we will leave! "ANGEL" rout directly with its synth "Bontempi" very rhythmic and a different voice, is in the tradition of a good app, a YES 80's and higher in song and a riff on the BLUES BROTHERS of ELP just bring trouble to the divine guitar solo, it starts well! "Corpus Christi" with even the APP in rhythm well frenzied musical, then a jump with his RUSH for with this title in two stages and this cut to 6'30 '' making you believe a problem K7 stuck, then a final crescendo with synths, percussion, a big sound enjoyable! "Ever After" share a baroque nursery rhyme, a ballad quickly disrupted by the angelic voice of Annie, which casts doubt on the orientation of the title, but a soaring violins and guitar Arjen off are our hope toward a final bombastic beautiful, it sinks a little 'AYREON there. "Judith Episode II" and sound effects intro brings us again to a title ayreonien with choirs snatches! If you close your eyes, you might see scroll lot of more or less ancient groups in your head with QUEEN reminiscent of the background and the magical guitar B. MAY; everything is in order for us to capsize. "Alter Ego" drives the point starting on "Seaside Rendezvous" or "The Millionaire Waltz", it is the baroque QUEEN has honored the prog movement at a time when it began to decline;

"Burning Girl" and syncopated riff hard, her voice back, his hot male choirs allows wake of the incursion in "A Night at the Opera" is heavy, nervous riff does not leave indifferent then digression prog comes with pure crystalline notes, nowhere outputs therefore even more beautiful and a battery of a blow this; return the original chorus a time before returning to a final evolution worthy of a final SciFi film, a gem! Perhaps the most prog composition worked for quite a few years! "DEMON" with its basic piano entry gives a little peace; at times I happened to hear the voice of T.

Yes, I must say, I loved this album, I took the taste to engage the Replay button, I tried to find fault, I tried to dissect the groups he could have listen before, I also read that he was overworked and that it was helped by solid sidekicks listed in the chronicle of the beginning, but you'll understand that I'm not out unscathed! But that this recording bathes symphonic, progressive, forward-thinking, and I pride for once my top note should give you the chip in the ear of the composer.

Report this review (#2310411)
Posted Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | Review Permalink

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