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Egdon Heath


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4 stars What ARENA? What PENDRAGON? "Nebula" is absolutely unique! Well, maybe you can hear some distant echoes of IQ (but the sound is more transparent and structured) and I'd rather mention YES and MAGELLAN... Even CITIZEN CAIN but with keyboards domination... Vocal is clear and aggressive in best traditions of progressive music. It's really worth listening...
Report this review (#38082)
Posted Thursday, June 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Everytime when I'm ready to betray my past and claim NEO as worthless and dead root of Prog, it strikes in my back with an unexcpected and good release. I like Nolan's SHADOWLAND I must confess, so I remeber getting this one due to Archives' recommendations.Thanks a lot - that's what I like! I'll definetely try to find other releases of that wonderful band.

Down to music.There's a bit of everything - IQ/ARENA/PENDRAGON and definetely SHADOWLAND, but each track has its own feature to differ from others.For instance, "Telepathic" starts as a boring usual ballad , ubt later transforms into pleasant rocky song. Some trakcs have sudden tempo/rhythm changes hidden in the middle, almost avant noises ("Dead Meat") or orchestral MIDovertures ("Peace of the Brave"). Neo die- hards will enjoy opening "Hail to your Heart" (IQ and SHADOWLAND would probably kill each other in order to steal this song!) and 12-min epic "As Ripley would say.." with awesome ballad-like ending (recalling best MARILLION and ARENA epic-endings!).Highly recommended for Neo-Prog devotees and open-minded proggers who're not sick of Neo.

Report this review (#107876)
Posted Thursday, January 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the nineties Egdon Heath was my favourite native band. I saw them live three times in those days and had a great time at their gigs. They made 4 pretty different albums all in all and somehow this fourth and last is my least fav. And that's a bit surprising because to many people this is Egdon Heath's best release. Let's see where my dislike comes from.

Hail to your Heart is one of the best tracks and is both real progressive and true neo. A combination that's not very likely according to many but still I feel that way with this one. There is great melody and very original build up. Well combined here. 3,75*.

Next is Head in the Sand, one of the tracks that makes me feel the way I do about Nebula. Melody is far away suddenly except for a short keyboardsolo and I don't like the vocals either. 2,75*.

Peace of the Brave is one with equal debatable vocals and also the structure of this song is not what I usually like in neo. Bit strange this one. 2,5*.

Telepathic is one of the ballads of the album. The sound is a bit poor suddenly as if it was wrongly produced. Maybe it was deliberately, don't know. Also a bit of a strange song, you could call it very progressive as well. Very original at least ... 2,75*.

Buried Inside is another favourite of mine. Here the melody is much more present again. Both guitar and keyboards sound great, more of a straightforward neosong this one. Interesting orchestral contribution in the second half. 3,5*.

Little Human is one of the shorter songs and is another ballad-like song, good but non-essential so to speak. 3*.

As Ripley would say .... is the longest song of the album and actually an epic. If I compare this epic with the title track on Killing Silence it's really amazing what change the bands sound and style made. There is absolutely nothing that these tracks have in common. I absolutely love The Killing Silence but this one is except for a piano piece in the 8th minute almost dispensable for me. And it's really the same band though with some mutations in line-up. 3*.

Dead Meat is the other lengthy song, a bit more melody on this one but not much, same score. 3*.

In the end I even want to go that far that I feel this isn't even a true neo progressive effort. It's almost eclectic prog which is just about the counterpart of neo. Well, the least you can say is it's ineteresting, original and innovative, the eclectic features. But melodicwise, the real aim of neo in my perception, this is hardly worthwhile. And in my worst mood I even could have given this 2 stars but as anyone can see the average is around 3 so that's what it will be. I hardly ever play this album. I wonder why ....

Report this review (#160732)
Posted Monday, February 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Egdon Heath - gone but not forgotten

The forth album of Egdon Heath from 1996 and the second that i own with Killing silence, Nebula is a step forward in EH's catalog. Why, because is maybe the most matture work they've done and is very well played and composed. Well here we can see a little bit of AOR sound incorporate in their music but this is not a bad thing, still strong. With a new vocalist Maurits Kalsbeek, Egdon Heath trys and most of the time succeded to bring something new in neo prog scene with this album. The sound is to me lighter than on Killing silence, that dark atmosphere from No second faust (the opening track from Killing silence) is gone replaced by a more tighter but lighter sound, just check out Hail To Your Heart or Head in the sand, i swear i'm listning something a la Magnum or Iq from the '90's but in the end is ok. Every piece has a same level so all are good, on some of them them even can hear symphonic orchestration combined with neo elements that gives to the music a new dimension. Less inspiring than Killing silence but awesome again. Still underrated album in my opinion, still strong after excellent Killing silence (well is another album in betwen this two, but that's another story). 3.5 stars rounded to 4. Maybe not recommended but worth to check out if you are a prog devotee.

Report this review (#177053)
Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well this is a difficult and strange album to qualify. At first time i must say the recording sound ,mixing ,remastering is very good. A very equilibrate interact sounding between instruments.

The vocals:i prefer the guest invited vocals of The Killing Silence.

The songs: Well this album i think is a mix between In The City and Killing Silence.

I prefer much more KS:is a very good symphonic rock album. In this one most of the songs have a strange mix between symph. prog. and easy listening neo prog. There is a mix between Marillion(Fish era),Genesis(PC era)Pallas and IQ in their symphonic moments ,but also and mostly in the vocal parts it seems that we were listening to the most light pop prog of Pallas,some Bauhaus,some Talk Talk,some New Order. When i am listening sometimes i feel very good as i am going to listen very good neo prog but then some poppy material get my confused

I prefer albums in one line of music.

3 stars

Report this review (#184955)
Posted Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is the last album from this Dutch neo band. And neo it is, believe me!

If ever you would like to discover what the combination of "Marillion", some "Yes" feel and Freddie Mercury on the vocals could have led to, the shortest way to find out is to listen to the opening number "Hail To Your Heart". If you would set aside these "characteristics", there is nothing else to add. I guess that you get the idea?

But the worse is yet to come: a very heavy "Yes" oriented song ("90125" period). One option of course: press next as soon as you can to avoid some collateral damages.

This album is not precisely a good one: the average tracks are following one after another. Borderline prog metal and without conviction ("Peace Of The Brave").

"Buried Inside" is vaguely reminiscent of the new wave and reminds me of the early "Ultravox!" but less appealing of course. After a loose middle part, the mood gets into the neo territories for a while. Vocals are Foxx oriented. What a change: from Freddie to John. But they were genious. I can't say the same about "Egdon Head".

This is an album which lacks of personality; highlights are not to be found (at least I couldn't) and the chaotic "As Ripley Would Say?" is not any better. It holds some metal lines here and there, and to be honest a good finale featuring spacey guitar.

The whole doesn't score over two stars in my book. Average at best.

Report this review (#307603)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink

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