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1 stars Talentless, even within the neoprog genre. Bands like Pallas and Pendragon would weep if they hears the people they have influenced. The only thing that separates this cd from Britney Spears is that Ricocher sometimes plays in 7/7. The musicians are anonymous, they can not write songs and the artwork is cliché. I´m sorry but this is not recommended.
Report this review (#46140)
Posted Friday, September 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars It is only unfortunate that Ricocher´s best CD would be their last. Well, I hope this band will come back soon, for they proved they were able to expand and better their sound with each release. Their first album was basicly a hard rock collection of songs with some prog elements, while their second was the opposite: progressive neo with some hard rock guitar riffs. So I had high hopes for this one and I was not disapointed: more progressive than ever (this time even the guitar licks are less hard rock and more progressive than the second album), Chains is clearly an excellent affair, with strong musicanship, mature songwriting and powerful interpretatios. All songs are connected creating a great whole piece of music with varying moods and feelings, but always poignant and convincing. No fillers!

I enjoyed Erwin Boeremkamps a lot, he sure can sing all kinds of music and does it with passion and gut. He never sounds forced or too dramatic, doing a balanced interpretation of each lyric with conviction. The overall sound is still a little rockier than you can expect from a prog act, even neo prog, but that´s really a compliment, because doing so they don´t sound too much like other acts and leave their mark, those add ons improving the strong elements of some tunes. There are no highlights on Chains, the album should be heard from beginning to end with the same pleasure.

Pehaps not really a masterpiece, but surely an excellent addition to any prog collection, specially if you´re fan of neo prog music. I really hope they reconsider and reform. But Chains was a very nice surprise. Highly recommended!

Report this review (#123049)
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When I first listened to this album I admit that I was deeply disappointed...It seemed to me like boring uninspired neo prog...After a couple of days and several listens of the album I can say that this effort is at least decent...Yes, it is fairly categorized as a neo prog band...Yes, RICOCHER are influenced by legends of this genre...To my ears the most obvious influences are ARENA and CLEPSYDRA or even GALLEON...There are lots of keyboards during the whole album very close to the work of CLEPSYDRA or CLIVE NOLAN...Some more mellow synthesizer lines will bring MARILLION to your mind...The sound of the guitar is rather heavy close to the later ARENA works with some very good melodies...Do not expect time signatures or complex arrangements by RICOCHET...The band prefers to show emphasis on melody and atmosphere with tracks changing from accesible prog rock to symphonic neo prog...But there isn't a simple weak track,the album flows nice and easily,but surely I expect a liitle bit of diversity in their next efforts...For the moment my rating stops to 3 stars and I recommend this album especially for fans of melodic neo-prog...
Report this review (#182430)
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars As for their previous recording, there are very little commented reviews for this album (the only ones that counts as far as I'm concerned) which turns out to be their latest one so far (almost five years later).

Little to no surprise with the music offered on these ''Chains''. The usual neo-prog album that can be expected: fine vocals (above average I would say), good song writing (but nothing from the other world), pleasant synthesizers like in the closing section of the first epic ''Virtual Images'' and some short guitar breaks.

One of the most emotional part of this album is the short ''Bitter ears''. One has to listen to these melodic vocal lines and according background band. A very nice track indeed, which is maybe somewhat pop-oriented but it is combined with such a nice flavour.

No major highlights nor blunders (even if the first section of the second epic is too much cliché). It is followed by some interesting sax during the ''Reflected'' part. But these metal lines which start ''Silhouette'' are not my cup of tea.

As you can read, there are some pros and cons with this album. I would say that they are spread evenly and that they concur to generate an average to good album. The music from ''Ricocher'' is accessible, straight-forward neo-prog. But they can't be considered as a guiding light, for sure.

Nothing as powerful as ''Arena'' (although the band tries to sound like it during ''Breaking The Chain''). Nothing as moving as ''Pendragon''. Nothing as melancholic as ''IQ''. And nothing as creative as the Marillion Mark I (even if the band tries to sound like it during ''Questions Within The Answer'').

But these comparisons are maybe not fair.

This album holds almost one hour of good music but we aren't really flirting with the Walhalla to be honest. Here and there, some fine guitar breaks (''Whispering Voices'') but these are too few to make a glorious album of course. Three stars.

Report this review (#194883)
Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars RICOCHER are a Neo-Prog band from The Netherlands. This release from 2004 is their most recent and it's a pretty good album although maybe a little too samey throughout. The vocals are strong and the synths and drums seem to standout the most besides the vocals.

"Empty Chambers" and the next two tracks all blend together and are really the same song from a suite called "Virtual Images". Atmosphere and gentle guitar to start as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes with synths and blends into "Beyond Terms Of Humanity". It settles before 1 1/2 minutes then kicks back in as contrasts continue. We get the same virtual music on "Out Of Control". "Bitter Tears" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. Drums and a fuller sound after 1 1/2 minutes. "Perception" is the first of another three song suite that blends into each other. Drums,synths and vocals stand out early. Guitar to the fore when the vocals stop 1 1/2 minutes in.The vocals return after 3 minutes.

"Reflected" opens with atmosphere and synths as vocals come in after a minute. Some sax too before 3 minutes. "The Silhouette Of You" is heavier as synths continue. Vocals follow as contrasts continue. "Whispering Voices" settles with strummed guitar and vocals. It quickly kicks back in. An electric guitar solo before 2 1/2 minutes and lots of synths late. "Misguided Lights" has some tasteful guitar to start as it cries out. Vocals then more guitar. "Question Within The Answer" is more uptempo with synths.Vocals replace the synths then the synths return around 2 minutes as themes are repeated. "Point Of No Return" has this beat as piano and synths join in. Guitar as well a minute in. Vocals follow. "Breaking The Chain" has a nice heavy start with vocals. It settles after 1 1/2 minutes. The guitar before 2 1/2 minutes is laid back.

Not a bad album and better cover art than the previous one.

Report this review (#309972)
Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars For several years now I have the habit to play this album every once in a while and every time I come to the same conclusion. Initially I feel this is just a good album deserving three stars but when I go through the whole experience my admiration is growing and growing...

And that's the spearhead of this review: what will be the ultimate rating ? The trick is the album starts off rather cliche with typical neosongs; the songs are very good but a bit unexiting and unmoving. But with the second half they raise their level of composing and executing music and every time I take leave of this release with a puzzled mind: how good is this actually ?

Ricocher plays downright neoprog in early Marillion style without flagrantly cloning them. The guitar sounds quite heavy but it goes way too far to suggest them for the heavy prog subgenre. That's in a nutshell what the band is about. The level of compositions is on average between very good and excellent and so is the execution (both vocals and instruments). The execution is even a bit neat, it's near perfect and if you don't like this kind of smoothness maybe you should forget about Chains. But if you're a fan of this way of performing you should absolutely go for this release. So in the end I will have to go with my PA friend and collegue Tarcisio who is the only reviewer who awarded this album with four stars. It's slightly rounded up though due to being a bit unoriginal. But the quality is top notch so four it is (3,75).

Report this review (#775651)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ricocher is one of the unfairly unknown neo prog bands from Holland. With two albums in their pockets they gone unnoticed in their 15 years career. The second album issued in 2004 is aswell their swansong, named Chains. Well . I like what I've heared here, melodic compositions, neo prog with some symphonic touches here and there, not bad at all. Very good are the keyboards here, very mature sound and very crafted album overall, even is nothing really groundbreaking or inovative, but is very well performed and composed, at least to my ears. Similar with another dutch neo prog band named Splinter or with Galleon. I like the transitions between more edgy moments to those more melodic and smooth, aswell the album has 7 pieces but are divided in smaller ones. A perfect example of how great and yet unnoticed this band is is the opening tyrack Virtula images, splited in 3 parts, very good are the instrumental passagages, good guitar sound and a good voice over, I'm not botherd at all about Erwin Boerenkamps tone, fits perfectly in this kind of music. Another highlit is the last tune Braking the chains, a very worthy neo prog pice that shows that Ricocher had plenty of talent but somehow they gone almost unnoticed in this field. So, in the end I like it, 4 stars easy, maybe is not among the top albums in this field but definetly worth a better view for sure. And as a final though as far as I know they disbanded a couple of years after the Chain release, so another band that for some reasons never made it in prog field, really is a shame because most of the time, but not always, the better bands are gone unnoticed and those mediocre remains to hurt our brains.
Report this review (#787156)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2012 | Review Permalink

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