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King Eider

Symphonic Prog

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King Eider Somateria Spectabilis album cover
3.60 | 40 ratings | 7 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hatching (1:56)
2. Somateria Spectabilis (10:37)
3. King Of Ducks (5:08)
4. In Detain (10:46)
5. Hatch, Walk, Fly (2:20)
6. The News (7:02)
7. Arctic Skies (4:36)
8. Atlantis '69 (11:34)
9. Exxon Valdez (2:24)

Total Time: 56:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Hans Gerritse / electric & acoustic guitars, guitar-synth, bass, backing vocals
- Derk-Evert Waalkens / keyboards, drums, backing vocals, producer

- Rini Huigen / vocals
- Eric Holdtman / vocals
- Dik Pomp / drums

Releases information

Recorded between 1997-2004

Artwork: Hans Gerritse

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4632.AR (2005, France)

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy KING EIDER Somateria Spectabilis Music

KING EIDER Somateria Spectabilis ratings distribution

(40 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KING EIDER Somateria Spectabilis reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars King Eider is a Dutch duo featuring Derk-Evert Waalkens (keyobards, drums and bakcing vocals) and Hans Gerritse (electric - and acoustic guitars, guitar- synthesizer, bass and backing vocals). Hans also plays in other Dutch progrock band Nice Beaver (what's in a name?!). King Eider has invited some guest musicians: Dik Pomp on drums and Rinie Huigen (ex-Cliffhanger, now Knight Area) and Eric Holdtman. The name of the band is derived from a beautifully coloured Arctic duck and the CD has been released on the known French progrock label Musea. This is an honour but King Eider fully deserves it, what a splendid symphonic rock album!

1. Hatching (1'56) : A dreamy operner that contains atmospheric sounding keyboard and electric guitar.

2. Somateria Spectabilis (10'37) : The long titletrack opens with a slow rhythm and sensitive guitar work, then the music developpes into a wonderful, very alternating and captivating composition: from dreamy with twanging guitars and soaring keyboards to bombastic eruptions featuring fiery electric guitar and lush keyboards. The colouring of the keyboards is very tasteful (from warm piano to moving Mellotron samples) and the guitarplay is breathtaking, so senstitive and compelling with obvious hints from Andy Latimer! The final part is great, "the gateway to progheaven" with splendid howling guitar runs.

3. King Of Ducks (5'08) : This track is in the vein of neo-progressive rock, more polished and less elaborate: a mid-tempo with a strong, tight beat, pleasant vocals and a flashy synthesizer solo, accompanied by a beautiful strings sound.

4. In Detain (10'46) : Another beautiful and alternating composition in which symphonic rock and neo- prog changes frequently. The keyboard work is very tasteful featuring the sound of the Hammond organ and Fender Rhodes electric piano and spectacular synthesizer flights. Halfway some fiery, wah-wah drenched guitar soli, sensitive electric guitar with awesome choir-Mellotron samples, GOOSE BUMPS! The final part delivers bombastic symphonic rock at its best with heavy guitar, propulsive drums and sensational synthesizer runs.

5. Hatch, Walk, Fly (2'20) : A mellow piece with twanging acoustic guitar and soaring keyboards, followed by wonderful classical guitar in the vein of Steve Hackett.

6. The News (7'02) : First acoustic rhythm- guitar, then a more and more lush sound with organ, duo vocals, slide guitar and organ, great!

7. Arctic Skies (4'36) : After a mellow keyboard-intro we can enjoy warm en melodic guitar runs with hints from Andy Latimer. The sounds becomes more and more dynamic featuring majestic violin-mellotron waves and fragile guitar.

8. Atlantis '69 (11'34) : This long track showcases King Eider at their pinnacle, incredible how mature they sound on this debut CD! It starts with classical guitar, then a slow rhythm with bombastic organ and synthesizer work. Lots of shifting moods and strong musical ideas follow, the lush instrumentation is also worth listening: choir-Mellotron, steel guitar, cello and harp. In the final part again goose bumps because of the very compelling guitar work and floods of organ and choir- Mellotron! The subtle last moments are from fragile Grand piano runs and acoustic guitar.

9. Exxon Valdez (2'24) : This is a song to dream away featuring soaring keyboards and howling, often volume pedal driven guitar play, halfway the music erupts with howling guitar.


Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Behind the name KING EIDER we can find two Dutch musicians:Derk-Evert Waalkens,who has been member of several not well-known Dutch bands and handles all keyboards/drum programming and backing vocals,and Hans Gerritse,member of NICE BEAVER and guitarist/bassist on this album.The two men are helped by Dirk Pomp on drums and and Rinie Huigen (ex-Cliffhanger, now Knight Area) and Eric Holdtman on vocals.KING EIDER-''Somateria spectabilis'' is nothing more than the official terminology of a duck of the Arctic Sea.

The album was released in 2005 and most part of it is dominated by instrumental sections,while it has also some well-crafted vocal parts.Starting from the instrumental work,the album is filled with vintage/lush keyboard sounds created by the inspired use of mellotron and the organ (intense GENESIS memories),all of them nicely balanced with the modern use of synths and the delicate piano parts.Guitars are ranging from ultra-melodic parts in the vein of CAMEL to almost jazzy/bluesy-like sections in FOCUS' traces with strong doses of symphonic/classical rock (sometimes fellow natives CODA come to mind).As for the vocal tracks,they are quite accesible in nature with really nice musicianship,good grooves and not perfect but nevertheless decent singing,not unlike a style of progressive rock in the realm of SPOCK'S BEARD or MAGIC PIE.''Somateria spectabilis'' is covered with superb melodies,even some dark soloing (both guitars and keyboards),a clear production and a grandiose vintage feeling and should easily appeal to any prog fan,from the classic 70's nostalgic to the modern prog rock newcomer.A tasteful recommendable release that deserves a 3.5 star rating!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Very good dutch project led by Derk-Evert Waalkens (keyboards) and Hans Gerritse (guitars and bass), helped by drummer Dik Pomp and two vocalists. When I heard the name King Eider I thought it would be some kind of ancient knight story like Excalibur or something like that. When I got the CD I found out it is really a concept work that deals with ecology and the name refers to a specie of artic duck (which is the main protagonist). Their sole CD was released in 2005 and it is not very well known. Which is really a pity.

The music is simply great, with elements of symphonic prog (on the keyboards lines), neo prog (the Camel/Pink Floyd influenced guitar solos), plus classic rock, folk, country, blues and even some Beatles melodies thrown in for good measure. Although those parts are not very well mixed - resulting a variation of styles from track to track - the songwriting and the tasteful arrangments are so strong and convincing that in the end it all seems to work in their favor. There are no fillers and the musicanship of all involved is very good. Production could be a little better, but still works fine here.

If you enjoy bands like Flamborough Head, Knight Area, Pendragon, Clepsydra and the like you canīt miss this CD. Itīs quite an eclectic album, with many musical references. I really hope those guys get together again soon and release some more sutff in near future. Somateria Spectabilis is surely very promising and will please anyone who likes good, well played musc that sounds quite familiar and still has something of their own. 4 stars.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Beautiful symphonic melodies, with this "beautiful beyond our cognition" feeling. Holland have to be happy country, they produce so many symphonic bands, that it makes me save all money I have and emigrate there. Even I don't do drugs, which is the reason for most of people. Nope, drugs can't be cause, it's probably all these windmills.

Some music is keyboards driven, some songs are showing vocal skills, but this one is half calm atmosphere, half melody driven. In fact, important factor is that melody is everything here, so for me it's reason why to play this album as much as possible. On one side of melody spectrum lies pop and on the other side is Symphonic prog. After all, this music reminds me "Flamborough Head", both posses strong melody factor, are from Netherlands, but instead of FH, there is not much vocal parts, just few songs, like King of Ducks (with typical /quack/ sounds), containing quite well known melody, so nothing new for me. Good, yeah, but not new.

Few things prevents me from calling this masterpiece. Of course, those of you, who embrace strong compositions consisting of guitar solos will be pleased, but there are also calm parts, maybe intended as fillers between tracks (and sometimes even within tracks), which wasn't necessary.

4(+) for balanced record full of tasty (if this word means addictive, persuades you to listen to it again) melodies done in professional prog style.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars What got me interested in this album was the fact that the guitarist from NICE BEAVER was involved. I must say there is nothing on this record that recalls NICE BEAVER, this is completely different. A lot of instrumental work on this one, at times reminding me of CAMEL. And this is apparently a concept album.

"Hatching" is atmospheric with the sounds of synths. It builds late. "Somateria Spectabilis" has a good full sound to it with guitar. It settles into a pleasant mood 1 1/2 minutes in. It's fuller before 3 minutes as contrasts continue. Some heaviness 5 minutes in with organ followed by a calm with piano. A CAMEL vibe 6 minutes in but instead of being about a goose it's about a duck. Go figure. The guitar starts to soar. "King Of Ducks" has vocals and a pulsating rhythm. Synths before 3 minutes when the vocals temporarily stop. It settles right down with atmosphere to end it.

"In Detain" kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes then settles when vocals come in. It kicks back in thankfully. The guitar solo really sounds like Roine Stolt after 3 1/2 minutes. It settles as contrasts continue. Now it sounds like Latimer on the guitar after 6 1/2 minutes. Atmosphere and synths end it. "The News" opens with gentle guitar. Vocals a minute in as guitar is strummed. The tempo changes a few times on this one. "Arctic Skies" opens with synths washing in as a light beat and acoustic guitar join in. Piano late. "Atlantis '69" again features acoustic guitar. The tempo picks up quickly with vocals. Nice bass. Not a fan of parts of this one. I do like how dreamy it gets around 7 minutes. "Exxon Valdez" is dominated by guitar and piano 1 1/2 minutes in. Violin replaces the guitar to end it.

So a good album but one that fails to impress me a whole lot.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars A very fine slice of '70 inspired symphonic prog delivered by dutch band named King Eider. With only one album released in 2005 named Somateria spectabilis issued at Musea records. The title track is the latin terminology of a duck from arctic sea, sounds pretty intrsting so far. The band is formed by two musicins from the band Nice Beaver - Derk-Evert Waalkens and Hans Gerritse helped by Dik Pomp and Rinie Huigen from another known band from prog circles Cliffhanger the later one being member for some time in neo prog band Knight Area. A fairly decent album with nice instrumental sections spacially in instrumental pieces Somateria Spectabilis a very good symphonic tune clocking around 11 min, really good passages. Another worthy one is King of ducks with this time good vocal parts, remind me a lot of Camel meet Genesis golden era. Very good are the guitar lines specially on In detain another long track around 10 and a half minutes that show that this band is know what is doing even has plenty of influences in thir mix. Somehow an unknown band with potential but far from being really groundbreaking in their field. To me thay sounds very much alike with american symphonic prog act Legacy aswell releasing one album in 2000 named Where we go. 3 stars for this quite unnoticed yet pleasent album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars King Eider was project from Holland with only one album and no intentions to do more than that. This according to an interview published 365 days ago, on the 10th September 2010. I am doing this review this morning on this date purely by accident. King Eider is pretty similar to other project ... (read more)

Report this review (#518904) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, September 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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