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Ulysses The Gift Of Tears album cover
3.77 | 17 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Family Portrait (8:56)
2. Guardian Angel (9:10)
3. Lost (6:33)
4. How Much More (12:14)
5. Silence Of The Night (2:46)
6. The Gift Of Tears (7:07)
7. Anat (14:52)
- a. Prologue
- b. Just One Big Ugly Chapter
- c. Epilogue

Total Time: 61:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Michael Hos / vocals
- Ron Mozer / keyboards
- Sylvester Vogelenzang de Jong / guitar
- René van Haaren / drums
- Casper Kroon / bass

Releases information

CD Symbioses Music SYM CD0801 (2008 NL)

Thanks to b_olariu for the addition
and to Rivertree for the last updates
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ULYSSES The Gift Of Tears ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(59%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ULYSSES The Gift Of Tears reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rivertree
4 stars 'The Gift Of Tears' appears with a new vocalist compared to their 2003 predecessor album 'Symbioses' and can be considered as a big hit for some reasons. ULYSSES offer progressive heavy emphasized rock music here with a metal and symphonic edge. That means when listening to the songs you immediately realize that guitarist Sylvester Vogelenzang de Jong comes more from the metal side of life whereas keyboarder Ron Mozer likes to play a lot of typical symphonic respectively neo progressive keyboard stuff. Both are the band's core since the beginning in 2001 and responsible for the band's unique output. All in all this is really convincing based on a sophisticated songwriting and sometimes reminds me of DREAM THEATER's 'Falling Into Infinity' phase and the last two SIEGES EVEN albums stylistically (and that's a benefit though considering my taste).

A typical Portnoy attacking bass drum attracts attention when the album opener Family Portrait starts. Besides the fact that the seven songs are damn rocking with a lot of breaks and changes the vocals are really attractive during the whole 60 minutes furthermore. Not knowing their former stuff I can state that Michael Hos' voice matches quite good - what the ballad Lost confirms first and foremost. You can detect keyboards with an orchestral touch on Guardian Angel for example and enchanting melodies with polyphonic vocals on How Much More. The Gift Of Tears shines with heavy riffing guitars and diversified keyboard contributions coming from organ, piano plus a vibes similiar sound.

And you won't miss the mandatory epic song named Anat provided with a heart wrenching story about young parents who lost their one-year-old daughter because of a brain tumour. Musically this piece is divided in different moods alternating between melancholic and heavy - a typical prog metal sound, including slight growling vocal impressions, as well as some ballad characterized parts. A highly recommended album by this band from the Netherlands. Not ignoring the cheerful rhythm section this album is headed at first by an excellent matching vocal, keyboard and guitar work.

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This third album from Dutch outfit will probably get quite a few fans, but I'm afraid that I won't be among the ones playing this production very often.

The style in question for this release is progressive metal; and of a variety that makes me think of the older productions by acts such as Fates Warning and Dream Theater mixed with 80's heavy metal - but slower and without much finesse.

Drawn out guitar riffs mixed with organ and synths created the moods and melodies in these compositions; with strong and distinct vocals adding to the melodic impact in the vocal segments and synth and guitar soloing having the same role in the non-vocal parts.

The performances are generally nice from vocalist and instrumentalists alike; but the good compositions are lacking. There's not enough ideas or themes explored to support the choice for the longer tracks here, and too many segments appear to go nowhere. And a bit too much focus on melodramatics throughout gets to be a bit tiring.

Those who like their prog metal on the slow and heavy side and enjoy a fair bit of dramatics should find this to be an intriguing affair though; others are advised to investigate further to see if this album is of interest or not.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a few albums that I just HAD to hear to enrichen my rock-music culture, I'm happy to have returned to more familiar waters. And though the progressive-metal genre is full of cloners and terrible bands, ULYSSES is not one of them.

The music on this release borrows heavily from the progressive-metal giants DREAM THEATER and, more evidently, FATES WARNING. There's a few hints of PAIN OF SALVATION here and there but this is a much more melodic, less violent project. But while the influences are there, ULYSSES have a sound of their own, never turning into one of the dozens of cloners that plague this subgenre.

The songs are all long and with complex structures. ULYSSES does not put a big emphasis in choruses or catchy sections and creates music that takes more than a couple of listens to really appreciate to its fullest. That's not to say that there aren't a few brilliant melodies here and there: this album is actually very melodic. The thing is, the band uses these tunes to build their structures, their musical buildings, instead of making them the sole focus of the tracks.

The musicianship is high in the band, especially in the rhythmic section and in the soloists. The vocalist, though, has an erratic performance. At times very good, at moments it also tends to lose focus and almost sounds like he's singing off-key. His style resembles that of Ray Alder of FATES WARNING with some hints of Daniel Gildenlow. The timbre of his voice reminds us, at times, of the clean vocals of Tomy Joutsen of AMORPHIS.

The music is a little bit on the sad side, and that become more evident after one reads the inspiration the band had for writing the album: a little girl dying at age 1. With all his flaws, the vocalist manages to convey that sadness and that emotion, and the music helps him tell a tale of courage and love.

All in all, this a a very good band that I'll be checking out in the future, for sure. One of the best pure-traditional-progressive metal bands I've heard in the last months,

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Third release and aswell second album of this unknown progressive metal band from Holland, released at Symbioses music in 2008 is an improvement over previous studio album. Now the sound is better, every instrument sounds crystal clear, the compositions are much tighter and are better , everything is better then before. Two new memebers arrived here , the vocalist Michael Hos and the bass player Casper Kroon. The new vocalist is just perfect for this kind of music, he has a wider range then previous one Raymond Jansen, he is more diverse in exploring his voice, in one word is better and he comes with fresh air in the compositions. The music keeps the same aproach like on Symbioses from 2003 but now they are developing the instrumental passages a little more, the keybords for ex has a big role here, just like the guitar, both combined gives a realy strong album in progressive metal in last years. DT influences are still, but because the compositions are good , even very good and strong in places this album needes to be discovered by more listners then has today.Progressive metal with a touch of symphonic moments, mostly given by the keyboards of Ron Mozer. The story behind this album is a sad one, a tragic one better said, I'm not tell it here what is going one, if you have the CD and read the booklet you will find what is behind this album. Anyway musicaly speaking this album is great in my opinion, progressive metal as must sound today, not very fast, almost all album is mid tempo but has some very tight musicianship. They had 5 years to work at The gift of ters, at the result is obvious a good one in every way. Every single piece is good with a plus on How much more, killer choruses and keybords. All 3 CD's are available at cdbaby if anyone is intrested. I will give this time a clean 4 stars, the previous releases were more rounded up by me, but this time is a clean strong album. One of the underrated bands from this genre , that for sure needs a wider recognition. I keep my eye on this band in the future because I like how they sound and how they work their pieces.

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