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Flamborough Head


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Flamborough Head Unspoken Whisper album cover
3.67 | 68 ratings | 8 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Schoolyard Fantasy (8:07)
2. Wolves at War (4:53)
3. Childscream (7:19)
4. Unspoken Whisper (10:23) Legend
5. Of the Old Man's Tree (4:28)
6. Xymphonia (10:06)
7. Heroes (7:53)

Total Time 53:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Siebe-Rein Schaaf / lead vocals, keyboards
- André Cents / guitars, backing vocals
- Edo Spanninga / keyboards
- Marcel Derix / bass
- Koen Roozen / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Theo Spaay

CD Cyclops ‎- CYCL 063 (1998, Europe)

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FLAMBOROUGH HEAD Unspoken Whisper ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FLAMBOROUGH HEAD Unspoken Whisper reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars FLAMBOROUGH HEAD from Holland was formed in 1995 and they took their name after a cliff on the East Coast of England. They are playing modern melodic symphonic neo-progressive rock, and their debut CD is a symphonic masterpiece with long beautiful tracks.

The musicians are very tight and their keyboard-based music is reminiscent to bands like CAMEL, EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, GENESIS, IQ, MARILLION, PENDRAGON, PINK FLOYD, RUSH, SAGA and TWIN AGE. I can't pick any specific track as favourite as all of them are equally good. The songs are the opening "Schoolyard Fantasy", "Wolves at War", "Childscream", the ten-minute title track "Unspoken Whisper", the instrumental "Legend of the Old Man's Tree", the complex 10-minutes "Xymphonia" and the closing epic instrumental track "Heroes". The songs however have a little too much clichés and my least favourite is "Childscream".

If you're into neo-progressive rock I think that the CD is well worth buying, as it's one of the better neo-progressive releases recently. A really impressive debut album although it lacks a little in originality. However I'm looking forward to hear their follow-up. A promising band for the future!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars Amazingly good debut album from this dutch band. They play a mix of neo and symphonic prog music with long compositions that show an already quite mature group. Although there are some obivious influences here and there, they are one of those rare cases where the musicians had honed their own sound before recording their first CD, which is quite good. The singer has a voice that reminds of the swiss Clepsydra, Aluisio Magini, but his approach is definitly less dramatic. The recording quality is also surprisingly good, with all the instruments quite well mixed and balanced. Keyboards are excepcionally well done and creative, with many unexpect twists and turns that set them apart from all neo prog outfits (aside maybe from IQ).

Highlights are many, but I´d like to point out the opener Schollyard Fantasy, with its beautiful, heavy- Pink Floyd influenced, keys and poignant guitars, and the astonishing Xymphonia, a real prog jewel of the highest carat (if you like symphonic keyboards you´ll love those on this one!). But all the songs are of high quality. It is one of those albums you can hear form beginning to end without skipping any track. If you´re into neo prog, or prog music in general, this is a band to look for. Complex music, yet accessible and melodic, with a soulful singer. One fo the best debut albums done by a neo prog act in many years. Fans of Marillion, Pendragon, Clepsydra, IQ, etc. Don´t miss this one! Great artwork too! A classic!

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars "Flamborough Head" is another very good Dutch band. More on the symphonic side (at least with this album). Emotion sits at every corner of "Unspoken Whisper".

I particularly like the opening song "Schoolyard Fantasy". A personal composition featuring lush keyboards, good rhythm and a pleasant melody. "Childscream" is a great instrumental track. Powerful and solid. If you are into a more melowish mood, "Childscreen" is for you. It is a wonderful and vibrant ballad. Passion, beauty and melody are all here. The perfectly emotional vocals remind me "Grey Lady Down". "Flamborough Head" 's music is not too sophisticated : easily accessible and so enjoyable.

Still, the band is capable to offer more complex numbers like the title track which is one of the highlights from this album. A wall of keyboards sounds, great and melodic vocals are the components of this very good song. Even during weaker numbers (which aren't many), some beautiful passages will remind you that this band is worth listening to (like the flute in "Legend of the Old Man's Tree").

Most of the tracks are appealing to my proghead sense. I am just found of "Xymphonia" and "Heroes" (which is not a cover of whom you might know). A great symph moment. Keys being so impressive, invading, charming... A great instrumental track. Synthetizers are plenty and melodious. Another highlight and a wonderful manner to close this excellent album.

Four stars.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Last week I got a very enthousiastic PM from my Brasilian PA friend Tarcisio ("Holland in ful swing"), he is delighted about new Dutch progrock bands like Odyssice, Trion and .. Flamborough Head. The funny thing is that I met the members of these bands during almost every progrock concert I attend in Holland because they not only love to play progrock but also to watch it frequently.

This is Flamborough Head their debut CD featuring prime mover Edo Spanninga and Siebe Rein Schaaf with very tasteful work on keyboards and guitarplayer André Cents with very strong guitarplay, loaded with emotion and fiery runs. In Schoolyard Fantasy and Childscream the band succeeds to blend lyrics and music, very compelling. The Pendragon/Marillion inspired song Xymphonia is a tribute to this local progrock radio-station, it sounds very warm. During the three instrumental tracks Flamborough Head showcases their talents: great guitar in Wolves At War, exciting Rush/Marillion sound in Legend Of The Old Man's Tree and lots of shifting moods and flashy synthesizer flights in Heroes. I am proud to be Dutch! My rating: 3,5 stars.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If you want peace of mind ..enjoy this!

Well, I purchased this CD long time ago during those days that I started purchasing prog CDs because I though prog music was dead after Fish left Marillion. So, in 1998 I was introduced to the gentleman who run Cyclops label, Malcolm Parker. And during the year of 1998 to 2000 (I think) I bought some titles from his shop on the net. I was introduced to new bands that I never heard before like Sinkadus, Grey Lady Down, Mastermind, Landmarq, Land's End, Flamborough Head, etc. I was not that impressed with Flamborough Head because the music was too mellow for my ears. I knew that Flamborough Head was in the vein of noe progressive like Marillion, Pallas, IQ, Pendragon, etc. But, from the first spin I got, there was no such thing as the song with sufficient energy and drive that stimulated my emotion. So, I did not play this CD quite often and in fact I almost forget that I have this album in my collection. Last week, I started to spin again this CD.

If I look at the CD artwork and sleeve, it seems clear to me that this album was destined to be dark by the band. Due to the nature of the music which tends to be mellow and catchy, I consider this music is good to have a peace of mind condition for you regardless the main intent of this album for being dark. I can see in fact from the simple artwork that the cover has - a middle age lady in vintage fashion - and the sleeve which creates a dark nuance. The great thing is that the band member photographs were taken when they were child - around 3 to 5 years old, I think.

The music flows nicely in a very slow tempo. Hmmm .. I don't know how challenging the job of drummer and bass guitar for music as mellow as this one? If I am a drummer playing this music, I will be death definitely man .. no challenge at all! I remember how frustrated Mike Portnoy saying in his interview in "Dark Side of The Moon" DVD expressing how boring he was doing a drumwork for "Us and Them". Sorry to say, the songs like Flamborough Head do not give a challenge for drummer and bass guitar - it's too slow man.

What is so interesting about the music is the guitar solo, catchy melody, and keyboard solo. The rest is not something very challenging we need to explore. To make things into perpective, take your IQ "Ever" CD and spin the opening track "The Darkest Hour" where you can find excellent challenge for Paul Cook to perform his drumming. Or you may find Marillion's "He Knows You Know" there is obviously dynamic drumming. But with this album of Flamborough Head, you can hear that the drumming (and bass guitar) is so flat.

Almost all songs contained here in this album are good to enjoy. You can have good guitar work through "Schoolyard Fantasy" (8:07), "Wolves At War" (4:53) and a bit of ballad style with "Childscream" (7:19). "Unspoken Whisper" (10:23) starts wonderfully with catchy piano work and nice melody. Again, you can hear excellent guitar solo as the music unfolds. "Xymphonia" (10:06) has a significant influence of classical music. "Heroes" (7:53) concludes the album with symphonic style.

Overall, this is a collection of keyboard-based songs with stunning guitar solo. It depends of your expectation. If you expect something energetic, I don't think you can get it from here. But if you like Floydian guitar style - you might enjoy this album .. with peace of mind. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars really...

FLAMBOROUGH HEAD (named after a promontory in England's Yorkshire coast) exist since the early 90's due to the love of keyboardist Edo Spanninga for classic progressive rock.After some line-up changes the band released an eponymous cassette in 1994,which received good reviews,and led to their debut ''Unspoken whisper'' in 1997.This is a typical album of the Dutch neo progressive scene (if this term can be considered as correct) with heavy emphasis on melody and atmosphere.Main influences are coming from bands like PINK FLOYD (lots of atmospheric piano parts and soaring guitars) and PENDRAGON (nice keyboard/guitar driven melodies),while the vocals are clear,non-accented and very warm.I also consider as a plus the very strong production,which finally makes ''Unspoken whisper'' a very strong debut and gave FLAMBOROUGH HEAD a ticket of a long journey in the world of progressive rock.A recommended album with both neo and symphonic leanings.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars FLAMBOROUGH HEAD are Dutch band and this is their debut released in 1998.They are a five piece Neo-Prog band who I believe are still active to this day.This is a pretty good album that certainly has it's moments.

"Schoolyard Fantasy" opens with the sounds of children playing and laughing in a schoolyard as the music kicks in fairly heavily. It settles with vocals 1 1/2 minutes in then we hear the kids again at 3 1/2 minutes. A guitar solo follows then vocals 4 1/2 minutes in. Some soaring guitar late and lots of synths. "Wolves At War" opens with lots of atmosphere until the music starts to settle in before 2 1/2 minutes. A good instrumental. "Childscream" opens with atmosphere followed by guitar then reserved vocals as it stays mellow.The tasteful guitar is back then it picks up some 2 1/2 minutes in followed by piano. Some heaviness then it settles before 5 1/2 minutes.

"Unspoken Whisper" opens with piano as it builds. It settles back as the vocals arrive 2 minutes in.Guitar comes to the fore after 4 minutes. Atmosphere follows and more vocals.The tempo picks up with synths before 8 minutes. Reserved vocals 9 minutes in. "Legend Of The Oldman's Tree" has a somewhat aggressive instrumental intro. It settles back before 3 minutes with flute-like sounds then it picks back up. "Xymphonia" is mellow with flute-like sounds and strings. It changes as the piano comes to the fore before 3 minutes.The guitar joins in and vocals arrive 4 1/2 minutes in.They'll come and go the rest of the way.The soaring guitar before 9 minutes goes on and on. "Heroes" opens with atmosphere before the synths lead then the guitar. Both then lead together as the tempo starts to shift back and forth.

It's cool to see the band members pictures when they were children in the liner notes. Not a bad start for the band. 3 stars.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a pleasant surprise delving into the back-catalogue of an artist that impresses you only to discover earlier gems just as worthy of your time as the later works that initially attracted you! That was the case for me with Dutch band Flamborough Head, who's 2013 release `Lost in Time' was one of the albums of that year for me. By sheer luck I was to come across a few more of their previous albums in a local second hand record shop soon after that one, and the evidence is there that great talent, careful melodic skills and sumptuous instrumental displays were already in place within the band right from the start. Despite being their debut and having a different line-up than the one in place today (including a male singer here), `Unspoken Whispers' is full of many memorable classy themes, light gothic theatrical drama and a punchy rock sound, and it quickly turns out to be a winner.

It's certainly brave of Flamborough Head to open the album with repeated lyrical lines that start with "Hey you..."! Hmmm, I'm pretty sure some fairly obscure unknown prog band tried that once before to little success! `Schoolyard Fantasy' offers chiming electric guitars, delicate piano passages and eerie washes of ghostly icy synths that glide around Siebe Rein Schaaf's heart-felt and mannered vocal in the choruses. It all builds to a blistering sky-high electric guitar solo from Andre Cents over glorious rising synths is one of the finest moments to appear on a Neo-Prog album. `Wolves at War' is a short instrumental with duelling synth and guitar battles offering commanding themes on top of drums constantly changing tempo. There's an uplifting quality throughout `Childscream', with an introspective vocal, emotive Steve Rothery/Marillion styled electric guitar soloing and a harder hitting break in the middle.

There's lots of light and shade throughout the 10 minute title track, and plenty of spellbinding atmosphere in the intro. You get darker moments full of creeping gothic piano, brooding synths and think upfront bass that glides over the theatrical arrangement, but it's contrasted with a spirited shared vocal with Andre and Siebe singing a wonderful melody and spiralling Mini-moog solos. The band really deliver again on another instrumental `Legend of the Old Man', lots of spiky energy applied to heavy riffing, victorious synth runs and snappy drumming, with one or two dreamier moments as well. Pendragon fans will adore `Xymphonia', the low-key classical piano, delicate Mellotron and elegant symphonic synths that blissfully weave a deeply romantic and gently whimsical melody is pure Clive Nolan, and the stirring electric guitar strains that ring across the piece instantly brings to mind Nick Barrett. The band closes in a bristling explosion of instrumental energy with `Heroes', loaded with snarling brooding guitars, driving beats and near orchestral synths with deliriously joyful Minimoog bursts over a range of tempos.

While I prefer the later Margriet Boomsma fronted Flamborough Head albums, there is still so much to recommend here. True, it sometimes has that cold clinical 90's production that is the curse of many prog albums for the period, but `Unspoken Whisper' is full of passionate vocals, crisp playing and tasteful arrangements. This is a classy effort that all lovers of the Neo style should own, especially those listeners who appreciate I.Q, Arena and the early albums by Pendragon and Marillion.

Four stars.

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