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Silhouette Across The Rubicon album cover
4.00 | 308 ratings | 11 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Across The Rubicon (2:18)
2. Breathe (11:31)
3. Empty Places (4:05)
4. When Snow's Falling Down (7:09)
5. Anybody (11:21)
6. Grendel Memories (5:41)
7. Nothing (4:22)
8. Don't Stop This Movie (11:55)

Total Time 58:27

Line-up / Musicians

- Brian de Graeve / guitars, lead (1,4,6,8) & backing vocals
- Erik Laan / keyboards (piano, organ, synths), lead (2) & backing vocals, co-producer
- Gerrit-Jan Bloemink / bass guitar
- Jos Uffing / drums, lead (3,5,7) & backing vocals

- Aldo Adema / guitar, percussion, orchestrations, co-producer & mixing
- Mary O / flute solo (8), backing vocals (6)
- Children's choir / chorus vocals (4)

Releases information

ArtWork: Ed Unitsky

CD Progress Records ‎- PRCD 049 (2012, Netherlands)

Thanks to ProgroC for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SILHOUETTE Across The Rubicon ratings distribution

(308 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

SILHOUETTE Across The Rubicon reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Majestic

Silhouette are one of a number of fine bands I have discovered thanks to the excellent "Progstreaming" website. Hailing from The Netherlands, the band have released three albums so far, this being their latest at time of writing.

While "Across the Rubicon" does not seek to explore new prog territories, it does undoubtedly represent the best in class of neo-prog. The composition and musicianship throughout this album are truly of the highest order. In terms of comparisons, IQ would seem to be to be the best reference point. The lush symphonic keyboards and fine lead guitars upon which the tracks are founded are complemented by excellent vocals similar to those on albums such as "Dark matter".

After the brief symphonic mood setting of the opening title track, we are straight into the sublime "Time", and 11 minute epic which takes the template for neo-prog and gives it a damn good polish. This piece features all the sweeping synths, power-prog guitars and killer melodies anyone could ask for. As an introduction to the band (for me at least) this is one of the most exciting tracks I have heard in a long time.

Other highlights include "When snow's falling down", which starts rather deceptively with a straightforward rock theme before developing instrumental sections reveals the true majesty of the piece. The track concludes with a highly effective children choir. "Anybody" is a song the band have been playing live for some time, although the version here has been modified to exploit the enhanced facilities available in a studio, especially with regard to the vocal harmonies. "Grendel memories" reflects the fact that several of the band list Marillion among their favourite bands. The track features some wonderful mellotron like synth layers and a powerful main theme.

In all there are three long tracks (over 11 minutes) on the album, each being developed superbly into a neo-prog standard. Each can be taken in isolation, but the album is best experienced as a complete suite of songs. Heard as such, each track complements the last and leads seamelssly to the next.

Silhouette are one of the newer breed of bands who recognise that the music industry does not readily offer a living wage these days. They therefore make music as a hobby. As such they are free to make the type of music they genuinely believe in and enjoy. The fruits of their efforts bear witness to their enthusiasm and their talent. If there is any justice in the world, and indeed in the prog world, Silhouette will enjoy great success for many years. On the evidence of this album, they certainly have a bright future. Highly recommended.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I haven't been so giddy in a while (yeah, a couple of weeks!) , sinking my ears into this sublime recording from Silhouette, a new discovery for me fueled by Easy Livin's splendid review, which did what it was designed to = tempt me into submission! "Across the Rubicon" has all the goods I love in prog, firstly a wide symphonic scope, massive keyboard bombast on one hand while the other tinkles elegant piano, a resolute guitar that is unafraid to bolster the palette with whopping riffs and resonating solos (Brian de Graeve) . The bass and drums are by and large ultra-solid with Dutch prog bands and this is no exception. All four instrumentalists sing, both leads and backing, with clear, accent less English. To put the proverbial cherry on the sundae, the shimmering Ed Unitsky handles the sublime artwork, confirming him again as the heir apparent to the "Dean".

The title track serves as brief overture, getting the unexpecting listener into the mood, like a good anesthetic, a suave and sultry opening torpedo. The 11minute + "Breathe' gets things straight into overdrive, a buzzing, almost space-rock riff which evolves into a delicate piano etude, the lead guitar wasting little time to make an impact both with his axe and the amazing vocals that follow. Smooth as breathing fresh mountain air. Organist Erik Laan rips at his Hammond and then his synths unfurl a few wicked solos. De Graeve then moves into the spotlight, flickering wildly at his fretboard, all brilliantly interwoven, as the bass and drums pursue with authority. Toss in some wavy mellotron-like synthesis, ornate piano and the sonic dream is achieved in spades. The soft mid-section morphs into some harder edged stuff with some sumptuous slide work and more of that Hammond sound. Just marvelous!

"Empty Places" shows off their balladry skills, a melancholic voyage recalling memories of a life that no longer remains, a simplicity that is gone, a lifestyle that is shockingly materialistic and technological , turning values into phantom reveries. The urgent vocals can recall fellow Dutch proggers Nice Beaver.

The majestic "When Snow' Falling Down" sort of segues nicely, keeping the 'lost hometown' feel, the synths stir up images of spiraling flakes of white wonder, delicate acoustic guitar and well-appointed vocals once again. The music is atmospheric and wispy, highly romantic and extremely suggestive of a distant glacial shadow, slowly melting into rivulets of burnished memory. De Graeve crafts an optimistic solo, out of the blue and original. A child-like choir finishes this off convincingly and already confirms the magnificent quality of this album, with more jewels to come.

"Anybody" is another 11 minute masterpiece, choir-mellotron ushering in a desolate lament that kicks up some serious steam, where operatic vocals dominate, flush with deranged husky despair. A slippery synthesizer solo scours the dial, oscillators kept in full control which only increases into a full-blown symphonic progslide of magnum force, mellotrons, organs and string synths spouting colossal clouds of steam

"Grendel Memories" is next and the title is self-explanatory, a mid-sized tribute to the classic Marillion piece and a highlight track (even though every second up to now has been exhilarating!), blazing organ screening the road ahead. The sweet vocals are passionate and despairing, a cool trait when dealing with such overt melancholia. Another hallmark the band possesses is their desire and ability to ratchet up the emotion at moments notice, giving each piece some deliberate "OOMPH" .

"Nothing" is another bluesy ballad, a killer track that sticks to the nodes from the very first spin through, a simply luxurious love song, with the husky voice leading the plaintive "listen to my heart, I am not playing a game", perhaps not up there with 'Neil Peartian cosmodrama' but it works because the music is razor-sharp. This went on my playlist immediately, a 4 minute moment of utter beauty.

Closing out this sensational recording is the appropriately titled "Don't Stop this Movie", another 11 minute + epic with its luminous flurries of waltzing guitar and regal keys. The sweet vocals are back and I am in gagaland, what a superb little album, accessible and yet symphonic, not overtly complex but foxily executed with precision, strategy and sensitivity. "Nobody knows" chorus is repeated endlessly, shockingly poignant.

Absolutely stellar release, which I intend to enjoy for many years to come. Intelligent neo- symphonic prog that is never boring or redundant. I think I like this more than Knight Area or maybe even Odyssice (which is saying a lot, as I love them big time) !

Now if the Dutch could only get their footy team working as a team ??Holland prog rules in the meantime.

5 shadowy Julius Caesars

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars As I listen to this album (again) I'm reminded as to why I've never rated their previous albums very highly: I do not enjoy the plugged-direct-to-computer versus microphone-recorded sounds and recording techniques, the RUSH- and SURVIVOR-like rock feel, and the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT feeling of the variety of lead vocalists used. There is nothing exceptional here and a lot of music that is imitative of what I call "second-tier" or "prog-related" rockers from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The stuff is okay, it's just that there is nothing here calling me back (though I've gone back now several times over the past couple of months). Definitely not 'essential' listening.
Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is my first experience of Dutch band Silhouette, although it is their third album and I am now starting to wonder just what I have missed by not coming across them before. Although in many ways they are reminiscent of IQ, it is patently obvious that Barclay James Harvest has also played a large part in their musical upbringing. Dual vocals are often prominent, combined with swathes of symphonic keyboards and a cutting guitar. It is prog as a warm blanket, reassuring and comfortable and although others may snigger at the attire there is no way that you are going to let it go.

The production and arrangements are very strong, and this is class from start to finish with a place and time for everyone. "When Snow's Falling Down" sounds as if it could have come from the pen of Nick Barrett twenty years ago, while at other times there are hints of Marillion as we are taken on a mature ride through a landscape of immaculately written songs. At times the keyboards are just simple piano, at others it is an over-drive organ, while the drums sometimes are incredibly effective by not being there at all. It is an album which is full of space and layers, and while it does lose some of the passion and drive because of that, it more than makes up with sheer professionalism.

It may not be anything dramatically new, but if you are looking for a very solid neo-prog album then this is good from start to finish.

Review by Menswear
5 stars Exciting.

Yes, I read in the reviews that someone hasn't been this excited about a Neo-Prog record in a long time; that kind of statement always makes me curious because, I too, hasn't been giddy about this genre since I discovered Contagion from Arena.

Thank you Tzirmay, you made me a happy man. Sometimes it pays to dig a bit deeper.

Silhouette are very good melody makers, underline very. Far from the amateurism that resumes too often Neo-Prog (Illuvatar, Quidam, Galleon, Big Picture, Violet District and oh so much more), Silhouette are jumping from nobody to WOW! with this album. It sounds surprisingly big, aerial almost, wrapped in a purple-pink fog. They obviously did their homework, pumping strenght from Clive Nolan and Mark Kelly but giving an extra push of their own emotionnal sound, therefore forging something highly vocally melodic and original.

Congratulations to the band for the rejoycing art work (what a cover!) and giving us a new classic in the suffering genre that is Neo-Progressive Rock. Yes, I said it: classic.

Hard to describe, but in two words: Exceptionnally Tasty.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
5 stars This, my friends, is an incredible album. I'll just come out and say that. I have fallen in love with neo-prog over the last year, mainly thanks to Galahad. Riversea, and Introitus. Yet, neo-prog can still be rather hit or miss for me, as Marillion's album last year was a major letdown. However, having seen some reviews for this album, I gave it a shot---I'm glad I did.

Silhouette, in my opinion, has three things going for them here: First of all, they have chops. This album is played wonderfully from the amazing synth to the awesome vocal quality. They don't hold back, but they certainly keep melody present at all times.

Second, they have an amazing atmosphere. Across the Rubicon has a very soulful, pleasing ambiance that borders on epic at times. The soaring melodies demand attention, and the jazzy snyth is fantastically composed.

Third, I think this album's greatest strength is the lyrical content. The lyrics pine for better days and better places, and sadness sets in as those better places and better days are found to be gone or have changed forever. The ballad "Empty Places" is an amazing track that grabbed my attention, for I think I could have written it about my own hometown. That's exactly what the lyrics do: they force an emotional reaction from the listener, but they also induce nostaglia, too. In other words, the album made me sad and happy at the same time. That is a feat that I cannot dismiss lightly. This album deserves 5 stars for sure.

On a side note, if you like this album and love the sound, be sure to check out the bands Hidden Lands and Anima MUndi. Both of these bands have a similar, though distinct, sound; and both bands' discographies are downright amazing.

Review by friso
3 stars Silhouette - Across the Rubicon (2012)

Lately I've been checkin out some Dutch releases (I'm from the Nederlands myself), as is the case with the Dutch neo-progressive rockband Silhouette.

At first impression this sounds as professional well recorded modern progressive rock in the tradition of Marillion, Arena and late Pink Floyd. Every track is symphonic with oceans of keyboards and the vibrant electric guitar of Brian de Graeve - who mastered the stratocaster and its use in the symphonic rock genre. Also appearant is the use of the known minor chord progressions, that without the introduction of stylistic of rhythmic innovation sound a bit dull to me. Other parts of the compositions can be refreshing, as is proven by the main instrumental theme of the opening track 'Breath'.

Most of the thracks are very enjoyable, but I'm never too fond of the vocals. Theatrical and sentimental as fits the music, but this usually lead to hit or miss performances. All lyrics are sung in English, but still it just sounds like Dutch to me. I never understood why progressive rock bands don't more often search for strong lyricists, like King Crimson did in the seventees - it can hugely improve the impact of the music. I myself just can't enjoy a larger then life symphonic sound with adults singing teenage lyrics.

Conclusion. Some great well-recorded neo-progressve rock that will surely please listerens of the genre. I'm very much impressed by the guitarplaying of De Graeve. The vocals and lyrics are not my cup of tea, but perhaps its an aquired taste. Three stars. If this band would find a moment of Contagion-like inspiration in the future it might just produce a masterpiece.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Across The Rubicon was my first exposure to Silhouette, and I found them a skilled band. The album itself was excellent and I'd recommend it without reservations to anyone who enjoys neo prog, or good music for that matter. While I enjoyed the first half of the album more than the second half it ... (read more)

Report this review (#1544919) | Posted by vinyljeopardy | Saturday, March 26, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I first heard this album it didn't much move me and I expected it to fall into the endless mountain of okay but ultimately forgettable neo-prog albums. To my surprise however, other reviewers have praised it for its beauty, depth, intrigue and other words that eluded me as my initial reaction ... (read more)

Report this review (#1172711) | Posted by MJAben | Thursday, May 8, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Sometimes I get the feeling the values are a bit off in today's prog world. For example, by "challenging" we mostly mean something that assaults either ears (with super heaviness) or brain (with over-complication). Yet we commonly forget that it's a huge challenge to influence the heart as well by c ... (read more)

Report this review (#878988) | Posted by Thandrus | Wednesday, December 19, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my first connection with this band from the Netherlands, and I must admit that I am quite impressed. I don't know what it is about Europe that is producing such great progressive mujsic in the past few years (Airbag, Pain of Salvation, etc) and why North America seems to lag behind in al ... (read more)

Report this review (#804576) | Posted by merid1en | Wednesday, August 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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