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RICOCHER

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Ricocher biography
This Dutch progrock band was rooted in the schoolband Frontline. In '93 most members of that band founded the cover band TRUSS. Their decision to write own compositions in the neo-progressive rock tradition led to the demo-tape "A Scream For Help". When the guitarist left, newcomer Bart van Helmond completed the current line-up with Erwin Boerenkamps (vocals), John van Heugten (keyboards), Maikel van der Meer (drums) and Niels Nijssen (bass). These musicians delivered the acclaimed mini-CD "Quest For The Heartland" (2000), Martin ORFORD from IQ named it one of the best progrock CD's in the last years! RICOCHER shared bills with SAGA and ARENA and in 2001 the band was awarded as Best New Band by The Classic Rock Society. The next year RICOCHER released their second album entitled "Cathedral of Emotions", a fine progrock album with strong hints from the neo-prog masters (mainly PENDRAGON but also MARILLION).

On their new album "Cathedral of Emotions" it's obvious that RICOCHER has made progress: the melodic compositions sound more mature and symphonic, thanks to the keyboardplay from John van Heugten (often in the vein of Clive NOLAN). The guitar has a rocky edge (some beautiful sensitive solos with echoes from Nick BARRETT and Steve ROTHERY) and the vocals sound convincing. This band has the potential of other Dutch progrock bands like FLAMBOROUGH HEAD, PLACKBAND and ODYSSICE, I hope they will continue to develop this promising way and sound less like a PENDRAGON or MARILLION wannabee.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

Ricocher official website

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Buy RICOCHER Music


ChainsChains
ProgRock Records 2004
Audio CD$16.59
$43.56 (used)
Cathedral of EmotionsCathedral of Emotions
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
Audio CD$207.98
$135.68 (used)
Zarah: A Teartown StoryZarah: A Teartown Story
Import
PROGROCK RECORDS 2005
Audio CD$14.05
$3.95 (used)
Quest for the HeartlandQuest for the Heartland
Audio CD$15.99 (used)

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RICOCHER discography


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RICOCHER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.41 | 18 ratings
Cathedral Of Emotions
2002
3.38 | 21 ratings
Chains
2004

RICOCHER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RICOCHER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

RICOCHER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

RICOCHER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 11 ratings
Quest For The Heartland
2000

RICOCHER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

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).

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 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Quest For The Heartland by RICOCHER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
3.34 | 11 ratings

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Quest For The Heartland
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Formed in 1993 in Deurne in the region of North Brabant,RICOCHER started as ''Truss'',being mainly a cover band,before releasing a demo tape entitled ''A Scream For Help'' in 1994,already having changed their name to RICOCHER.The years brought the departure of original guitarist Kimmo Zegers and the arrival of Bart Van Helmond.The new stable line-up recorded the 4-track EP ''Quest For The Heartland'' in 2000 with an excellent cover painted by Mattias Noren.

STYLE: The sound of the band has a lot of similarities to other Dutch Neo Prog groups of the time and the ever-growing UK neo scene.It falls somewhere between catchy Neo Progressive and melodic Symphonic Rock with evident emphasis on qualitive vocal lines,floating keyboards and impressive solos.Plenty of rhythmic parts,changing tempos between songs,but also a good dose of symphonic keys' arrangements.The sound of the guitars is pretty heavy but carefully mixed to fall into the Prog Rock category.The overall result is a mini-album with plenty of memorable moments to satisfy the listener of easy-going modern prog.

SOUNDS/INFLUENCES: The biggest influence had to be ARENA,this EP holds a lot of the ''The pride'' or ''The visitor'' atmosphere,especially on the long title track.Other good reference points are LANDMARQ,MARILLION,MINDGAMES as well as Dutch fellows NOVEMBER,PTS and TIMELOCK.

PLUS: For a Neo Prog band,RICOCHER know exactly what the league's demands.A very clean production supported by an inpressive artwork.Lots of decent guitar solos.A good vocalist to support the album's atmosphere.A nice balance between more catchy and more challenging moments.

MINUS: As most of current neo bands,RICOCHER do not have their own personality.The music is played in a very safe way with no risks.We have heard tons of bands trying to play such kind of music,so it is very hard to get their own identity.

WILL APPEAL TO: ...Fans of Neo/Symphonic Prog and melodic prog.

CONCLUSION/RATING: ''Quest For The Heartland'' belongs pretty much among the albums I love to hate and I hate to love.Decent musicianship,talented musicians, nice balanced tracks but with not even a trace of adventure for a demanding ear.3 stars that is.

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 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Cathedral Of Emotions by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.41 | 18 ratings

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Cathedral Of Emotions
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Their previous EP was quite alright and ''Ricocher'' came back with a full (and lengthy) album two years later. What can I say about this work?

First of all, very little reviews for this Dutch band (one commented review before mine). Even if the music proposed is rather basic, I believe that they would have deserved more exposure here (Dutch fans could have promoted them a bit more: Up, Up). It is just a question of reporting your feelings about a band who plays good prog music after all. Anyway, since I am a neighbour (Belgium), I will do the job.

What's for sure is that this album is not a masterpiece. There is nothing wrong with ''Cathedral of Emotions'' except that it totally lacks in . emotion. What you'll get here is a classic neo-prog album with some fine guitar breaks and above average vocals.

Still, this hour long album doesn't hold a lot of great tracks. As with most of neo-prog albums, I have to say that my first impression when I listened to this work some five years ago was dramatically better than the one I have tonight.

Even the long title track is not transporting me into the heights of prog heaven. Crafted music, that's for sure. But little gorgeous moments. It often reminds me of ''Flamborough Head'': same vocal approach, and a fine but passionless musical style. Cathedral of Emotions'' is just shy of . emotions as I have said.

The prog fan will still be confronted to fine melodies and to some extent, popish atmospheres (''Fugative''). Now, per se, there is nothing wrong in writing pleasant pop tunes. It might sound as basic prog music, but it is enjoyable (the guitar break is so pleasant.).

Some tame moments are unfortunately also ''highlighting'' this effort. This feeling is seriously felt during ''Live Your Live''. And the Marillion Mark I oriented ''Out Of Hands'' might sound just too much to many ears (and mine belong to the impression). This is a ''Garden Party'' revisited.

I will be quite conservative with my rating. The choice between two or three stars being always a difficult task. This ''Cathedral Of Emotions'' is an average album but I'll upgrade it to three stars.

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 Quest For The Heartland by RICOCHER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2000
3.34 | 11 ratings

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Quest For The Heartland
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As with most neo prog music I have discovered, this EP got the maximum rate when I fist listened to it several years ago (I have had the habit in rating music while I listen to it for quite a long time already).

I have to say that I'll be much more reluctant in providing the highest rate for it now. Maybe because in the meantime, I have listened to more than three hundred albums from this genre.

The music proposed is quite decent though: a fine vocalist, some nice melodies and a very typical neo- style of course. At times, this band reminds me of ''Grey Lady Down'', but in a less passionate and inspired version.

My fave moment here is ''Life in your Mind''. But it is maybe because ''Your Pride'' sounds too much popish (although the upbeat tempo is quite catchy), and ''The Code'' sounds maybe too much pompous (especially during the intro).

The title track is also a fine moment of this offering. Vocals are quite good to say the truth. And as it is often the case within this musical style, the guitar work is fully on par and offers some great time here as well.

This EP is a good one and as such I guess that the three stars rating is totally appropriate.

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 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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...

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 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

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!

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 Chains by RICOCHER album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.38 | 21 ratings

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Chains
Ricocher Neo-Prog

Review by sandracz

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.

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