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TDW

Heavy Prog • Netherlands


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TDW biography
TDW was formed in 2003 by the then 16-year-old Tom de Wit. The basic idea behind it was that it was meant to be a project in which he could put all of the musical idea's and styles he could not use in the bands he played in. The main musical influences for TDW's music are Symphony X, Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Tool, Toto, Frank Zappa, Genesis, Pink Floyd & X-Japan.

The TDW project is (as you can imagine by the name) not a band with constant members. The only real constant member is Tom de Wit on vocals, keyboards, some guitars, and musical and lyrical songwriting. The line-up on "The Haunts" (their newest release) consists of Michiel van der Werff on guitars, Leander Doornekamp on bass & Mr. Andersohn on drums. I guess that, if you really want to put a style or genre marking on TDW, the term Symphonic Progressive Metal would come close enough, but there's probably a lot of people who will disagree on that.

TDW has released 3 official CDs so far. "First Draft", released independently in 2003, featured 10 songs, clocking in at 38 minutes and written in a timespan of 2 weeks. This record was the first real attempt by Tom to write songs of his own. The quality and genre choices in the songs differ dramatically as every songs almost has a style and sound of its own. In 2006 "Up Close and Personal" was released as a free internet album. This was the 2nd official TDW album, consisting of 8 songs with a running time of about 40 mins. The whole album is available for download from the official TDW website.

Finally in 2008, "The Haunts" was released. After 3 years of hard work, the first official TDW CD was released. "The Haunts" is a concept record with a playing time of 50 minutes, released by Nano Records NL. For a full description of the concept and other details on the new record you can check out the official TDW website.

Raffaella Berry (Raff)

TDW official website

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Music To Stand Around And Feel Awkward To !Music To Stand Around And Feel Awkward To !
Freia Records
Audio CD$23.39

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TDW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.00 | 2 ratings
First Draft
2004
3.62 | 6 ratings
Up close and personal
2006
3.92 | 3 ratings
The Haunts
2008
2.97 | 3 ratings
Scrapbook
2011
3.33 | 3 ratings
Music To Stand Around And Feel Awkward To !
2014

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

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

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

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Promotorium
2005
3.00 | 2 ratings
Brother
2006

TDW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Up close and personal by TDW album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.62 | 6 ratings

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Up close and personal
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by MJAben

3 stars An album full of potential but lacking in scope, here is an album where we see the prodigy Tom de Wit really expand and develop as a musician. One truly has to commend the variety and the ambition put forth in the release, even if it does feel imbalanced and scattered at times.

de Wit will certainly be a musician to watch in the future as this feels like an album that holds a great deal of potential, even if it falls short in some ways. Standout tracks for me are 'The Curse From The Woods', ':' and 'Octave in 3'.

I think at times the album could sound more polished and at times the PT influence is a tad overwhelming but, nevertheless, what I like about this album is that if one song doesn't cut it for you, the next song likely will and although this causes the album to feel a tad bit fragmented it certainly keeps it from growing stale.

3/5 stars.

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 Scrapbook by TDW album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.97 | 3 ratings

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Scrapbook
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Scrapbook' - TDW (5/10)

Well, that was something.

While I will do my best to speak of the music on this album by this Dutch progressive metal group, there is one thing on this album that stands out beyond anything else, even the music itself. That being the length of the album, which- after having listened to it from start to finish- has left me in a state of relative exhaustion. While I will do my best to critique the music based on its merits, this album has brought up a rather saddening point to me; that an album's length can greatly affect a listener's patience and appreciation of it, regardless of how good or bad the actual music is. In any case, from the two hour length of this record onwards, it is clear that TDW has invested alot of time and effort into this album, and indeed, this sense of effort gets across. While the music is well done and some of the songwriting here is excellent however, it all comes back to the length, and the album's general lack of variety, which leads it to becoming an exercise in tedium, should one attempt to listen to all of it from start to finish.

'Scrapbook' is a two disc album, although it could easily be considered as two albums under one name. Although the style of hard-edged melodic prog metal is kept consistent throughout the album, there is no narrative umbrella to reach over all of these tracks and create some binding concept, as is the case with many prog double albums. Instead, over the course of two hours, we are simply presented song after song of music that these guys have done. The music generally sticks to a slightly progressive formula of prog metal, with the occasional lapse into something different, like Middle-Eastern music, or symphonic metal, you name it. While none of the styles here (including the main sound of the band) is done particularly well, everything sounds solid, and there are even moments here where the listener's attention is grabbed. Of the two hours of material here though, there's probably an hour and fifteen minutes of music that I would consider to be very good, with the other forty five being something of a nuisance. It is not necessarily that TDW is inconsistent with their writing, but some of these songs could have used a little editing, to get the message across a little better.

The songwriting and performance here is very good, but I do not believe that the style that the band is playing is fresh or powerful enough to stay that way over the course of two hours. If TDW had cut half of this out and had a single disc hour long album (still fairly long by my standards), it would be much easier to enjoy the quality that is here, and there is most definitely quality here; it just gets incredibly tired before the end.

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 Scrapbook by TDW album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.97 | 3 ratings

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Scrapbook
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars A double studio album within the Heavy Prog genre is very rare. From the top of my head, I cannot remember any other albums like this.

Nominally, this is Heavy Prog. But that's in name only. The vast majority of the stuff here is progressive metal and even experimental metal. Think Dream Theater and Pantera. There is a lot of the latter one here. Add a bit Slipknot, Bush and Korn to this mix too. This album is a child of our time. In particular, disc 2. The first disc has a lot of modern rock too and is not as metal as the second disc.

This is not a concept album, TDW is stressing. But sometimes, this album feels like a concept album. The musicianship and vocals are good. Unfortunate, this two hours long offering from TDW is very ambitious, but sadly comes up short in the quality stake. The material is good, but not particular memorable and great. The two hours trundles on without really offering greatness. Some sporadic great melody lines and details shows up now and then. But nothing here is really bad either so TDW has pulled this off to a large degree. A middle of the tree rating would suffice here.

3 stars

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 The Haunts by TDW album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.92 | 3 ratings

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The Haunts
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by TDW

4 stars Original review date: 20-08-2008 Review written by: Ulf Backstr°m for Merlinprog.com Original language: Norwegian

From the land of wooden shoes land comes a continuous source of new artists in the progressive segment. The quality is regularly good, and TDW with music maestro Tom De Wit in front, is no exception regarding quality. Symphonic progmetal is on the agenda from the band from the town Amersfoort quite in the middle of Holland. The creation lyrics deal with an HSP, a Highly Sensitive Person, and how such a person react to today's society, and all the various emotions and mind problems this creates. You say a material which have potential to exceed stories of tower maiden and dragon, that some artist have a predilection for.

TDW has made a perfect symbioses of music and lyrics, and it`s a great pleasure to listen to this record regarding that context. "The Haunts" is well fluctuating, with enough dynamic to satisfy even the most blasÚ. Metal dogmatic is de-emphasize, so it becomes a well tasting spice, not a liability for them that not are found of metal. Joy of playing, identity and en obvious pleasure of music communication is ingredients that make this record suitable to tickle even the most spoiled taste buds. Tom De Wit behind the microphone has a nice vocal with perfect English, and even if the general sound quality could be better, this hardly is some drawback. The reason is that the charming and personal with "The Haunts", in every way compensate for such minor objection. This is a record to fall in love with, and a successful and honest piece of musical with highly well qualified workmanship. Make you self a favor and get this if you really want splendid music with distinctive stamp and personality.

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 Brother by TDW album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Brother
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Up close and very personal

Just prior to releasing his second album "Up close and personal", Tom De Wit put out this very limited edition (150 copies) single. The A-side is a non-album song called "Brother" while track 2 is a reworking of a song which appeared on his first album. De Wit does just about everything himself here, accompanied only by guitarist Michiel van der Werff.

"Brother" is in De Wit's own words "about a person very dear to Tom who he had to say goodbye to due to unfair circumstances". In this case, "goodbye" does not necessarily mean death, but what De Wit saw as the unjustifiable deportation of someone back to a country they were fleeing from. The lyrics are clearly very personal, and written from the heart. They perhaps display the tender years of De Wit in their rawness, but in some ways that can be quite endearing.

Musically, the song is largely in keeping with the type of product to be found on De Wit's first two albums. If anything, despite the heavy nature of the lyrics, the mood is actually slightly lighter. It should be said that the track has little potential as a hit single, but given the limited production run we can safely assume that was not the intention anyway.

The other track here, "Happy day (2006 version)" sees the track of that name from his first album being updated with new lyrics and a different arrangement. Once again, the lyrics are personal and reflective, revealing a young man who is casting off his youth and discovering the true complexities of life. Melodically, the song retains the lighter feel of "Brother".

In all, this perhaps more of a rites of passage for De Wit than a genuine single release. Interesting but not essential.

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 Up close and personal by TDW album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.62 | 6 ratings

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Up close and personal
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Real hope for the future

Two years after the release of the debut TDW album, Dutch teenage prodigy Tom de Wit returned in early 2006 with a second album. Once again, he undertakes much of the work himself, although he does again call upon Ramon de Wilde to help out on guitar. He also brings in a couple of other contributors, including violinist Christine Reurink. The entire album was released as a free internet download, and remains available today via the official website.

In a deliberate attempt to challenge himself beyond his comfort zone De Wit decided that this album should explore many different styles and genres, resulting in a collection of great diversity. The opening "Surface Scratching" is certainly rooted in the harder rock which was a feature of the debut, but the production shows a new sense of ambition. The track has hints of Porcupine Tree (especially in the distorted vocals), although the guitar work is bluesier and the overall sound lighter. For a sub-four minute track, it certainly packs a lot in.

"The Mourning After II" sets of with a Sabs like riff, but the keyboard backed vocals offer a contrast not generally present on albums by the band. The track mixes heavy metallic moods with melodic vocal refrains. "Jimmy" is a heavier drudge through a rather muddled affair. The keyboard sounds give the track some colour, but for me this is the album's weakest track, musically and lyrically.

"Number 7" alters the mood completely, with a symphonic instrumental played out on keyboards. Here the feel is that of old Hammer House of horror B-movies. "The Curse From The Woods" retains the cinematic style, but this time through an acoustic instrumental with orchestral overtones. Here, solo violin adds welcome new colours to the sound. The following "Fearless Speeding Maniacs" is a brief disposable indulgence featuring Andreas Jongeneel on Pots, Pans and Kitchen sink.

The bizarrely and rather inconveniently titled " :' " (the lyrics refer to "double point, apostrophe-a, Heading for Catastrophe-a") reverts to a style which resembles some of Porcupine Tree's earlier less structured works, the improvisational nature of this piece being the loosest De Wit has permitted himself to be up to this point. The album closes with the instrumental " Octave in 3", an ambitious multi-part 8 minute suite featuring a variety of keyboards and guitars.

I know when assessing music one should remain dispassionate about the protagonist involved, and focus on the quality of the results. It is though difficult not to constantly listen in wonder at the talents of one so young. De Wit was still under 20 when he recorded this album, yet it has a maturity and sophistication others twice his age can but aspire to. The diversity of sounds and styles may in reality be limited, but there is still plenty of scope here for De Wit to explore new avenues. We can only hope that this great young talent continues to develop and bring us music of such high quality in the coming years.

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 First Draft by TDW album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.00 | 2 ratings

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First Draft
TDW Heavy Prog

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Musically mature beyond his years

The initials TDW represent a young musician from The Netherlands by the name of Tom De Wit. When he recorded this his first album in early 2004, he was just 16 years old. The album took 2 weeks to write and record, De Wit undertaking all the songwriting and production duties, along with the vocals. He also plays all the instruments you hear, with the exception of some of the guitars, where he is supported by Ramon de Wilde and Brian Vijber.

The brief "..?" which opens the album is certainly intriguing, the abstract melody being vaguely Floydian. It is though when the pounding rhythms of "Endless" burst in that we get our first real taste of TDW. The track is an amalgam of metallic riffs, gothic vocals and symphonic synths. De Wit is clearly ambitious with regard to both his songwriting and arrangements, and the results are surprisingly impressive. "The mourning after" mixes shades of Porcupine Tree with Dream Theater style heavy metallic drums. The rawness of the composition is well disguised by some nice production.

"Happy day" features some impressively melodic singing, the tone being rather like that of Scott Walker. The guitar work on this track is particularly notable, but perhaps the piece could have been developed a bit further. "Innerburn" is a sort of "Endless" part 2, the lyrics being well composed while revealing the impressionable youth of the writer. "Mosquitos" begins with some appropriate buzzing sounds the track taking a bit longer to introduce the heavy riffs and drumming which dominate the album. The track is an instrumental piece which is generally looser, more improvisational, than the relatively tight arrangements of it peers.

"New strength" and the two subsequent tracks form a three part piece with the sub-title "At the end of love", although each is a self contained track. "New strength", at 6 minutes the longest track on the album, returns us to the Porcupine Tree style, with shifting time signatures driving the piece forward. "Your room" finally offers a breather from the heaviness of the album, the track being primarily acoustic. This gives De Wit the opportunity to put the emphasis on his vocal, which in turn rises to the challenge well.

"My loss", the third part of the trilogy, opens in a Sisters of Mercy like gothic style, gradually building as the drums and cathedral like organ push things along. The album closes with ".!" which forms a suitable bookend with the opening piece.

While the tracks here have a certain naivety, De Wit pulls it off well, creating an album which belies his tender years and lack of experience. The blending of a number of styles popular in these parts will help this album appeal to many who come here, particularly those with an ear for the more metallic aspects of prog. There are no epics as such, but De Wit's willingness to take his songs beyond the simple structures of pop suggest that here we have a talent we will hear a lot more of in the future.

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Thanks to raff for the artist addition.

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