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HARVEST

Neo-Prog • Spain


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Harvest biography
HARVEST is a band based in Barcelona, Spain, and was formed in 2008. The instigators were Monique van der Kolk (vocals), Jordi Amela (keyboards) and Jordi Prats (guitars), who had come to know each other in a previous band project. As their musical taste and vision was pretty similar, it was an easy decision to form their own band when the time was right. A few months after the formation Roger Vilageliu (bass) and Alex Ojea (drums) hooked up with the founding trio, completing the line-up.

Harvest's musical vision is a simple one: They want to create music they like themselves, without ever having to think about commercial aims or popularity. Total creative freedom is the guiding star.

In 2009 they finished recording their debut effort Underground Community, which was issued towards the tail end of the year. The album is made up of 12 original compositions and a cover of Marillion's song Waiting to Happen. The latter chosen because Marillion is a band all members of Harvest enjoy listening to.

Harvest official website

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HARVEST discography


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

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

3.60 | 26 ratings
Underground Community
2009
3.64 | 30 ratings
Chasing Time
2012
4.25 | 23 ratings
Northern Wind
2014

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

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

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

HARVEST Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Northern Wind by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.25 | 23 ratings

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Northern Wind
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars As is often the case with my music purchases, I really on a steady stream of reviews or straightforward recommendations from a series of PA regulars, audiophiles whom I trust and who have a rare ability to express the music contained within their suggestions in a clear and concise manner. There are a few whom I rely on assiduously, no one more so than the mad Welsh dweller himself, Lazland. Yes, I follow the advice from those who I trust to have similar musical tastes to mine, and I am never disappointed, as we also share a common love for female fronted prog bands which explains why we salivate over stuff like Panic Room, Mostly Autumn, Frequency Drift, IO Earth, Blackmore's Night, Touchstone, Introitus, Magenta, Karnataka and many more. I had noticed this Spanish band before but it never really leaped out at me with a seductive wink or seduced me enough to pull my PIN. Now, I can add neo-proggers Harvest to the list, the terrific introduction to their third album 'North Winds' has monopolized my attention as well as my latest playlists, returning many times to their enchanting program of bright, romantically-tinged prog songs. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, the playing here is orgasmic and stellar, the lead vocals are perfectly sung in accent-less English by Dutch vocalist Monique van der Kolk, the song artistry always on the edge of dramatic brilliance. No, they are not from Newcastle but are both first named 'Jordi', as guitarist Prats and keyboardist Amela know how to adorn, decorate and excite when needed, never showing off needlessly. Bassist Toni Munne is a monster, very up front and center, which is always a huge attraction to yours truly, being a devoted bass aficionado. Finally drummer Alex Ojea is thunderous when required and delicate if prompted.

A solemn piano wanders through the speakers, followed by a harrowingly attractive voice, generally a portentous omen for a successful adventure, with a radiant opening 'Into the Void', a perfect set-up for the masterful electro-tinged 9 minute + epic' It All Becomes Clearer', where the pulse is heightened into a more controlled frenzy, reminiscent of the classic prog elite led by superlative lady voices. The modern pace is fresh, bold, vivacious and enthralling, easily addictive and totally fascinating. This is not the formulaic prog that had once plagued early neo bands but a vibrant hybrid of symphonic textures, sustained melodies of the highest pedigree and tons of contrasts and colorations. Yes, the romantic tinge is paramount, perhaps even seducing the lady proggers with a sensitivity to tone that can give mighty goose bumps and yet the playing is muscular enough to attract the chintzy male audience. The key to this new neo sound is a deliberate focus on timeless melodies that stick in your head like eternal stamps of sonic beauty.

By the time 'This Day' intones its melancholic reverie, you just know this is going to be a magic ride of the highest order, a heady concoction of crisp technique and heavenly sounds, with quirky synths looping like crazy, clanging guitar phrasings and a confident stride. This is not pop music by any stretch, just intelligent prog rock with a slight folk trendiness mostly due to Monique's blissful voice, the guitars can bite, the bass does grumble and the drums thrust forward with burly determination. As with all the other songs here, the live setting should be quite phenomenal to witness, a visual addendum to the stellar playing.

Munne's playful bass revolutionizes the next piece, the lofty title track 'North Winds' takes literally no prisoners, another alluring take on classic prog balladry. Monique van der Kolk shows far more fragility here, floating over the sonic clouds with an effortless whoosh, while Prats unleashes what is best described as a classic bluesy guitar solo that hints for a few seconds at Lynyrd Skynyrd. There are strong similarities with established British acts mentioned earlier, easily sliding in comfortably into the romantic craftsmanship of UK's Panic Room.

As fabulous as all the preceding tracks were, 'Sending Signals' takes the patient listener into the intoxicating dreamland of human emotions, an intricate pattern of minute details that somehow coalesce to form one solid mass of artful message imagery. The mood is ethereal and impassionate, the voice sweet and serene and the pace utterly relaxed until we reach the half-way point and the determined beat kicks in, diverging the arrangement into a higher gear. Prats does a fine job on lead guitar as an outro fade away.

A James Bond-like hint kicks off the sultry 'Something's Changing', a terrific piece that epitomizes the sheer eminence of music displayed here, graceful and yet addictive. The rhythmic shuffle is valiant and tightly engineered, the singing again first rate and one can only agree to another compelling tune to rave for.

'Under the April Sky' is another classic prog composition, boldly fronting new ideas and methods of delivery. The mood here is spookier, as if some dark cloud is hovering overhead unannounced, somehow announcing an unexplained mystery wrapped around an otherwise simple enigma, reflective of the cover art, in my opinion. Suitable stormy with a sense of impending resolution, the track rages on nicely, heightened by a companion short instrumental track of the very finest caliber, 'Shadows behind the Lilacs', which scours the gentlest ambient horizons, almost minimalist and wholly hypnotic, bluesy lead guitar notwithstanding. The two pieces form a perfect showcase into what makes this band tick, the energy and the skills are there to behold in abundance, here closer to classic Mostly Autumn, which is a fine accolade.

Not a tribute to the famed Canadian band, 'Rush' instead seeks to reconnoiter modern soundscapes, echoed voices that have a slight Portishead moment, only to explode into a more conventional ballad of colossal proportions. The tension becomes celestial and overpowering, the playing thunderous and expansive with sudden pools of introspection and reflection that only add to the pleasure. I cannot help but admire the incredible restraint displayed, the attention to detail as well as that amazing bass leadership. The explosive finale will take your breath away in its simplicity.

Then follows a superb piano that will enchant and mesmerize, an acoustic guitar companion that seeks to underline the effortlessness of it all. 'Tonight' possesses the qualities of here and now, of musical dexterity and light storytelling, armed with little details like a subtle mellotron platform to better elevate the pangs of passion. Monique really sings her heart out, wailing like some desperate siren stuck on some craggy rock surrounded by threatening waves. A fabulous track to say the least.

This amazing album ends with the second longest piece, the suave 'Colours' , an 8 and a half minute extravaganza that just keeps the coals aglow, the art of making simple chords sound so original, adding the power and suspense where needed and basking in the warmth of Monique's tireless voice, which spans the gamut between fragile and expansive. What a talent, indeed! The gentle mid-section is to expire over, unassuming and spine tingling, of heady concoction of choir mellotron, piano, drums and bass that is sheer nirvana. Splashing waves put this masterpiece to bed.

What a delicacy! The playing is clearly first rate and tremendous, a thundering bass that pushes all the right buttons, a clever modern keyboard armada that washes and whooshes with aplomb, that senor Prats on guitar is really no slouch, playing both the fiery card as well as the gallant one. This kind of prog serves as an excellent introduction to newbie music lovers searching to better comprehend the basic progressive style before delving into the more technically demanding stuff we all love so much. Here the focus is all on the right setting and mood, ideally with a romantic partner, a fine bottle of Clos Vougeot, some discreet candles and love on your mind.

To paraphrase lazland's final comment in his glittering review 'I did not get a copy from the band to review (I did not ask for it either!) and I am very grateful to have purchased it' .

5 Reaping polar squalls

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 Northern Wind by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.25 | 23 ratings

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Northern Wind
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Northern Wind is the third album released by Harvest, a band I have followed since their inception.

From the moment the melodic, short intro, Into The Void, enters your consciousness, to the final moments of Colours fading, the listener is in for a treat of modern progressive rock.

The first thing that hit me was the incredible leap forward the band have taken in terms of production. This album sounds grandiose, and the entire experience washes over one, in much the manner as those Northern Winds drive the waves onto the shore. Witness the dark intensity of Under The April Sky, which creates a wall of sound that reminds me of putting on Genesis circa Home By The Sea. It is moody, and a damned sight harder than anything the band have put out before, a real standout track. This then segues into an instrumental piece, Shadows Behind The Lilacs, which Messrs Gilmour, Wright, and Mason would have been proud to release.

Secondly, there is also a move in terms of song structure, length, and, yes, progressiveness. This is the sound of a band so utterly comfortable with themselves, and their abilities, and it is a pleasure to hear. There is a beautiful piano interlude midway through the first longer track, It All Becomes Clearer, which, itself leads into the most gorgeous main description by Monique and the entire band creating such a calm pastiche.

Harvest are one of two bands I have followed who unashamedly took their influences from Hogarth era Marillion, the other being Gazpacho. The latter, to these ears, have, in truth, made one too many similar albums. Demons contains nothing new whatsoever, whilst, in contrast, Harvest have developed, progressed, and created an album which stands alone. Actually, much like Marillion, they are making new sounds and experimenting as they go along. The lyrics of the title track, which expertly mixes commercial Prog and a harder, tough set of riffs, puts it very well when it talks of a New Direction and New Horizon.

The band are equally comfortable in creating calming, melodic music, as they are when they rock out, and there are plenty such moments of such contrasts throughout this album. When they rock, then the noise that is created will appeal to the most enthusiastic fan of the harder stuff. Neither, though, have they lost that clever knack of creating a catchy song, as Something's Changing tells us. This track features one of the most expressive guitar solos of 2014, by the way.

The musicianship is allowed time on this album to expand. Amela's keyboards soar, Prat's guitars sing, Munne's bass is played as a lead instrument in its own right (a pleasing trait shared with Messrs Trewavas and Squire), whilst the drums of Ojea keep it all together (I just love his work at the close of Tonight). Once again, of course, the precious and pleasing voice of Monique van Der Kolk is at the heart of it all. The dreamy Sending Signals reminds me of just why I fell in love with this voice and band in the first place. Simply beautiful, it touches and emotes, and there is a foot tapping mid-section that I know will become a massive live favourite. Hands together, everyone!

The entire album leads up to the spectacular finale that is Colours, a track weighing in at eight and a half minutes. All of the expressions, moods, themes, and expansion of the Harvest sound are brought together on this progressive masterpiece, one of the best tracks of 2014. As the sea laps against the shore, you simply appreciate the sheer beauty of what went before.

Northern Wind is an album which should, in football parlance, move Harvest from the second division of Prog to the Premiership. I rated the debut at 3.5 (rounded up to four), the second a straight four. This one, if we had such a rating, would be 4.5. I tell you this. The next one, I know, is going to blow the collective minds out of the progressive rock world.

This album is, in fact, damned close to our top rating.

If you own and enjoy albums by acts such as Marillion, Panic Room, Renaissance, Mostly Autumn, then you will find a great deal to love here, and, thus, this comes highly recommended. By the way, Harvest fully deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as these alumni of Prog.

A very strong four star rating for a fantastic album, for which I am very grateful to the band sending me a copy to review (I would have purchased it anyway!). The album is available from quality independent retailers such as Caerllysi Music and the band themselves.

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 Chasing Time by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.64 | 30 ratings

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Chasing Time
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by PH

4 stars HARVEST is a relatively new group from Barcelona. They have several good friends in high progressive places, given that their second CD 'Chasing Time' feature Alan Reed (ex-Pallas) and Steve Rothery (Marillion). But the core members are: Jordi Amela (keyboards), Monique van der Kolk (vocals), Alex Ojea (drums), Jordi Prats (guitar) and Roger Vilageliu (bass). While Monique's lead singing binds together all tracks with a common mood, the instrumentals drift into more experimental territory to contain sequenced keyboard passages and melodic layers of excellent guitar work. Really strong rhythm section contributes to the build-up, encouraging introspection. In sum, Harvest has produced an intriguing collection of songs that sets them pretty well - in every direction with lot of creativeness and talent.

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 Underground Community by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.60 | 26 ratings

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Underground Community
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Barcelona is well known for producing some great Catalan Prog in the 70's, but it was time to give a shot to a ferw more modern-sounding groups during the millenium.So this is Harvest, formed in 2008 under female singer Monique van der Kolk, keyboardist Jordi Amela and guitarist Jordi Prats.After a 6-track demo drummer Alex Ojea and bassist Roger Vilageliu joined the project and in 2009 Harvest begun performing live (even supporting Marillion) as well as writing material for their debut.It was eventually a self-produced work on their own Red Phone Records under the title ''Underground Community'' with the cover artwork made by Antonio Seijas.

Armoured with a fantastic vocalist and an array of emotional melodies Harvest offered no less than 13 laid-back short tracks full of dreamy soundscapes, ethereal atmospheres and harmonic passages, strongly influenced by Hogarth-era MARILLION as well as the straighter tunes of female-fronted bands like MAGENTA, PAATOS, IONA or MOSTLY AUTUMN.Words can't describe Monique van der Kolk's sensitive, romantic and super-emotional chords and she is definitely the biggest weapon in Harvest'a array with her ethereal vibe and crystalline choirs.The music on the other hand is far from adventurous, this contains simple arrangements full of melodic/psychedelic guitars and very light background synthesizers (and occasionally organs), as it was seemingly written around Van Der Kolk's style of singing.The result is a mixture of light-weight Neo Prog with strong Post Rock passages and a few touches of Electronica, thus resembling the approach of PAATOS.The melodies are quite strong and the tracks rather memorable, always highlghted by one of the best female singers around, however the album faces a real problem in the abscence of any kind of diversity, as all tracks sound extremely similar, yet ''Underground Community'' hardly becomes boring along the way.There is also a nice cover version of MARILLION's ''Waiting to Happen'' from the ''Holidays in Eden'' album included.

Soft female-fronted Neo Prog/Post rock of decent inspiration, featuring a fantastic singer and above average atmospheres.Still I insist this band should make their sound more flexible in the future.Recommended.

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 Chasing Time by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.64 | 30 ratings

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Chasing Time
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Harvest return to the fray with Chasing Time, and a welcome return it is too. The debut, Underground Community, was one of the best albums of 2009, and it is always interesting to see whether a new band can develop and improve. On both counts, this excellent band deliver.

Before detailing the album in full, I would wish to quote a passage from my review of Underground Community. I said: "Forays into harder material are not as effective as much else here. They should stick to the tuneful, because it is clearly what they are best at". Well, thankfully, the band took not a blind bit of notice of me, because it is those very harder tracks which absolutely shine out on this album.

Opener, Roundabout, starts off at a fair old pace, with solid riffs at the heart of an enjoyable rocker, interspersed with melodic interludes. Highlight, though, of the album, and a contender for track of the year, is the incredible The Machine, which deals with an agonising story, that of a boy watching his father burning in the garden shed. Worse, the father has committed the act deliberately, and pronounces "I wanted you to be proud" at the denouement. From a deceptively melodic opening passage, the track develops into a dark, foreboding, and emotional piece of music in which the ensemble excel, with particular mention going to swirling keyboards leading with heavy riffs and a doom laden rhythm section. Quite brilliant.

Those familiar with this band will know of the Marillion connection, and this is taken further by a guest appearance by the great Steven Rothery. This, however, is not the only star turn, for Alan Reed, formerly of Pallas, also provides guest vocals.

To Reed first. He provides vocals on Time Lapse, and his harmonies on this lovely ballad with Monique van der Kolk are another highlight of the year for me, thus far. A track full of melancholic heartache, with some great acoustic guitar work by Jordi Prats, this is special, as is the orchestration that sings at the close.

As for Rothery, he provides slide & soloing guitars on In Debris, and this is, perhaps understandably, the most recognisable song in terms of Marillion influence here, except, of course, there is no cover this time. The band have matured, in my opinion, beyond that. Fans of Steven's work will love it, but it should be made clear that he is guesting here on a Harvest track, and another one that shows their development as an outfit, especially in the heavier moments.

Before commenting on the remainder of this album, I think it might be apposite to point out that whilst Reed & Rothery (especially) might be good friends of the band, the pair of them are far too professional to appear on any old rubbish as merely friends. They guest on material that is worthy of their considerable talents, and this has it in spades.

Their are no epics here, as with the debut. The longest track is the closer, Stars, clocking in at just over eight minutes long. It is a track that those who found much of Happiness Is The Road a great experience will enjoy here, for there is a similarity in the way that a deceptively meandering piece of music can entrance and drag the listener into the experience. Jordi Amela, especially, provides some great keyboards, whilst the rhythm section of Alex Ojea on drums and Roger Vilageliu on bass fairly pound proceedings along. The guitar solos are also excellent, especially as the track concludes.

Elsewhere, we have the lovely Yesteryear, a short track, which marks the passage of time in an all too familiar way for those of us of a certain vintage.

Unknown Skylines is the one track which I have had to listen to most in order to get a true appreciation, but patience has its rewards, for this is similar to some of the best of the debut in that it matches the band's clear prog tone with post-indie sensibilities. Complex, and dark in places, another very solid piece of music.

Silent Run is another track which deals very effectively with a pretty difficult subject matter, this time the betrayal and bullying of a woman by a man, and her flight from the situation. This is another very good piece of music, with the blues right at its heart (if, by now, you were thinking reading this review that Harvest are not your "typical" neo-prog band, then you would be absolutely right. They are far more than that), before exploding into a massive wall of sound that puts many a heavy prog band to shame, and concluding with a dark and heavy strung out riff.

Intuition is a good melodic track, with some nice piano featuring strongly, and another well executed guitar solo to close, whilst The Spell is one of those pieces of music which you want to take to bed with you each and every night. A track about dreams, van der Kolk's vocals are rich, lush, and, honestly, to die for. The denouement is heavily Marillion influenced.

This is an excellent album. It was already on my "to buy" list for 2012 on release, simply because I enjoyed Underground Harvest so much. So, when the band, out of the blue, contacted me and sent me the CD to review, it was a very pleasant surprise.

They haven't disappointed at all. I gave the first album 3.5 stars, rounded up to four because of PA's rating system. For this one, a straight four. Harvest are a very strong outfit, with four fine musicians, and, in Monique van der Kolk, my favourite female prog vocalist of current times (and there is some pretty strong competition for that). Her voice is simply beautiful, and is at the heart of all that is going on here.

Very highly recommended, this is a self released CD available on the band's website now.

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 Chasing Time by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.64 | 30 ratings

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Chasing Time
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars This is an album which requires many listens specially for me because I'm no longer used to neo-prog. My first impact with this second full length release by the Spanish band HARVEST has left me undecided, so I had to bring my ears back to when I was a Marillion's (Fish) fan.

I mean that neo-prog fans will surely like this album. It sounds between MARILLION and MOSTLY AUTUMN. Monique van der Kolk has a voice that I find similar (but not identical) to Heather Finlay and Steve Rothery guests on one track.

"Roundabout" is a very good song with the rhythmic part and even the guitar which appear influenced by the Marillion. It's Monique's voice which gives an added value to the song. It's very melodic. It's the kind of song that could become a hit with the right promotion but because it's good, not because it's more or less commercial.

A good start for the album, followed by "Intuition". Also on this song the vocals are the most relevant element together with the 12-strings guitar (at least I think it's a 12-strings) which helps the drums. I don't hear any Marillion here, maybe just a bit in the guitar solo. The melody is strong enough.

Piano and vocals open "The Spell". This is one of the highlights. Something in the sounds used made me think to pop bands like Cranberries or early U2, but the core is surely progressive.

"The Machine" is another very good song perfectly midway between MARILLION and MOSTLY AUTUMN on which Monique's vocals are almost perfect. Let me say that while the Marillion's influence is very clear and confirmed by the presence of Steve Rothery, a link with Mostly Autumn is something that I feel but I don't know if it's really an influence or just my idea.

"Time Lapse" starts on acoustic guitar with chords not very original to be honest. This song makes me think to PHIDEAUX, not a bad thing, anyway, and if you don't look for surprises the melody is good enough. After Monique there's a male voice (I don't know who is), then the two sing in choir in a little crescendo. Also the melody changes so that the song appears not so trivial like at a first glance.

A bit of rock comes with "In Debris", but it's only the intro. After few seconds we are in another very melodic song. Good melody also here, but there are probably too many slow songs in sequence. Probably a different tracklist with uptime and slow songs alternated would have been better. In any case this is not a boring song, don't get me wrong. Before the moment when electric guitar and drums make it rockier, it makes me think to Susan Vega, that's not prog but is an artist that I like. The second part of the song is again between Marillion and Mostly Autumn with an excellent interlude leading to a good guitar solo. Forgive the repetition: this album even if apparently easy requires several listens.

Another acoustic guitar intro for "Yesteryear". This song has a country-rock flavor. Monique sounds like a folk-singer. When the bass enters musically it's like being in the Fish era with a touch of Peter Gabriel here the vocals are very high-pitched. Nice song.

I again hear similarities with Susan Vega on the opening of "Unknown Skylines", but Susan's voice is not so powerful. This song is not comparable to Marillion or any other band. It's like the band is slightly finding its own sound.

"Silent Run" is an atmospheric track on which the vocals are sometimes very high-pitched, like KATE BUSH on Wuthering Heights. I don't know on which track Rothery plays,. Whoever plays, it's a very good solo. Not fast or difficult, but with all the notes in the right place. As in the previous song, also here I have the impression to hear the research of a more "personal" sound.

"Stars" which closes the album is the longest track. Imagine the Marillion of the early Hogarth period with Heather Finlay at the vocals and you'll have an idea of how it sounds. The guitar is more gilmouresque (can it be this the Rothery track?). I like particularily the bass solo interlude after 3 minutes and a half which leads to a section dominated by the guitar. This is the most complex track and an excellent closer. I haven't realized how good it is on the first listens, probably because I'm currently so involved with Avant and Zeuhl that I had to adapt my ears to less experimental music.

I have some difficulties about the rating. In the 4 stars definition "Excellent addition to ANY prog collection" I'm a bit concerned about the word "ANY".

Surely neo-prog and prog-folk fans will like this album a lot. "Non-essential" doesn't make justice as it's effectively a good album.

I'm rating it with 3 stars but I strongly suggest it to whoever loves this subgenre. The band is more than promising and I like their musicianship other than the excellent vocals. Having rounded up their debut I'm not feeling guilty also because I have taken 3 days to write this review and I hope to have done a good job.

With my compliments to the band. 3.5 stars.

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 Underground Community by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.60 | 26 ratings

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Underground Community
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars It happened that I downloaded this album after finding the link in the "Official Review Our Music" forum. It happened that I put it on my Mp3 reader and it happened that I totally forgot it. Then it happened that after "Harmonium", my reader started playing "Harvest" and I started wondering who they were, trying to identify them without looking on the display, also because that display is very badly lighted, very small and I had no glasses....

My first impression of the album, listened just once when I downloaded it was of good neo- prog but what remained in my mind after that listen was just a Marillion cover, and that cover was what helped me to remember the band, but it means that I have listened to the 9 previious songs with enough concentration and I have discovered an excellent band with very good songs well played and with an excellent singer.

In the end the Marillion cover (Waiting to Happen) is just a cover and the voice of Monique van der Kolk sounds too sweet respect to the powerful high pitches of Steve Hogarth, but that voice sounds excellent in the rest of the album.

Monique's voice is remarkable. It's probably the word "Autumn" in the opener that seems inspired to Prevert's poetry, but she makes me think to Heather Findlay but also to Megan Wheatley of Dan Britton's project "All Over Everywhere". Voice apart, the song is good. I have left the neo-prog subgenre since some years but I can still recognize the good neo-prog when I hear it. This is very good.

"Beyond The Desert" is colored of Magenta while the "cold electronics" of "No Return" make me think to an artist that I suggested and was rejected from PA a couple of years ago, Kate Havnevik.

"The Story Of Tim Ballas" is opened by a 12 strings guitar very similar to Bowie's Space Oddity. It's just for few seconds then they are back to their genre with a song still in Marillion's chords even if I hear a connection to Mostly Autumn also on this song.

"Mara" is different. It's a song on which one can guess that this band is Spanish (or better, Catalan). There's also more rock respect to the previous tracks. Surely is one of the less commercial.

After a short instrumental, that's the title track, that would have deserved to be exploited better, a piano introduces a mellow song that's too mellow for my tastes. Nice as background during a travel by car but nothing more.

"Post Disaster" opens with keyboard and drum machine for about one minute of progressive electronic, then when Monique starts singing she trasnforms it into an excellent song made of many different elements. Maybe Magenta is the best reference for this song

"The Horizon" sounds as a Marillion song of the Hogarth era but the chorus gives me an idea of Mostly Autumn again. It's one of the best album's songs. However it introduces quite well the cover mentioned before. "Waiting to Happen" is an excellent song and I have to admint that I prefer the original version even if this is everything but bad.

"She Tries" is another good song. We have bass and keyboards reminding to Marillion while guitar and vocals are closer to Mostly Autumn.

A short acoustic song follows: "Night Comes Down" must be mentioned mainly because of it's position in the album: I think it comes exactly in the best moment. A few of chill-out before the closure that's darker. "Interrupted Broadcast" is the heaviest track. After a piano that is able to give an idea of what will follow we have drums and distorted guitar, then piano and vocals again. Here I think to Porcupine Tree.

This is a very promising debut album. They still sound too much like their bigger influencer but have good original ideas, too. Some songs may appear too commercial but again, when the music is good being commercial or not does mean nothing to me. The impression is that the band hasn't still found its original sound, but when they will they'll have the potentiality to become big. Also this album is already better than some Marillion albums.

3.5 stars that I want to round up to 4. They have been a pleasant surprise in my mp3 playlist and I hope they will be a more pleasant surprise with their following releases.

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 Underground Community by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.60 | 26 ratings

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Underground Community
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by lazland
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Released in 2009, this is a nice album available as a free download on the band's website, although I for one will be sending off for a copy of the CD. Classified as neo-prog on the site, it probably, in my opinion, sits better in crossover prog, but wherever we argue about where it should be placed, this is an accomplished and very good debut work.

As a piece of trivia, this band have supported Marillion on Spanish dates, and it is this wonderful band to whom Harvest clearly owe much in loyalty and influences, certainly in their very knowing way of writing and performing catchy and instantly accessible pieces of music. The second track, Beyond The Desert, is one of the best pieces of pop/prog I have heard in quite a long time, and on this, as, indeed, everywhere, lead vocalist Monique Van Der Kolk absolutely shines. Hers is a beautiful voice which adds so much atmosphere and flavour.

There is one cover, and that is of the marvellous Marillion track Waiting To Happen, from Holidays In Eden. This track was a highlight of a relatively ordinary Marillion album for me, and to hear it reinterpreted in a far less "in your face" way by this band is an enjoyable experience. In addition, there is a piano sequence on She Tries lifted straight from that all time classic, Brave, and is no less enjoyable for showing its influence.

All of the band perform extremely well. The guitar solo on No Return by Jordi Prats is particularly evocative, lifting a track that sits deep in melancholy.

There is a foray into prog folk territory, with clear knowing nods to post indie sensibilities, on The Story Of Tim Ballas. Indeed, as I mentioned at the top, it really is very hard to classify this album, aside from stating that it is a collection of extremely well written, well performed, emotional, and enjoyable songs. Perhaps my only criticism is that the forays into harder material, such as Mara, are not as effective as much else here. Harvest are, I think, a band who should stick to the tuneful, because it is clearly what they are best at.

Definitely one for those who, like me, are a sucker for killer female vocals, this will also strongly appeal to those who don't have to have epics on their prog albums, and also to Marillion fans curious to explore a little more the bands associated with them.

As for a rating, 3.5, but rounded up to four simply by virtue of the exceptional maturity displayed on a debut work. This is a band that is definitely one to watch in the future.

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 Underground Community by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.60 | 26 ratings

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Underground Community
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars I am the first one to admit that female fronted fusion of AOR and Neo-Prog is not my cup of tea.

Harvest is a Spanish band they have offered a free download of this album on their homepage in addition to selling normal CDs. See my interview with the band. Their music is very much a type of commercial Neo-Prog meets rock meets AOR meets prog metal. The music is based on tangents and some guitars. The sound is very much like 2009 with a contemporary feel. References are Magenta and "insert any British female fronted prog band here". In short; the type of band Classic Rock Presents Prog focus on too much for my liking. The music is not particular hard, although it has some prog metal elements. It also have some electronica elements too, but thankfully not many of them.

The music here is kind of proggy, but the orthodox prog heads here (no names mentioned.....) would probably get into a fit if confronted with this album. But the music is pretty good thoughout. There is no real killer tracks and no signature tracks here which would make Harvest stand out from the crowd. But their music is commercial and it is my understanding they have got quite a big fanbase. It is also their debut album and a good one too. My stars reflects the fact that with the exception of Magenta; I am not that fond of this type of music. But fans of Magenta should really check out this free download and then send the band some euros for the CD if they like what they hear.

3 stars

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 Underground Community by HARVEST album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.60 | 26 ratings

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Underground Community
Harvest Neo-Prog

Review by powerclam

4 stars Harvest's "Underground Community" is a very nice album.

It consists of 13 tunes, none longer than 6:18 - no long epics or suites.

The female vocalist in places reminds me of the singer for The Cranberries (edit: or 10,000 Maniacs).

This is very "accessible" music, unlikely to elicit any funny looks from one's date.

It is still quite "proggy" in the instrumental passages, with strong guitar-work and keys and solid bass-support. The synth and electronic effects contribute dreamy atmospheres without being overwhelming.

The sound wanders fluidly from deceptively simple to hard-rocking to floaty-ambient to... all without any jarring transitions. In several spots I had to restart a track because I found myself asking "how did we get from the simple piano intro to this jamming section?"

I give this a solid 4 stars - not a must-have eternal masterpiece, but very nice to have in the collection, and safe to share with non-prog-fans.

(This is my first review, so... apologies as necessary )

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