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THE WINDMILL

Heavy Prog • Norway


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The Windmill biography
Founded in Oslo (Hurum/R°yken/Asker), Norway in 2001

Norwegian band THE WINDMILL was formed in the fall of 2001, with Jean R. Viita (keyboards, vocals) as the instigator and and Morten Clason (sax, flutes, guitars, vocals, keyboards) and Arnfinn Isaksen (bass) as additional founding members. Bent Jensen (guitars), Vidar Kleivane (drums) and Erik Borgen (guitars, vocals) were added to the line-up shortly after, and for the next few years The Windmill was actively rehearsing, writing material and performing live when possible.

In 2005 they started the recording sessions for their first album, with new man Svend Hjalmar Borgen handling the sticks after Kleivane's departure. These recording sessions would take a lot of time, with many ups and downs and a lot of discarded material. Along the way sticksman Bulle called it quites as well, and he was replaced by Sam Arne N÷land in 2009.

Towards the end of 2009 the recording sessions for the album was finalized, and mixing began. In March 2010 the songs were sent off for mastering and then finally to the CD printer, and in May 2010 To Be Continued... was released, the result of 5 years of hard work. In the final stages of the production another band casualty came to be, when Jensen decided to call it a day. He was replaced by Stig Andre Clason (guitars) in the summer of 2010.

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TribusTribus
Apollon Records 2018
$11.21
$11.20 (used)
TribusTribus
Apollon Records 2018
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FRIENDLY FIRE RECORDINGS 2010
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Imports 2007
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Melodic
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THE WINDMILL discography


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

3.80 | 84 ratings
To Be Continued...
2010
3.94 | 210 ratings
The Continuation
2013
3.88 | 111 ratings
Tribus
2018

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

THE WINDMILL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

THE WINDMILL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tribus by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.88 | 111 ratings

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Tribus
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars Heavy Prog? No, absolutely not! I am very much into Heavy Prog since the mid-Seventies, from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Vanilla Fudge to Atomic Rooster, Led Zeppelin, Ayreon and of course Rush, but I can hardly trace any Heavy Prog hints. I can imagine that The Windmill is not easy to pigeonhole because this Norwegian band (rooted in 2001 and produced only 3 albums until now) easily switches from early Seventies Genesis (twanging acoustic guitars and flute) to mid-Eighties IQ (hypnotizing with Mellotron violins and moving electric guitar). Or Camel inspired, from dreamy with flute to a slow rhythm with a moving electric guitar solo. And the music is loaded with twists and turns, musical ideas and a variety of instruments, from swinging jazzy piano to powerful saxophone and from Spanish rock guitar to a capella singing and a folky tin-whistle, it all happens in the strong epic opener The Tree (almost 24 minutes). So we can enjoy symphonic rock, Neo-Prog, Rock Andaluz, folk rock and jazz, but no Heavy Prog.

And how about the other 4 compositions?

Storm (10:05) : First a slow rhythm with soaring keyboards and wonderful flute and acoustic - and electric guitar, halfway bombastic with howling electric guitar and intense piano. Then dreamy with piano and mellow saxophone, followed by a bombastic part with moving electric guitar and sparkling piano, and in the end a churchy organ. It all sounds very flowing and compelling, wonderfully arranged.

Dendrophenia (4:34) : Catchy rock guitar riffs, then a tight rhythm with vocals and mellow Hammond, to me it sounds like AOR.

Make Me Feel (9:39) : A slow rhythm with flute and lush Hammond, then dreamy with flute and piano, along warm vocals. In between some more bombastic eruptions. Then harpsichord and flute and propulsive guitar riffs, with howling electric guitar. Finally up-tempo with fiery rocky electric guitar and dynamic rhythm-section and some flute.

Play with Fire (4:34) : Dreamy with acoustic rhythm guitar and flute, then a slow rhythm with flute, Hammond and pleasant vocals (male and female) and flute traverse and slow synthesizer flights, like "folk rock meets melodic rock", with hints from Camel, Solaris and Jethro Tull, but more song-oriented, very catchy and cheerful.

So hardly any Heavy Prog moments, apart fromMake Me Feel and Dendrophenia with rock guitar. The Windmill is a band that delivers a very melodic and harmonic eclectic sound, wonderfully coloured with a wide range of instruments, often between dreamy, slow rhythms and some bombastic or harder-edged moments. Although it's not really my music, I am impressed by their compositional skills and how they have found their way between symphonic rock, Neo-Prog, melodic rock, folk rock and AOR. I think it is most close to Neo-Prog, it's no coincidence that Karl Groom (Threshold, Shadowland and Strangers On A Train) did the mixing and mastering of this CD.

My rating: 3,5 star.

P.s.: Other new interesting bands that are not on PA: The Adekwaem (Neo-Prog), Laura Meade (from IZZ, eclectic), Encircled (Neo-Prog), Fizbers (Eclectic) and Dean Baker (from Galahad, excellent electronic).

 Tribus by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.88 | 111 ratings

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Tribus
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It is safe to say I had been eagerly awaiting this album, as I had awarded their 2013 release 'The Continuation' 10/10, and at long last the Norwegians are back with their third album. Any band who starts an album with a song well in excess of 20 minutes are always setting themselves up for critical backlash from anyone who doesn't really enjoy the genre, but for me I just sat back and let the music build and take me into their wonderful. Flute and acoustic guitar makes one immediately think of classic Camel, but then we move into Jadis crossed with Rick Wakeman and at six minutes one realises there still haven't been any vocals yet! There just isn't room for them as the music builds, then just thirty seconds later the music drops in tempo, the piano comes in and Erik Borgen finally makes his presence felt. By now we are in Flower Kings' territory, and it is time to stop playing "spot the influence" and instead bask in what is yet another quite wonderful album. Harmony vocals? Delicate emotional lead guitar? A keyboard player who moves between Mellotrons and piano? Woodwind? A bassist and drummer in perfect harmony who provide additional melody when it is required and pushes along when there is a requirement to give it an edge? Yes, all of that, and so very much more.

There is a refusal to sit too long in any one melody, or to feel they have to confirm to any rigid norms, while also creating progressive music which is very easy to listen to, full of hooks. It is an album to close the eyes to, and then get carried away on the sax line. Then compare opener "The Tree" to third track "Dendrophenia" which is far more rock based, with repeated riffs, showing they can get heavy when they want to. It feels that the band really can do no wrong, as this is the second album of theirs I have heard and it is yet another stunning piece of work. An album to just keep playing, time and again.

 Tribus by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.88 | 111 ratings

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Tribus
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Review # 101. The Windmill is a Norwegian band that I discovered recently, and to be honest I was impressed. I had no idea about them until I saw some very good ratings and reviews about their latest album Tribus, and I decided to give it a try. Their music style can be characterized as Heavy Prog with a sound that reminds the bands of the '70s, but in a more modern way.

The album opens with the 24-minute-long The Tree, which left me speechless! If I would like to describe the feeling I had, I would say that it is as if you enter a train for a long journey, without knowing where it is going to lead you. So, you just sit back and enjoy the ride, with its infinite turns and changes of the landscape, and the peace you find yourself in. When the journey finally ends, you know that you only have to press "repeat" in order to feel it again. It is one of the album's "stronger" compositions, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the songs are just "fillers". Each of the 5 songs is wonderful in its own way, and creates different feelings for the listener. The Tree is followed by the 10-minute-long instrumental Storm. What I wrote about The Tree stands for Storm as well. The only difference is the length of the "journey". Another excellent track, including flute that permeates a vintage sound, if I can use that expression. Dendrophenia that comes next, is a lovely track that could easily fit in any of the old albums of Uriah Heep. A very nice and more "straight forward" track. Make Me Feel, the album's 4rth track, is another highlight! Again, a long ? 9.30-minute-long track, is one of the album's stronger compositions. I didn't pay much attention to it at first, because I kept listening to the first 2 songs repeatedly; but when I finally decided to continue with the rest of the album, this was the song that stuck with me again. Play with Fire is another wonderful tune that concludes the album in the best way possible. A more Folky and happier tune in comparison with the previous songs. Due to the sound of the flute and the singer's voice, it reminds me of Jethro Tull a little bit, but it cannot be characterized as a "copycat" in any way.

The things that I loved in Tribus are; firstly the very good and strong compositions, secondly, despite their sophistication, the songs don't tire you out. Although most of them include lots of changes, they come artlessly and effortlessly. These guys don't try to impress the listener with their technical skills, (which are very good), but with the quality of their music and their overall performance instead. This is a wonderful album that you listen from the first until the last minute, without having to skip not even one song. All the songs are wonderful and they have something to offer. Stronger tracks: The Tree, Storm, Make Me Feel. Weaker Tracks: None. It would be a mistake to ignore this album! Give it a try and you won't regret it. My Rating: 4.5 stars.

 Tribus by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.88 | 111 ratings

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Tribus
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by Second Endeavour

5 stars 'Tribus' is my third encounter with Norwegian band THE WINDMILL that does live up to expectations. Once again, the keyboard player Jean Robert Viita and his crew (respectively, Erik Borgen ? lead singing & guitars; Morten Loken Clason - flutes, sax, b/v; Sam-Arne N°land - drums; Stig AndrÚ Clason - guitars, Arnfinn Isakson - bass) have proven their talent and masterity. There's so much going on the new issue to provide a substantial added value. As starting point, I have to say that 'Tibus' comprises five tracks to extend almost 53 minutes, where each sonic excursion is perfectly done, leaving the listener enough of time to explore the musical approach.. Now for a look at the songs individually. The album comes off with a multifaced epic 'The Tree', builded around improvisational prowess. The pastoral introduction brings a recognisable Genesis hallmark which gradually flows towards to the pulsating template of IQ. What emerges after a while is a gentle piano accompaniment, leading up to the emotive voice of lead singer and lovely harmonies, whilst the stylish guitar excursion and rhythmic background are succeeding to pose the tight display of ensemble musicianship. In terms of execution, this part is reminiscent of the Dutch neo-prog scene. The continuation reveals a bizarre collage featuring sax and flute, jazzy tones and folky themes changed by latino colors and sudden acapella performance, the exciting instrumental propulsions alongside movie soundtrack feel. The later segment harks back to a mellow pattern, standing pretty close to Silhouette. Using a fadeaway formula, the whole thing ends with a graceful melodic signature comparable with classic Pendragon. Sure, that was a tremendous start for the journey. Then 4 more chapters to go. A sensitive instrumental piece titled 'Storm' has the main focus on exploring moods and atmospheres, complete with sound waves and deep space in the production department. The core influences here are ranging from the orchestration type of Alan Parsons Project to the 70's Genesis paradigm in an intriguing manner. By the token, Camel and Fish On Friday also come to my mind. To surprise, the distinctive guitar passages may be associated with such masters as Vinnie Moore and Joe Satriani. The next track 'Dendrophenia' switches to realm of hard- rock, most closely reminding about Deep Purple - just think of their 'Come Taste The Band' album and you will not go far wrong. The follow-up, melodically crafted 'Make Me Feel' sounds like a nod to Arena. The influence is apparent, albeit the embodiment is a bit different. Rounding out this disc, a peppy cut 'Play With Fire' wraps things up in a Jethro Tull styling. As final point, I would say that the cover art (by Kirsten Knoph Viita) is well suited to the repertoire and overall it's a beautiful package. The lyrics and drawn images complement the quality of music contained within. All in all, The Windmill have done a great job. So folks, make no doubt and reserve a spot for "Tribus" on your CD shelf. RECOMMENDED!
 Tribus by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.88 | 111 ratings

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Tribus
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Windmill from Norway is one of my fav progressive rock bands in last decade. I have a soft spot for their music since they released their first album in 2010 named To be continued.... Formed in 2001 but only in 2010 they come with thir first opus who become quikly a respected album in this genre, the second album was issued in 2013 and now in 2018 they released third album named Tribus. I love this album and everything thei offer from the music to the excellent art work made by the wife Kirsten K. Viita of the vocalist/keybordist , really excelletnt work that goes hand in hand with the music. Now, the music is more then great, with lots of intresting arrangements, with each musician shining on their instruments. Opening with the longest piece of the album The tree, what a great opener for sure, keyboards and guitar built together in a perfect unit in 23 minute i was in another world. Great changes in tempo and top notch musicianship strong are the flute moments who gives a certain vintage atmophere overall. Follow Storm - an instrumental piece with nice melodic passages and all the ingredients to be a fairly solid tune, I like a lot the guitar parts, Stig Andr' Clason ( I guess the son of Morten Clason responsable for flute and sax here) done a marvelous job, really fantastic guitar lines . Dendrophenia is a short pieces clocking around 5 min, remind me of Uriah Heep in parts, a nice one again. Make Me Feel is another top tune, balanced arrangements, nice vocals, all is here. The ending Play with Fire, ends a the album in a beautiful elegant manner, very nice vocal parts and flute. So , all in all Tribus is well balanced going from mid tempo passages to more up tempo in nice skilfull manner, from melodic lines to more heavy prog , passages thet flows very well and with substance. All pieces are excellent, not a weak or boring moments here. Tribus is to me one of the better examples how must sound a good solid prog rock album these days. Love it from the first spin. Recommended for sure, The Windmill is one of the best exponets in prog rock relam in last decade. 4 stars without hesitation. I love this band and all 3 albums are recommended, plus the art work and booklet is brilliand again.

R.I.P. - Sam Arne N°land - the drumer of The Windmill, who sadly passed away during the recordings of Tribus, in september, never been able to see the final result. he done a solid job on all 3 albums.

 The Continuation by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 210 ratings

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The Continuation
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars THE WINDMILL are a six piece band out of Norway and this is their second release. Considering i'm the first collaborator to give this album less than 4 stars should give you cause to take my opinions with a grain of salt. It's a proggy album with sax and flute along with the usual instruments. I don't know, this recording just doesn't do a lot for me but having said that clearly many Prog fans love this album.

"The Continuation" is led by flute and piano early on before a full sound kicks in around a minute with drums and guitar leading the way before the flute returns. Some nice guitar over top after 2 minutes in this opening instrumental. "The Masque" opens with piano before flute and strummed guitar takes over as the vocals join in. Synths come and go then we get a change before 5 minutes as it speeds up and becomes fuller sounding. I much prefer the tune up to this point with the vocals and mellow sound. Some aggressive organ runs come and go as the guitar solos. A flute solo before 7 minutes and I like the brief vocal melodies a minute later. The song continues to shift and change the rest of the way. "Not Alone" has spacey synths and a dark rhythm as the flute joins in. It's building as drums and more join in. It then settles back after 1 1/2 minutes to the original sound. Vocals arrive before 2 1/2 minutes as we get a ballad-like section here pretty much to the end.

"Giant Prize" is one I don't like even a tiny bit as we get this Reggae beat with vocals. "The Gamer" is the closing epic at almost 25 minutes in length. Some nice soaring guitar, spacey synths and drums lead early on before a calm arrives with piano only after 1 1/2 minutes. Vocals will follow and it stays laid back. Relaxing guitar after 6 minutes and it will go on and on then the vocals return before 9 minutes. It turns more powerful 12 minutes in and the vocals that follow are more passionate as well. A lighter almost humerous instrumental section follows then it turns heavier after 18 minutes before settling back with vocals to the end.

This just doesn't grab me for some reason but I appear to be in the minority with that opinion.

 The Continuation by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 210 ratings

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The Continuation
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Appropriately enough, The Windmill have followed up their debut "To Be Continued" with The Continuation. This Norwegian outfit have a knack for playing compelling progressive rock with a combination of a 1980s neo-prog atmosphere and 1970s instrumentation - particularly when it comes to Jean Robert Viita's keyboard performance. There's a clarity of production to it which helps it feel fresh and modern, and whilst some may find that distances the material from the aesthetic of the prog of prior decades that inspire the Windmill, equally it teases out the band's best qualities. A solid release and decent enough to make me wonder what comes after the continuation...
 The Continuation by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 210 ratings

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The Continuation
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars The Windmill are a fantastic bunch of musicians hailing from Norway and this is their second album "The Continuation". From the outset the album shines with some of the most accomplished virtuoso musicianship of recent years; Jean Robert Viita (keys, vocals), Erik Borgen (guitars, vocals), Stig Andre Clason (guitars), Morten Clason (sax, flute, guitars, vocals, keys), Arnfinn Isaksen (bass) and Sam Arne Noland (drums). The opening title track (3:16) is stunning with gorgeous layers of flute, and an ambient texture that has an ethereal quality. This pastoral instrumental is a beautiful relaxing melody and hooked me with its powerful harmonies. My eyes were watering such was the beauty of the melody.

This is followed by the epic composition 'The Masque' (12:50) with very pleasant soothing vocals, melodic piano, and an instrumental breakout that has a glorious guitar solo and wonderful flute and keyboards balancing out the measured percussion and bass. The chorus has an infectious melody; "The Masque can help you to escape from yourself, The Masque can take you away." The soundscape has a peculiarly 70s vibe especially with the grinding Hammond and overall essence. Again, I was simply blown away by the musicianship and structure of the music. 'Not Alone' (9:12) is a quiet balladic song with some angelic piano chimes and lilting flute floating on layers of bass and drums. The vocals are crystalline and emotive, drawing me into the melancholy of the lyrics that centre on loneliness and assurance that there is an answer and a way out. The verses lead to a mind blowing lead guitar solo that soars over a descending melody, with Hammond and flute layers. The vocals return to a higher register; Viita's vocals are impressive with their towering presence.

'Giant Prize' (3:17) is a faster track and the flute is more like the Jethro Tull sound. The harmony actually sounds familiar like an old 70s song, reminding me of Tull the funkadelic reggae rhythm, is agreeable. I love that flute phrase and the way the song switches time sigs to some gorgeous harmonies. The flute and lead guitar break is delightful and then the track moves into a key change. It sounds a lot more commercial that the rest of the album like a single, but this is a great little song breaking up the longer epic pieces.

'The Gamer' (24:42) is the last track and I was actually sad that it was drawing to a close. Then I checked the running length of this and was pleased to see it was a mammoth epic clocking 24:42! Time to sit back for some heavenly headphone bliss. The Hammond pounds out for a while then it breaks into minimalist piano, a pretty melody on flute accompanies, and already I am drawn into this masterful instrumentation. The vocals come in with a melody that has a Marillion quality. I love the vocals, so pleasant and clear, every word is intelligible, and it makes such a difference when you can relax into the lyrics "you'll soon get used to it and the wonders will fade, will this be the end of the day, you need to come with me, you need some help to forget.. open your eyes". The harmonies sound a bit like vintage Pink Floyd, and there are some beautiful images in the lyrics such as rivers, sky, and peaceful landscapes. Eventually the song switches into an instrumental break with swathes of buzzing synths and electronics. The lead guitar takes flight over the measured rhythm, with synths swooping down maintaining a strong melody. The phased effect on the guitar resonates nicely and the track builds up with a wall of sound dominated by keyboards. Suddenly a heavy distorted guitar riff chugs into gear, and the song returns eventually to the main melody heard earlier.

At 9:30 the track changes time sigs with Hammond pads, tinkling piano and a chunky guitar riff striking at the heart of the sound. A heavier guitar instrumental blasts through eventually, and the song takes on a darker quality. The lyrics are more forced and the vocals make it clear; "don't you know who I am?.. I don't want to leave this room.. please just leave me.." The guitar domination is offset by a nice woodwind section, and a piano presence that at times sounds dissonant with irregular rhythms that somehow merge into the heavier textures. At 15:40 the song cruises into jazz cabaret mode with wonderful saxophone sounds and a jaunty rhythm. That rollicking sound is enhanced by honky tonk piano and a solid gold performance on lead guitar and sax. At 18 minutes in the sound returns to a metal sound with distorted riffs and a glorious shimmering Hammond. The lyrics are intriguing; "A feeling of reality somehow hits my mind, suddenly I understand I really haven't died, a slight achievement.. I tried to but I really couldn't manage, I wanted to but the games had all the advantage". The music sounds like Procol Harum in a sense especially the keyboards. Drawing to a close, the track has moved into many twists and turns, but finally culminates in a Hammond and guitar feast for the ears. A masterpiece track on this brilliant album; really the icing on the cake when it comes to the full on progressive approach by The Windmill.

This album really took me by surprise, as I was just after a casual listen to some prog on a Sunday afternoon. I did not expect this to be such a stunning piece of musicianship with some of the most mesmerising melodies that have caressed my ears. On subsequent listens it grown even stronger on the ear. The gorgeous flute passages, the calming atmospheres, the harmonies, the incredible lead guitar that howls to the stratosphere, the intense epic, and soothing vocals with infectious melodies; it was overwhelming to my senses. This is a masterful achievement from The Windmill, and comes highly recommended as one of the best releases of 2013!

 The Continuation by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 210 ratings

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The Continuation
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars "Heavy Prog"? More like simple prog. I find the music, melodies and vocals of The Continuation simple, rudimentary, repetitive, unnecessarily drawn out, tstraightforward, highly predictable and often quite boring ("When's something interesting going to happen?" or "When's this section going to end/When's it going to change or get complicated? I find myself thinking quite often while listening to this). Even the album's best song, the 24 minute epic "The Gamer" could be 1/3 the length and equally (no, more) effective. I'm sorry, guys, but I would not recommend this except as a challenge to find out for yourself whether or not you find this music exciting and worthy of repeated listening. For me, this is 2.5 stars--even the production quality is questionable--I'm not even sure whether or not it is "good."
 The Continuation by WINDMILL, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.94 | 210 ratings

BUY
The Continuation
The Windmill Heavy Prog

Review by Dr÷mmarenAdrian

4 stars I have explored a lot a records from 2013 recently and unfortunately I have'nt been so impressed. Many records have been okey, good and clever but they haven't made me affected. This is a bit different. This is a great prog album and one of the best from this year along with La Maschera di Cera, Il Cerhio del Oro, David Bowie and Steven Wilson. It is in no way perfect and I had wished it to be more original but still I must praise it for what it is - a good rock record.

A colourful cover brings the entering impression and the groups logotype gives thoughts of motorcycles, steel and hard rock. This isn't hard rock, absolutely not metal, but certainly partially hard. The record has five tracks and is strangely even. Where other plates have both magnificent and akwardly bad tracks this one only contains what I would rate 8/10 tracks.

All songs have a soundscape that is not dated to 2013. It is only pure instrumentation, it feels real and not computer made. Even if they sometimes are symphonic they're not too bombastic. It feels like they have found a good balance there. I love the use of flute. The opening track is a bit harder version of soft symphonic giants like Camel music. The vocals in "The Masque" could have been better but in "The Gamer" they work very well. That song is the albums "monster" in terms of length and that is a good track. Give it a pair of listenings and I think you will enjoy it. "Giant prize" is shorter but not less good. I can recommend any of these songs or all of them. This was nice after listening to some less interesting 2013 releases. Fun with great music from ou neighbour in west. I would suggest this record to you if you like melodic rock.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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