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Symphonic Prog • Netherlands

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Mirror biography
Mirror is a Dutch Symphonic progressive Rock band formed in 1972. At the time of its formation, the band was a four piece consisting of high school friends Kees Walravens on guitar, Johan Saanen on bass guitar and vocals, Paula Mennen on piano, organ, synthesizer and vocals, and Peter Fransen on drums. In 1973 the band expanded its line-up with the addition of Philip de Goey on saxophone, woodwinds, and oboe. Their sole album was recorded over six days at the Stable Studio in Arnhem, The Netherlands. The album was titled Daybreak and was released in 1976, pressed in only 500 copies. The music is mainly instrumental and is influenced by Focus, Yes, and Pink Floyd. After the release of the album Mirror toured their native Holland extensively. But internal disagreements soon led to the departure of Johan Saanen and the band finally split up in late 1976.

After the break up of Mirror, Philip de Goey, Kees Walravens and Johan Saanen formed a new progressive Rock band, Lethe in 1978.

Fritz Anton (SouthSideoftheSky)

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3.81 | 25 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Daybreak by MIRROR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.81 | 25 ratings

Mirror Symphonic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars Formed in 1972 and sadly gone a mere four years later, Dutch female-fronted five-member band Mirror delivered a sole debut work `Daybreak' in their final year that is something of a neglected minor Symphonic classic. Calling to mind everything from Focus, Earth and Fire, Finch, Camel and Epidaurus, the band delivered an endless string of beautiful guitar and keyboard-driven grand themes that seamlessly flow together, with an occasional use of gentle female vocals and more exotic instrumentation by way of sax, oboe, flute and other woodwind instruments to weave a rich and varied selection of progressive-symphonic music.

Although the band cheekily start with a very close rip on the chugging riffing of Yes' `Perpetual Change' on the ten-minute opening title track `Daybreak', the rest of the piece moves through slow- burn sax soloing, romantic Rousseau and Camel-like trilling flute over lightly humming synths and ruminating bass purrs. Some playful jig-like regal pomp and majesty could have easily come off the first Trace album, slow-burn electric guitar unfolds with dignity in the manner of the early classic Focus works, and the ethereal wordless sighing voice of keyboard player Paula Mennen reminds of Epidaurus' `Earthly Paradise'. The constantly energetic `Goodbye' lasts the same length and jumps back and forth between energetic bursts with reflective come-downs, full of frantic drumming, leaping bass and reaching, fiery Modry Efekt and Finch-like electric guitars runs, Paula's sweetly drifting voice almost calling to mind the female-fronted first album by Canterbury sound group National Health.

The second side opens with a short and melodic low-key romantic piece `Dear Boy' sung by Paula that holds an unashamedly warm and embracing quality. The mixing is a little off (her voice is either lovingly upfront or disappears completely in parts), but with its steady beat and Paula's unfanciful yet genuine voice, it's a lovely little change of pace, never coming across like a shameless radio-aimed throwaway, simply a gentle tune to enjoy. Then it's straight back to a final longer workout, and the thirteen-minute closer `Edge of Night' is another grandiose symphonic epic of great variety. While a few memorable themes emerge throughout, most striking of all is the mellow first half full of hypnotic piano and droning synth washes ala the classic Novalis albums, oboe puffing along in the background behind drifting sax, and there's even a touch of Seventies Pink Floyd/David Gilmour-flavoured bite to the guitar soloing spots here and there.

Fortunately, three of the musicians here went on to form a group called Lethe in 1978 who released another superb symphonic self-titled album with 1981. But it all started with `Daybreak', a low-key near-classic that has slipped under the radar for far too long, and now that it's been reissued on CD, there's no need to fruitlessly search for long-vanished LP copies, of which there were only 500 pressed at the time. If you're a fan of any of the above mentioned bands and lush symphonic-flavoured progressive rock with exciting playing full of ambition that also holds a frequently joyous sound, `Daybreak' could end up being your next progressive music surprise discovery!

Four stars.

 Daybreak by MIRROR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.81 | 25 ratings

Mirror Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Sometimes you stumble upon a CD you have never heard before and discover a truly lost gem. This is the case with this obscure dutch band from the 70´s. A friend introduced me to Mirror knowing I was a fan of Holland´s music scene since the late 60´s and I´m grateful he did it. Daybreak is, unfortunately, their only album and it shows great promise. The music is mostly instrumental, but there are some nice laid back vocals done by keyboardist Paula Mennen, sometimes helped by bassist Johan Saanen. The band was strongly influenced by classic bands like Camel and Focus, with some parts also reminding of Earth and Fire and even a bit of Krautrock too. Still, they were already showing a sound of their own, which made me even sadder to know there was never a follow up. In fact, at the time, only 500 copies of the LP were pressed.

Most of the tunes are led by guitarist Kees Walravensm, but the band also had Philip De Goey on oboe, sax and flute, giving the band a quite distinctive twist. The title track starts with a powerful riff obviously taken from the classic Yes song Perpetual Change, but that´s as far as they go copying that group. The remaining is mostly pastoral and tranquil, much on the Camel´s style, although never really as a rip off of anyone. As I mentioned before, they were not only excellent musicians, but also very good songwriters. I just loved Saanen´s bass lines and Mennen´s great use of the ARP String Ensemble. Production was not that great, but the performances were so good they overcame that issue easily. There are no weak tracks and I throughly enjoyed Daybreak.

Conclusion: If you like laid back symphonic rock in the vein of the aforementioned bands then you cant´miss this one. It´s really a tragedy they did not get the recognition they deserved when they released this jewel. Still, they at least produced a fine LP that still sounds as fresh and beautiful as it was in 1976. I´m really glad I got to know them.

Rating: 4 strong stars.

 Daybreak by MIRROR album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.81 | 25 ratings

Mirror Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars When I heard "Daybreak" from the Dutch band MIRROR, instantaneously, a impression comes in my mind, and is exactly the same as the Progarchives band biography: Their sound presents a clearly influence by their countrymen from FOCUS ( in large scale) , in second plane PINK FLOYD and in a very little "dose" YES. Curiously this YES little "dose" influence can be finding as soon as starts the first track "Daybreak" and only can be perceived in that track or in some isolated moments (mainly in certain bass/drums passages). Along with the Secound track "Goodbye", these 2 tracks form the better parts of the work. The other 2 tracks sounds monotonous and to "drag" . My rate is 3 stars !!!
Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition.

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