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Symphonic Prog • Netherlands

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The foundation of Dutch progrock band FINCH was laid by bass player Peter Vink and drummer Beer Klaasse (both ex-Q65 and The KJOE). They were eager to play progressive music: Peter was impressed by the symphonic rock of YES and BEER by the improvised rock of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA and CREAM. After some sessions and failed efforts to find a good singer, the new band switched to instrumental music with this line-up: Peter Vink, Beer Klaasse, the 19 year old "guitar virtuoso" Joop van Nimwegen and keyboard player Paul Vink. With two Vink's in the band the name became FINCH, the English translation from this Dutch name. The EMI sub-label Negram was willing to invest in the new progrock band, in '75 this resulted in the debut-album "Glory of the Inner Force" (worldwide sold 20.000 copies). New keyboard player Cleem Determeijer's interplay with guitarist Joop sounded captivating and the first album was hailed by the music press. The single "Colossus" ('75) wasn't successful but it's now a hugh collector's item. In '76 the second album "Beyond Expression" was released, it was acclaimed as Album of the week by radio and tv broadcasting company Veronica and known music magazines were very positive. The future looked bright for FINCH: sold oud concerts, worldwide sales (15.000 copies) and in Japan FINCH became almost as popular as other Dutch progrock bands FOCUS and EARTH & FIRE! Unfortunately Cleem was no longer able to combine the music with his classical study, he was replaced by Ad Wammes and, due to musical disagreement, Hans Borsboom replaced Beer Klaasse. This new FINCH line-up released the third album entitled "Galleons of Passion" in '77, it was not received very well though the sales flagged around the 11.000 copies. It turned out to be the band's swansong until in '99 the Dutch record company Pseudonym Records released a 2-CD, including fine demos of the "Galleons of Passion" album and exciting live material from '76.

The first LP "Glory of the Inner Force" contains four melodic and often swinging compositions with strong echoes from YES. The keyboards sound tasteful (Hammond organ and Mellotron), the guitarwork is great with passionate solos and the rhythm-section plays solid (a grunting Rickenbacker bass). The second album "Beyond Expression" sound more original, inventive and dynamic with furious guitarplay and bombastic keyboards in four captivating and compelling tracks. A splendid album, a bit underrated because of the attention for the other Dutch progrock bands EARTH & FIRE, KAYAK and FOCUS. The third album "Galleons of Passion" is more in the vein of mid-GENESIS and sound pleasant but less captivating and contrasting. The 2-CD "The Making of...Galleons of passion/Stage" '76" is mainly interesting because of the live-material: it's layered with magnificent electric guitarplay (Jan Akkerman once told he was very impressed by Joop!) and great solos from Ad's newly purchased Minimoog synthesizer. The live-CD contains the previously unreleased track "Necronomicon" (over 15 minutes), a 'typically Seventies live progrock composition' with lots of solos on guitar, keyboards and bass.

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
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What It Is to BurnWhat It Is to Burn
Drive-Thru 2002
Audio CD$19.32
$0.01 (used)
What It Is To Burn (Limited Edition Teal Marble Colored Vinyl)What It Is To Burn (Limited Edition Teal Marble Colored Vinyl)
Limited Edition
Geffen Records
What It Is to Burn - XWhat It Is to Burn - X
$15.99 (used)
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FINCH discography

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

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

4.12 | 151 ratings
Glory of the Inner Force
4.04 | 119 ratings
Beyond Expression
3.37 | 64 ratings
Galleons of Passion

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

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

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

4.46 | 15 ratings
The Making Of... Galleons Of Passion / Stage '76
4.00 | 3 ratings
Vita Dominica
4.50 | 2 ratings

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

0.00 | 0 ratings

FINCH Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Galleons of Passion  by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.37 | 64 ratings

Galleons of Passion
Finch Symphonic Prog

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

3 stars Seventies Dutch band Finch's first two works `Glory of the Inner Force' and `Beyond Expression' were full of ravishing instrumental runs and frenetic energy, but for their third and final album in 1977, the group delivered their most purely symphonic work in `Galleons of Passion', more often in the dreamy and romantic style of groups like Camel, Focus and Rousseau and the spacey keyboard sound of bands such as Eloy. It may sometimes lack the overall power and finesse of the two discs before it (although there's still welcome traces of it throughout), but its lush and tasteful instrumental pieces are very easy to simply relax with and enjoy.

Opener `Unspoken is the Word' is instantly recognisable as the band from the previous albums, just a bit more mellow and subdued. Humming spacey drones and whirring keyboards softly rise, electric guitars fire majestic symphonic themes in the manner of Focus, plodding drums carefully lift the tempo and bass purrs gently, with a dreamy middle that lifts in victory in the finale being particularly heart-warming. The first half of `Remembering the Future' has a darker edge with gutsier churning guitars and Eloy-like synths groaning with drama, oddly reminding ever so slightly of parts of Pink Floyd's `The Wall' that would arrive a few years later! But the second section abruptly moves into racing jazz/fusion-like burst with buoyant bass soloing that, despite sounding cool, seems completely at odds with the first half. `As One' then closes the first side with a precious Andy Latimar-like guitar and synth rumination that Camel fans will adore, and the way it builds in excitement and slow-burn pay-off is masterful.

`With Love as the Motive' is the perfect title for three part suite that opens the second side, and the piece holds several beautiful themes that reprise sweetly throughout that would have fit perfectly on many Camel albums. Initially bristling with danger from deep-space synths and fleeting wilder guitar splinters, it soon morphs into a grand and regal symphonic motif full of embracing romance and grandeur. Album closer `Reconciling' is lively and full of confidence, a smorgasbord of first-rate busy soloing from all the players. It's a supremely upbeat track full of zest and spirit, with plenty of exploding fiery guitar embers, delicious electric piano and Hammond organ sprints and even some cool funky breaks, and the constantly repeating spiralling Moog-runs are playful and very addictive! It's a truly upbeat closer that will leave listeners with a smile on their face, and it's the perfect composition for Finch to close out their career on.

There's no denying that parts of `Galleons of Passion' sound a little directionless and drained, perhaps with a subtle sense of a group `running on empty', especially when compared to the endlessly energetic previous two albums that had such a momentum and excitement. But the LP still holds a respectful dignity with perfectly lovely playing, and there's something refreshing about a group that released three strong and consistent albums (in the space of only three years!) and got out before the rot of disco, punk and AOR popularity of the time distilled their music in any way. It means their entire discography can stand proud, and it's a perfectly satisfying end to this talented group.

Three stars.

 Beyond Expression by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 119 ratings

Beyond Expression
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I was quite surprised by this album. I remember listening to it some time ago and getting the feeling of just another instrumental jazz rock album by a band that was obviously influenced by Mahavishnu Orchestra. Upon listening to Beyond Expression recently I feel that I was unfair and did not pay very much attention to a very good prog band. Yes, the music here is more akin to jazz rock/ fusion than to symphonic prog, but still there are enough elements of the latter to make a big difference to the flurry of faceless fusion acts that seem to sprung from everywhere during the 70s. There also some heavy explicit blues moments too. But, being dutch, the fine melodies are not absent either. And after repeated spins I found this album to be more pleasant, creative and original than I originally thought it was.

As one expects the musicianship of the band members is simply astonishing. Joop Van Nimwegen is a tremendous skillful and creative guitarist that leads the music in here. His style is close to fellow countryman Jan Akkermann, although obviously less classical influenced. His playing is very technical and precise. The remaining members are not far behind him, but just like Mahavishnu orchestra, this is clearly a guitar led band. What surprised me the most is the variety of styles they played, the mood swings and the melodic approach, something not very usual for the jazz rock acts in general. So I guess, they are indeed a symphonic prog band after all, only with a heavy leaning towards fusion.

Rating: 4 strong stars. Very fine Instrumental album by a terrific, underrated, band. Guess Ill have to look for their other works. Holland rules!

 Glory of the Inner Force by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.12 | 151 ratings

Glory of the Inner Force
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Groucho Barks

4 stars Of course there is a back story! In Manchester there used to be this cavernous cellar of a record store named Yanks, later to change its name to Power Cut. It was extant from around 1975 to about 2000. The name Yanks came from the fact that they seemed to import loads of stuff from the USA that I assumed had reached 'cut out bin' status. The sleeves were the heavy US card and all the albums had the import cut off or puncture in the sleeve clipped off or hole punched through. They sometimes had different sleeves to the Euro/UK release too. The best thing about them was the price! Again, assuming they were bought as massive job lots to save from the incinerator, Yanks used to knock them out at ?£0.99, ?£1.49 or ?£ a time when new albums were ?£5-?£ I cared some of these were 2 or 3 years old...then considered a lifetime in the faster moving pop/rock market!!So of course it was easy to buy 6 albums for your ?£6 and take a punt...although most long haired/prog stuff would hit the mark to varying degrees! Finally we get to Finch! I totally had no idea who they were but liked the idea of four 10 min plus tracks and the cover suggestion that this was my kinda stuff! And at 0.99 how could you go wrong. I still have this and the import puncture in the top right corner! And near 40 years later this still gets a regular turn! I discovered they were Dutch and prog come latelies...maybe the record companies in 75-77 wanted some of the Focus action...but probably already in retreat from the new wave.....which made this gem all the more precious! Glory Of The Inner Force was their first of 3 albums (have to admit to not owning the other 2) and it compares to one of my other all time favs from 1975, Chocolate Kings by PFM. Not necessarily stylistically but in the long term impression it left. Eschewing such fripperies as vocals, the band concentrated on what they did best. Extended compositions, dexterous musicianship, using as many time signatures as 10 mins would allow and being better than the sum total of whatever influences they came from or displayed. The opening Register Magister starts with a very strong guitar/keys entwined riff that suggests Genesis and King Crimson and then hits its stride...admittedly an ever changing one...with a definite hint of fusion and more melodic passages perhaps closer to say Be Bop Deluxe than any direct prog references. I can hear similarities to Druid and in this track and definitely throughout the album, parts that if someone said it was from a Mars Volta cd you wouldn't be at all surprised. Paradoxical Moods has something of a Streetwalkers vibe and for sure they had listened to (earlier)Yes and is highlighted by a keys heavy section that could have been Uriah Heep at their best. Yes, the guitarist has his Jan Akkerman moments (Focus inevitably) but hell, that's no bad thing! Pisces is a very angular track and I can hear a touch of Return To Forever in there. A Bridge to Alice is the most ambitious. Definitely a King Crimson sound and one that veers towards an eastern scale then a gorgeous Focus (baroque) meets Allan Holdsworth acoustic interlude before a touch of VDGG menace takes the song forward with a side order of Kansas and The Enid thrown in. Overall, the keys and near poppy (but thankfully short) melodic/catchy passages don't work for guessing this is what gets them the symphonic prog tag....but as a treasured punt that worked big time it would be a near 4.5 stars but losing the half for the too jarring symphonic sections....! May your unexpected discoveries give you as many years of repeated plays...
 Beyond Expression by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 119 ratings

Beyond Expression
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This band makes me smile. They knew how to make real progressive rock, which is to say knew how to have a great time without sacrificing the arithmetic of music-making. In some ways perhaps inferior to the wonderful debut, perhaps not, Finch's Beyond Expression delivers. 'A Passion Condenser' ~ an apt title if ever there was ~ is twenty minutes of very well-planned arranging but executed with such ease and alacrity that it hardly seems anything more than what it is. If you know what I mean. Packed tight as a radioactive element, the cut rises and falls into unashamed hard blues which morphs into fusiony flash, quiet reflection, anthemic swells, mousy synth squeals, old-school porn, all played with passion. 'Scars on the Ego' could be the soundtrack to a bad 1970s cop show and 'Beyond Bizarre' is rough and classy symphonic fusion a la Colosseum II, Cleem Determeijer's sweet piano and commanding synths mingling with van Nimwegen's clever, chiming guitar lines, yielding probably the best thing on the album.

The somewhat abrasive nature of this release will not appeal to all progophiles. For the rest, it will tickle a musical funnybone and remind of the spirit of days long past.

 Beyond Expression by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 119 ratings

Beyond Expression
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars The upbeat jazz rhythm and guitar tone are heavily reminiscent of Camel. In fact, if anyone liked Camel but thought they could've rocked out more, he would find satisfaction in Finch's second album. My greatest criticism is that the guitarist is too industrious, frequently erupting in a blitzkrieg of high-pitched notes.

"A Passion Condensed" I found the initial synthesizer a bit rough, though the lead guitar is satisfying and the rhythm section is in overdrive for much of the piece. The softer side of Finch emerges midway through, perhaps to offer the listener a respite from the rapid jazzy rock that filled the first eight minutes. The scathing guitar work is too busy, flying about like a hummingbird on uppers over a chord progression identical to "Breathe" by Pink Floyd.

"Scars on the Ego" The second and shortest piece offers the keyboardist an opportunity to shine through various sonic textures, and thankfully, the guitarist shows his more placid capabilities. Though the electric guitar solo is still riddled with activity, it serves well as a crescendo tapering off into the halcyon haze.

"Beyond the Bizarre" Gentle and melodic, this is perhaps the most solid of the three compositions, because even when it becomes heavier, it is not perforated with rapid-fire guitar. Indeed, the lead player infuses the piece with appropriate bends and phrases that accentuate the rhythmic shifts. The smooth, happy-go-lucky keyboard runs are reminiscent of "Cinema Show" by Genesis.

 Glory of the Inner Force by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.12 | 151 ratings

Glory of the Inner Force
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Beautiful caricature of the super-arty European stuff prevalent in the mid 1970s. If one wanted to sample that classic sound for the purposes of exhibition or time travel, Finch's Glory of the Inner Force would be a great place to start. In fact the only thing holding back this tremendous piece of work is the period in which it's stuck, with the hippie dance grooves and distantly tinny recording to prove it. No complaints mind you, it is indeed glorious. Or, at least, was. I mean someone had the patience to listen to this stuff, it sold reasonably well for an instrumental rock album.

Influences here are more global than local with only a portion of their Dutch roots audible, the rest from progressive blues-jazz and British artrock. Each player is excellent, none stealing the show, composer/guitarist extraordinaire Joop van Nimwegen and keyboardist Cleem Determejer's unison circulars push off the convincing if dated 'Register Magister' laced with great little organ phrasings and guitar work. This was a case (among many) when one band impacted by others in turn had an impact itself. 'Paradoxical Moods' is rhythmic, has a little jazz and more delicious conversing between guitar and keys, very American with a strong live feel, finished with flair on Leonard Bernstein. A mood continued into 'Pisces' showing van Nimwegen's fondness for Steve Howe's raw energy, later swelling on orchestration and up with brilliant 13-minute 'A Bridge to Alice', its secret faces, quiet ambitions, subterfuge, deceptions and misdirections, a remarkable achievement for a rock quartet. Plus we get the sweet two-part single 'Colossus' as a bonus, a cut that reminds of everyone from Colosseum to UFO to early Scorpions.

Should be highly pleasing for anyone with a soft spot for progressive rock-fusion at its most ridiculous and wonderful, a definitive time capsule and a snapshot of a great moment in music.

 Beyond Expression by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 119 ratings

Beyond Expression
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Suedevanshoe

5 stars An all out progressive assault, Finch breaks the doors open with this 1976 release. Still heavily influenced by the usual symphonic groups, Finch takes this release a step further and introduces some Allman Brothers influence. It's not clear how much the group members listened to the Allmans, but "A Passion Condenser" is heavily reminiscent of certain Allman Bros staples, like "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, "You Don't Love Me", even "High Falls". It's a shame few other progressive groups took this approach. This element gives the music a happy, intimate feeling many progressive records lack.

Beyond Expression is an essential album for the discerning collector. A flying space sperm with a flaming mohawk on the cover wraps up this classic package.

 Glory of the Inner Force by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.12 | 151 ratings

Glory of the Inner Force
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by Obersturmbannprogger

5 stars Wow, this is a genuine tour de force ride! This is full throttle 100% instrumental album, which wont leave you many time to breathe. Its my most favourite Dutch prog album too.

Stylewise its a mix of classical european symphonic prog ala their countrymen Focus or Yes and a bit of jazzrock and Canterbury played in a very nervous, fast and exciting manner.

All 4 compositions are in 9+ minutes range. Individual tracks are a mix of many evolving and interesting motives, which are often developing into a bix climax and what is always astounding me is the great cooperation of all players.

There are many breathtaking guitar solos, but they are always underlined with great and inventive bass playing (fat ripping Rickenbacker tone) and nice keyboard background. All musicians are top notch, but especially guitar player Joop van Nimwegen is the real MASTER here. This guy amazes me (i am guitar player too) everytime when i am hearing to the first two Finch albums. Hes sometimes really shredding here, but all time with great sense of structure in solos and natural gradation. Hes really very fast playing for this era, but still without technical imperfections which were often notable for many other 70s guitarists. His intonation is precise and he can play very emotionally too - listen to middle guitar solo in Pisces, its so emotional and full of feeling, that listener could even forget that hes hearing to technically perfect and virtouso progrock. Yes, he is a bit similar in playing style to his colleague Akkerman, but i prefer Joop. Hes faster, more aggressive and sometimes plays greater melodies too.

Bass guitar player is second virtuoso in this band, i recommend this album to bass players too. His bass lines are very inventive and sometimes hes playing unisono fast lines with guitar. Keyboard player (mostly Hammond and electrical piano, sometimes Mellotron and synths too) and drummer are great too, this band simply rocks.

Overall, this is a must for instrumental 70s progrock lovers, its a shamefully forgotten group and this debut album especially shows them in their most aggressive and natural position. One of my favourite 70s albums. I recommend especially the latest 2013 3 CD Mythology edition from Pseudonym records, they remastered the original master tapes and the tone is richer than on previous very average sound quality CD editions. 5 stars!

 Beyond Expression by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.04 | 119 ratings

Beyond Expression
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by the philosopher

3 stars Beyond Expression is the second release of the Dutch instrumental-only sympho proggers Finch. Finch prooved with their near-excellent debut "The Glory of the Inner Force" that they belong to Holland's finest 70's prog artists with a sound between Focus, Camel and Yes with the speed of Mahavishnu Orchestra. Beyond Expression has no line-up changes (although PA notes Jan v. Nimwegen instead of Joop v. Nimwegen on the debut record: this is a misstake: both records contain Joop v. Nimwegen) and has litle difference in sound in comparison with Finch's debut record. It sounds a bit more like Camel and there are less guitar pyrotechnics a la Jan Akkerman, although Van Nimwegen is still playing at intriguing speed. The record just contains three compositions, whereby the first composition is a sidefilling track.

Although the band is based on the guitarist Joop v. Nimwegen and bassist Peter Vink (ex Q65 (top Dutch acid rock band)) it is the keyboard player which delivers the nicest parts. Especially the solo's of Determijer on "A Passion Condensed" and "Scars on the Ego" are quiet brilliant. The solo's of Van Nimwegen are technically correct and interesting, but miss the sparkle it had on "The Glory..". Also the songwriting is somewhat less good then on Finch's debut. Especially "Beyond the Bizarre" cannot hold my attention.

This record misses the fresh energy it had on Finch's debut record. Finch has not changed in sound and therefor created a copy of the debut, which is less sparkling however and misses the fine touch. Together with a not-optimal production I conclude that this is a record which will amuse the fans, but is not essential. 3,5 stars.

 Galleons of Passion  by FINCH album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.37 | 64 ratings

Galleons of Passion
Finch Symphonic Prog

Review by BORA

3 stars Well intended effort and an improvement on their first, rather hectic album.

Unfortunately, this work is still lacking direction - and as such - it fails to impress. To their credit, they applied some restraint here, but that is just not sufficient to elevate this work beyond noting the lack of irritation associated with their debut release.

My criteria is relatively simple. Would I listen to an album again? I'd have to say no to this one. Not whilst hundreds of potentially promising albums are sitting on my shelves, awaiting for the first spin. "Galleons" is not bad, it's just not quite good enough, either. There is enormous material available even from those early years of Prog, yet to be examined - and in some cases, absorbed - thanks to numerous releases from the vaults in recent times.

With that in mind, I couldn't possibly rate this work as essential. Life is just not long enough to fill with other, but the very best.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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