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Minor Giant biography
For Minor Giant it all started in 2010, when a 16-year old boy named Rindert Lammers started working on his own instrumental compositions and decided to put them as a demo on the soundcloud page. The following year Rindert decided to search for collaborators in order to form a new band and drummer Roy Post was the first to jump onboard. The next musicians to join were PBII's bassist Harry den Hartog, Jordi Repkes on guitar and vocals and a second keyboardist, Jos Heijmans. Rehearsals begun at a studio in Emmeloord and by the end of the year Minor Giant were officially born. The schedule of the band over the next couple of years included a set of succesful live performances and the recordings of a debut album. ''On the road'' was eventually finished in late 2013 with den Hartog quiting shortly after to be replaced by Rik van Dommelen. The album was officially released in May 2014 on Festival Music with Minor Giant being compared by the press to prog legends like SPOCK'S BEARD, KNIGHT AREA and PENDRAGON.

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3.50 | 45 ratings
On The Road

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 On The Road by MINOR GIANT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.50 | 45 ratings

On The Road
Minor Giant Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 for sure

Another new entry on prog rock scene, this time from Holland, this young band named Minor Giant (with a great logo I might say), releasing the debut in 2014 named On the road. I really like what I've heared here, fresh compositions on the melodic side of neo/symphonic prog with a good amount of instrumental sections and a very pleasent voice . 3 out of 6 pieces are long , clocking around 13-14 min, enough room for Minor Giant to show us that they really know to handle the instruments and creating something worth to be discovered. One of the better albums from 2014 , at least for me. Nice art work and booklet too. Similar with Spock's Beard, Knight Area or their country fellows Amshere. 3 stars rounded to 3.5. A nice one from this young band, looking already for their second release.

 On The Road by MINOR GIANT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.50 | 45 ratings

On The Road
Minor Giant Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Hear ye, hear ye! Another new talent has arrived in the form of Dutch newcomers Minor Giant, (not related to their British "Gentler" cousins, lol), a collective of inspired musicians that aspire for progressive rock that is accessible, grandiose, ear pleasing and superbly delivered (sublime playing and brilliant melodies), some will say that is prime neo-prog of the likes of IQ, Galahad and fellow countrymen Silhouette, among many others. Everything here shines quite brightly, long well-crafted arrangements that offer an entire banquet of sounds , from flighty synthesizers on a dense mellotron carpet, delicate piano and occasional raging organ, lasered by some slicing electric guitar. Two keyboardists supply the orchestrations, band co-founder Rindert Lammers and Jos Heijmans, while the guitars are handled by Jordi Repkes. Bass duties are expertly displayed by Harry Hartog, while Roy Post is both the other co-founder, as well as the drum meister. Knight Area's Gerben Klazenga supervises the sound and production, which gives this project its letters of noblesse. Everything is in place in order to achieve maximum enjoyment and yet?..

I am not at all famous for criticizing or nit-picking senselessly but I realize now that I have a problem with the vocals on this album, something I initially dismissed but that has since grown in stature and I am no longer able to pretend it's not there. Jordi Repkes may or may not possess a weak voice, which would only mean that they were poorly recorded but there is a lingering lack of lungs in his delivery, as if 'mouthing ' his singing. Not bad vocals by any stretch but absolutely no power, no modulation, no hysteria or grit. In all fairness, I slipped the CD in the car, boosted the volume to ear-splitting level and the outcome became even more obvious= great playing but I caught myself wincing often at the vocals.

The title track is a kick-ass 12 minute plus rambling opus, cleverly sculpted in two distinct phases, superb mellotron and vocals that sound like a weaker version of IQ's Peter Nichols, again a voice devoid of both power and presence! But this is a thrilling track musically, cleverly symphonic with strong winks at IQ. Quirky at times, shuffling along with impenetrable gusto and nicely loaded up with effects, the mood shifts to a harder edge that is most welcome, guitars and synthesizers ablaze. Little jazzy piano interlude amid the synth-swept canvas, the arrangement is well stretched out and carefully orchestrated. The main theme returns a second time with the hot mellotron whooshing ragingly. A truly promising beginning, verging on a classic prog epic!

The vaporous "Dream with Eyes Open" is another luxurious aural voyage, funneled by some desperate Repkes guitar stylings that will shock the uninitiated casual listener, doing 6 string pirouettes that defy gravity. Lots of keyboards on as well, synths and blasts of mellotron to add to the depth. This is arguably the most satisfying piece here, just a perfect prog epic, clocking in slightly past 10 minutes, again high marks for composing material that captures ones attention from the get-go. Vocoded vocals give the intro a gaseous appeal, a lovely melody to boot, with compact drums, contrite bass and a burly guitar disposition as the tune explodes into a rambunctious affair. Feathery synthesizers recall the legendary stylists (Manfred Mann) as Repkes does a little Jan Akkerman to fit the bill as both den Hartog and Post thrust this one along. Championship piece!

Three shorter songs follow and unfortunately, the first one constitutes a bit of a letdown when compared to the previous two dozen minutes! More accessible as a pop ballad, the conventional and short "Lead Me Home" is lame and it's precisely on such a vocal-oriented track where the spotlight is on the microphone that one has to concur with my colleague friso in relation to Jordi Repkes' vocals lacking oomph and hence, impact. The wee synth solo is great but the voice is reedy at best. This is a skipper.

Thankfully the middle piece is a return to swirling brilliance with the determined "Hand in Hand", a typical Neo- prog ditty, possessing all the classic elements in scope and effect, sounding like a lost Genesis-Trick of the Tails track. The vocals are a bit insipid and sound shallow, so the initial impressions are not subjective to some deluded interpretation, they are really acceptably weak. On the other hand, the thrilling guitar solo is anything but, a twisted guided missile of emotion and feel. The synthesized follow-up no slouch either, these young lads can play. Vinyl grit adds an old school veneer to the swooping symphonics.

"We Are Strangers Here" is again closer to convention and suffers from some 'hum-ho-ness', an okay sung track that has a slight nasal tone that I sadly pick up, quickly and effortlessly anesthetized by the instrumental playing and melody. There is still a fair amount of pleasure deriving from the emotions expressed, this will do.

The finale is the longest piece here, "The Last Road" clocks in nearly 16 minutes of progressive expression and the band throws everything into the fire, starting out sunshiny, fresh and upbeat, before gradually delving into more melancholic ruminations that are best expressed with the lead instruments, two talented keyboardists and a slick axe player. Both Lammers and Heijmans really lather up the ivories (Ivory Snow?) and unleash some nifty interplay. The second part is as powerful neo-prog as one can hope for, the grandiose guitar rant is full-on tremendous! Post drums like a confident madman and genuine applause should greet this kind of exuberant playing. Shall I bother to talk about the vocals? Nah. They are what they are.

Get a cool and confident Dutch singer like De Graeve or Smits, and they will become Major Giant! Pretty good and promising debut, though.

3.5 underage hulks

 On The Road by MINOR GIANT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.50 | 45 ratings

On The Road
Minor Giant Neo-Prog

Review by robbob

4 stars Netherlands always give good surprises in neo or symph prog. There is a good nest there, a creative nest in this kind of rock. This is a very well developed album...nice songs ,very good musicians ,nice arrangements, .long songs . But there is a little misalignment between vocals and instrumental .... Vocals still not very solid....some weakness too in the general sounding or mastering... ...but nevertheless...nice compositions... It reminds me their conational Flamborough Head and Plackband...maybe No Name too... So this is a demonstration that in Netherlands we find good prog rock as in their neighbours Sweden,France,Belgium...all they have a particular sound in prog rock. So pleased of listening to this work Four stars
 On The Road by MINOR GIANT album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.50 | 45 ratings

On The Road
Minor Giant Neo-Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Minor Giant - On the Road (2014) (...not a live record)

Young guitarist Jordi Repkens used to be a regular guest on the same jam-sessions in Nijmegen, Netherlands, where I like to play myself. On such evenings his talent and natural made-to-be-a-guitar-player appearance would impress me quite a lot. Never a note out of style, smiling all along the way. I loved to hear he was progressive rock listener as well. Now years later he has teamed up with another young talent Rindert Lammert (16 years old so I've heard) who is also the main composer for this outfit.

At first spin the music directly reminds me of the sound of Knight Area - which isn't all that surprising since Gerben Klazinga (mastermind of the Knight Area) was involved in producing the album. The production suits the music, clear and modern/electronic. The band sound professional and tight. My only complaint is that the recording of the vocals could have gotten some more attention, for I know Repkens to be a very good singer on stage. Now, to be honest, I'm not a regular listener of modern symphonic progressive rock - which I can't help but regarding as old man's music. Aren't you guys a little too young for this kind of music? Of course I'm also bit involved personally with this release, so I guess these biases balance out each other.

The opening and title track 'On the road' is twelve minute all-round progressive rock exercise with multiple sections, tempo's and bombastic symphonic arrangements. I am usually a bit skeptical when I feel obliged to directly get that adventurous larger then life feel when an album has just started, but I can't help to begin to believe in it when the brilliant guitar solo's start giving me goosebumps as the track slowly progresses. The modern symphonic rock listener is accustomed to the almost poppy refrains, for me it takes a while to accept this approach - I guess I'm in it for instrumental sections.

On the second track 'Dream with your eyes wide open' the band starts of with an acoustic relaxing (almost wellness-center-like) feel with timid vocals of Repkens, who is also the lead vocalist. On this track the progression towards the heavy symphonic instrumental section feels a bit more natural to me. Rhythmic instrumental exercises are introduced and the sound-pallet is expended. The bass of Harry Hertog starts playing a more constructive role. The progressive party really takes off when Repkens intervenes with a tasty jazz-rock guitar solo, as the excitement created by the rhythm-section reaches it zenith. This songs really impresses me as it sounds less like a showoff to me and more as an artistically well written track with some depth to it.

'Lead me home' is a ballad-type track and drummer Roy Post decides early on it's time for some chimes and crescendo cymbals. The band focuses on the melodious vocals and piano-chords whilst showing it is also able to play something that by most people would be regarded as being 'a song'. A musical format which has fallen out of favor these days in modern progressive rock. The song is however with an open end as it directly fires of the next track 'Hand in hand' - a feel good up tempo, yet light, symphonic track. The keyboard solo of Lammert is typical for the neo-prog listener, but one can hear he's definitely not having a hard time to keep up with the big guys. The composition itself evolves into a slow-paced symphonic movie ending with a gentle reminder of how a vinyl sounds when its static and dirty. 'We Are strangers' gets us in a reflective mood as the album starts to enter its pre-ending phase. Drenched in melancholy the songs flows by, but that chorus really hits some of my mysterious-feeling-nerves.

The fifteen minute ending track 'The last road' starts of with that fresh feel of new hope, cracking bird eggs on a beautiful Easter morning. Happiness with a bit of melancholy. Maybe everything will turn out alright in the end! As the instrumental sections progress the guitar takes a leading role, exciting as ever. As Neil Morse and most other symphonic progressive rock bands of this age would do, we get some light sentimental sections that a fan of darker and more eclectic progressive rock (such as myself) could easily fail to appreciate properly. Luckily for me, after some minutes Minor Giant breaths some new life into the track and after some passages with keyboard domination we're heading toward the vocal ending section that evokes some Subterranea-era IQ in me. In the big finale we get some nice bombastic guitar-soloing followed by some quit symphonic afterthoughts.

Conclusion. Such a young band, so little naiveness to be found. I think 'On the Road' has turned out to be a typical genre album that will easily please all listeners of modern symphonic and neo-progressive rock. To me it sounds like it's all about shamelessly loving the symphonic progressive rock genre and making a product to please all its fans. Now whether this is a good thing is up to you. I myself will give this record the warm three-and-a-halve star rating and I'm curious how this album will be received by the other reviewers here on progarchives.

You can listen to it yourself at (for the time being)

Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition.

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