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No Name / The No Name Experience - The Secret Garden  CD (album) cover


No Name / The No Name Experience



3.89 | 47 ratings

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4 stars Two year after ''Zodiac'', No Name would return with a new album entitled ''The Secret Garden''.The sophomore effort of the band finds them in a transition period with bassist Dan Pieknik being replaced by the new face of the project Gilles Loes.Still Pieknik contribute bass duities in most of the tracks with Loes performing only on ''Septagone'' and ''Broken heart''.Additionally the band had signed a contract with Angular Records.

The minor flaws of their debut are long gone in ''The secret garden'', where the band is established as the new hot name of the Neo Prog scene, offering very rich and bombastic musicianship.The opening and closing sections of the album are frenetic and masterful.The short eponymous intro along with ''Septagone'' mark some 8 minutes of grandiose, fully symphonic and dramatic Neo Prog with a flashy performance and intricate arrangements.The pair of closing tracks are on the opposite side, more mellow and atmospheric but featuring lovely tunes, excellent vocals and great keyboard work by Rukavina, another couple of fantastic music offerings.The rest of the album follows a familiar MARILLION/PENDRAGON/PALLAS vein.Nice keyboard solos, elaborate melodies, even some Classical references on piano but above all crystalline and dramatic vocals by Patrick Kiefer, one of the best performers of the style.All tracks are sung in English and the band sounds more British than the British bands, except ''De verstand'' and ''Eng oppen dir'', which contain lyrics in the band's native languange.Finally the production is top notch, clear with a great instrumental mix, which helps the composing talent of the band.

''Zodiac'' showed traces that this band could become something good.''The sectret garden'' fullfills these great expectations.Among the best 90's Neo Prog releases, keeping the old- fashioned fundamentals of the genre and offering plenty of superb musicianship.No less than highly recommended.

apps79 | 4/5 |


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