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Heldon - Stand By CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.93 | 103 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars One of the first and most powerful examples of where progressive rock and early electronic music collide with vigor.

Stand By is a mammoth of purely interesting electronic rock that shows definite talent in the musicians, but, in my opinion, doesn't always work. The intent and promise is there, but kind of seems too overly epic for its own good.

Immediately, it becomes obvious that this album is very powerful as "Bolero" pounds its way through the speakers with a Mahler- or Shostakovich-esque force combined with an increasingly ham-fisted Force Majeure-like acoustic percussion. It's not a bad track, and has a very commendable amount of worthy proggy moments, but it often seems too unrelentingly epic to the point where they seem to be trying way too hard to be so much more rock than is necessary. Also, I really think Pinhas is a great and innovative guitarist, but I'm not sold on the post-Hendrix soloing method he employs during the last half of the track. There are also a few funk-ish moments that sound similar to what a Tangerine Dream/Goblin collaboration may have sounded like, which doesn't really work too well in my opinion.

"Une Drole de Journee" is slightly more subdued in needless synth orchestral epicness, but this is dampened by the continuously heavy-handed drummer and wonky avant-rock moments. This track is very disjointed in composition and is abound with arbitrary confusion, like the opening vocals that start this track of sounding like an electronic zeuhl experiment (which could honestly be done successfully if given more attention) and a random moment of empty bubbling that serves no purpose.

The title track is the heaviest and rockiest track on the album, strong with the sharp electric rock guitar soloing and pounding drums flowing at a pace similar to most sludgy doom metal. It doubles its speed near the half way point and becomes a noisy and flashy metal showoff powerhouse that simply sounds like self-destruction. However, the bass on this track is very thick and intense; it sounds great and is the single most interesting element of this track, but it doesn't save the song entirely.

This was my very first Heldon album and I've been listening to it off and on for almost two years now, and I feel bad that it hasn't grown on me at all considering the amount of praise it has received. Regardless, it does have its moments. Their other, less heavy albums seem more interesting and compositionally complete, but I do think Stand By is a good jumping off point for fans of progressive rock looking to get into progressive electronic, only because of it's profound rockiness.

colorofmoney91 | 3/5 |


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