This is a superfine debut release by a Dutch progressive-rock band that seemingly aims to make a difference within the grand scheme of matters. Fronted by classically-trained diva Judith Rijnveld, the overall program is architected upon the roots of classic Euro-progressive bands such as Genesis to complement the prevalent folk-rock element, all shaded with melodic overtures. With tuneful themes, somewhat toughened by blaring crunch-chord guitar parts and gallant movements, Rijnveld’s angelic vocals are wondrously contrasted by the musicians acoustic-electric arrangements. However, the preponderance of this set features resounding choruses amid layered keys, thrusting rhythms and prog-metal type guitar meltdowns.
Drummer and bandleader Ivar DeGraaf underscores the piece titled "Hallway of Dreams" with a flailing Afro-Cuban pattern beneath the vocalist’s harmonically appeasing lyricism. While keyboardist George Van Offen instills the wistful sounds of early prog via his mellotron choruses during various movements. Elsewhere, you’ll hear pieces that summon notions of a countryside setting, highlighted by Rijnveld’s dream-like vocals and DeGraaf’s regimented tabla work. In effect, they morph East Indian modalities with British folk and then some.
At times, the band sports a muse that proclaims a hybrid, retro-modernist approach. Some of these numbers come across as sophisticated pop/rock, largely due to catchy hooks and breezy instrumental passages. Then on the finale titled "Sempre Fedele," they fuse spacey backdrops with sinuously rendered time signatures atop the drummer’s oscillating tom-tom fills. In sum, the artists maintain a signature sound while subtly incorporating various rock-related genres into the big picture. It’s one of those unanticipated surprises that many of us reviewers thrive on, especially when considering the gobs of ho hum material that is inadvertently stamped with budget-bin connotations. Such is not the case here, folks.... This is a quality product from start to finish.