Think Of The Children! is the fourth album by Also Eden, a five-piece hailing from the south-west part of the UK. At the start of their career they were principally influenced by the traditional progressive rock made by bands as Genesis and Yes and the modern prog rock sounds of Porcupine Tree and The Flower Kings. The band was initially formed in 2005 as a recording project by Huw Lloyd-Jones (vocals) and Ian Hodson (keyboards, vocals). Simon Rogers (guitars, vocals) joined them in a very early stage, later on followed by Steve Dunn (bass, vocals). Several drummers joined and left. Also Eden released their strong debut album About Time in 2006 (see review) followed by It's Kind Of You To Ask (2008, see review), another outstanding neo-prog album. The latter was the farewell album of Lloyd-Jones who got replaced by Rich Harding. With Harding behind the microphone the band recorded the mini album Differences As Light (2010, see review). This EP showed a change in musical style which provided more room for the guitars and a less prominent role for the keyboards. However, this new style can still be described as progressive rock, although I had some trouble to get into it. It took me a while to discover the beauty of this EP.
The same applies to Think Of The Children! It took me again some listening sessions to find out that they once more recorded an outstanding album. The first two albums grabbed me immediately by the throat; this one took a bit longer but then I was trapped by a sneaky killer in the night who gave me no room to escape. This concept album builds up to an unbelievable strong musical climax. This has been done very cleverly and influenced by bands as Rush (Oversight and Cijfers), Pink Floyd (Hiding In Plain Sight and The Greater Game), Galahad (Hiding In Plain Sight), Twelfth Night ( Stealth), Marillion (1949, Stealth and Dream Without A Dream) and Genesis (Think Of The Children II). The leading role is mostly for Mr. Rogers who plays some excellent guitar solos throughout the album. The vocals of Mr. Harding are of a high level as well. He sometimes sounds like Geddy Lee (Rush) or Steve Perry, the former singer of Journey. The keyboards of Ian Hodson have more or less a minor role comparable to those of Mark Kelly (Marillion) when they recorded Brave. The rhythm section consisting of bassist Steve Dunn and the newly recruited drummer Lee Nicholas is real steady and keeps the music together with strong playing.
If you have the time and the patience to listen to Think Of The Children! as much as I did, you'll discover a very enjoyable album. People who like outstanding concept albums like The Wall (Pink Floyd), Brave (Marillion) or Fact & Fiction (Twelfth Night) will certainly enjoy this new album by Also Eden. It just got under my skin after a while and that's just how I like it!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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