In The Netherlands, you can count the number of great prog metal bands on the fingers of one hand. Ulysses is such a great metal band, but out of the ashes of Forever Times, another great metal band arose: The Dust Connection. This band already released a demo in 2003. Iím not familiar with this release, but one thingís for sure: their official debut album Trails is very tasteful and it will please metal heads who like Threshold, Pain Of Salvation and Dream Theater.
The album opens rather heavy with The Nameless. First, you get the idea that an Iron Maiden tribute band performs the music on this track. Above all lead singer Jeroen Voogd sounds like Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maidenís front man. Even Evergrey came to mind thanks to the melodic lines used in the sing-along tunes. On The Nameless, we can also enjoy the great guitar sound of Martijn Balsers. The second track Orbit is a heavy piece as well with a lot of staccato riffs. Gradually the keyboard parts played by Sander Heerings get a more prominent role in the music. A fine synthesizer solo proves that heís a gifted musician who gets the chance to demonstrate his talents on this fine metal album. Instead of performing fast metal music, the band shows in The Grand Final another face. This piece contains much more progressive rock elements. The vocals move towards the style of singing of Geoff Tate (Queensryche) and Damian Wilson (Threshold) and Martijn Balsers plays a very melodic and emotional guitar solo. This band also composes fine rock ballads such as Garden Of Remembrance and Clouds and we also hear classical elements in the short piano instrumental Trails (Conduct The Tension). Both in New God and in Path, you can hear that Jorg Kurten is not just an ordinary bass player. These tracks show all of his talents. In Nothingness we recognize Spanish influences due to the hand clapping of drummer Robert Spaninks and the acoustic guitar parts. Many albums end with their best song and this album is no exception. In my opinion, the last three songs form the highlights of the album. When you hear these tracks, it seems as if the bandís trying to do their utmost to leave the listener in a good mood with fine guitar solos.
The Dust Connection not only need a big compliment for the music, but also for the production. Robert Spaninks certainly knows how to produce, to record, to mix and to master an album. Bravo! Iím convinced we are going to hear a lot of good music from this band in the years to come, that is, if they stay together in this strong line-up. Trails is a fine debut album; the band can be proud of their first effort. Please look at their website for more information and a free single download.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013