FeedForward - Upstream

(CD 2011, 58:52, Rusty Cage Records/Nightmare Records)

The tracks:
  1- Ahead of the echoes (intro)(2:46)
  2- Deepest thoughts(5:55)
  3- Thin ice(7:38)
  4- As time goes by(4:41)
  5- Relevant(5:31)
  6- As one(8:17)
  7- Promises(7:46)
  8- Give(3:50)
  9- For now(12:28)

FeedForward Website        samples       

FeedForward is a Dutch rock band formed in 2002. On their MySpace-page they state to have a unique musical style of their own. This style can be best defined as a mixture of progressive rock and melodic metal. In 2007 the band released the debut album Barefoot & Naked. Back then I labelled it as a rather mainstream rock album. Their female vocalist and co-founder Biejanka left the band later on; she decided to move to Finland in June 2009. They found a replacement with Patrice and together they started to write new songs for a second album. In the meantime the band also gave several concerts as a support-act which provided for a strong following.

In 2009, I had the chance to see them live on stage at De Pul in Uden as a support-act for the Damian Wilson Band (see review). I described the music as mentioned above and I wrote that both the guitarist and the keyboardist were capable of playing great solos. However, in general I found the compositions too mediocre. Although the new female singer performed the best way she could, she couldn't change my mind, and I called FeedForward an average band with a moderate repertoire.

Recently, and to my surprise, their second album Upstream entered our mailbox. The line-up mentioned in the booklet showed that the same musicians are still in the band. Just like on the first album, the band members are introduced by their first names only. Mario (guitar), Patrice (lead vocals), Pi (drums, backing vocals), Jan (bass) and Job (keyboards) recorded nine tracks for this album. After listening to the album for the first time I had about the same opinion as when I witnessed them three years ago: an average band with a moderate repertoire. However, after listening to it more often, I noticed that these musicians master their instruments rather well. Yet the compositions still don't have the quality level needed to survive in the music scene. In addition the singing of Patrice sounds very similar throughout the nine tracks. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the same high level as female singers like Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation), Marcela Bovia (Stream Of Passion) or Anneke van Giersbergen (ex- The Gathering). These are all great vocalists who play in Dutch female fronted rock bands that are closely related to the kind of music made by FeedForward. Only these bands are more capable of composing strong songs and moreover they sound more professional.

Maybe it isn't fair to compare FeedForward with these bands since they exist much longer and as a result they're much more experienced. I think that people who fancy prog metal will enjoy Upstream more than progressive rock devotees. But anyway, I still think they can do better than this; hopefully they'll show it on the third release.

** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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