In 2009 the Dutch progressive rock band Flamborough Head recorded their fifth studio album Looking For John Maddock (see review). This was the farewell album for guitarist Eddie Mulder. His replacement Gert Polkerman proved to be able of playing all the great emotional guitar solos composed by Mulder. So the band started to work on new compositions for the sixth studio album. During the concerts they gave in recent years the band already tried out a number of new compositions like Lost In Time, Right Here For A Moment, The Trapper, I'll Take The Blame and Dancing Ledge, all written by keyboardist Edo Spanninga. These strong and promising songs created high expectations by their fans for the new album.
In 2013 the aforementioned songs supplemented by the completely new song Andrassy Road − written by Gert Polkerman − could finally be enjoyed on the album Lost In Time. Well, I thought that I was familiar with the songs that the band already had presented on stage, and that this record would have little surprises for me, but I was completely wrong! These so-called familiar songs have much more to offer than I thought they had. Recently some band members told me that they got the opportunity to add more fantastic musical parts to those songs in the studio. Also the way they were recorded added some very positive elements to the music.
When I listened to Lost In Time for the first time I felt like a proud father who sees his kids doing something special. I had that same feeling after listening to the band's second album Defining The Legacy (2000). While comparing it to their debut Unspoken Whisper (1998), I named it a true masterpiece showing that the band had grown to an international level. Lost In Time once again grabbed me by the throat! This is another masterpiece and probably the best album they ever recorded! Marcel Derix (bass), Margriet Boomsma (flute, recorder, lead and backing vocals), Koen Roozen (drums) and Edo Spanninga (keyboards) en Gert Polkerman (guitar, backing vocals) achieved something special that deserves the highest possible rating of five stars. Let me tell you why.
Throughout the album the band succeeded in keeping me entertained from the first minute until the last dying seconds. All the six high-level compositions contain no weak parts or even a dull moment, though the influences from their previous albums are still present. While listening to the album I heard many times influences that reminded me of the music recorded by Camel and Pink Floyd especially due to the synthesizer, electric guitar and flute parts. However, this time they have broaden their horizons since these new influences perfectly fit in the strong neo-prog sound. Take for example the electric piano in the vein of Supertramp in the title track. And what about the kind of launch music in The Trapper, a fine song dedicated to young kids called trappers who slaved in the coalmines of South Wales. Due to the playing of the flute I also heard a kind of relaxing musical style that could be heard as well on the albums the Dutch act Supersister created in the seventies.
Talking about the flute playing, on a couple of tracks − for example on The Trapper - it sounds quite similar to that of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) or Thijs van Leer (Focus). The sound of Focus can be noticed as well by the way the organ is played on several tracks. I even noticed influences of Mark King (Level 42). The slapping on the bass guitar by Marcel Derix can be heard on I'll Take The Blame. The strong instrumental piece Dancing Ledge proves that the band can also write interesting compositions with a lot of variety. The excellent solos on different instruments keep you wide awake throughout. The frequent use of the recorder on the album must be mentioned as well. Nowadays not so many prog rock bands use this instrument. I think it provides the music a beautiful folk rock touch from time to time. And last but not least: you simply can't resist the tasteful Mellotron parts and the great melodic electric guitar solos.
Lost In Time is a superb album and as far as I'm concerned it belongs to the musical highlights of 2013. A true masterpiece delivered by an outstanding Dutch prog band that can only be rewarded with the highest possible rating of five stars. Highly recommended!
***** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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