In the seventies the Belgian band Isopoda was called 'the Belgian Genesis'. At least, that's what the musical history books and the internet tell me. I know that Isopoda played live on stage during the first edition of the Symforce Festival at 013 in Tilburg, the Netherlands, but I never had the pleasure of listening to the band. In a way Fossil Evolution is a continuation of Isopoda being founded by the former singer and bass player Arnold De Schepper. In Fossil Evolution, De Schepper is supported by his three sons Arne (drums), Maarten (guitars, keyboards, vocals) and Wouter (guitar, backing vocals) and by a friend named Pieter De Groeve (keyboards).
The debut World In Motion is an album that needs some time to settle. On the first few listens, I wasn't really impressed and the music didn't endure either. However, that changed over time provided that you take the time to listen, and not just play the album as background music. The beginning of the opening track Beautiful Colours already proofs this. The song ripples on like a small creek for about four minutes, before it takes off with a well-performed instrumental piece, including a melodic guitar solo and some Genesis-like keyboards at the end.
The title track builds up in a similar fashion, but it starts with acoustic − or clean electric − guitar, in a kind of singer-songwriter mood. As more instruments join in, the song gains more power, but it never really hits me nor does The Voice Inside, although both pieces are well played. The tracks Next Time and Oblivion appeal more to me, being a bit heavier and having a more complicated structure. Next Time features an interesting drum and bass pattern on which the song is based. This provides a great effect especially underneath the vocals of Arnold and Maarten. In Oblivion the climax is led by a guitar solo after a slightly jazzy build-up that sometimes reminds me of the more melodic solos by Savatage. That's rather surprising for a band that classify themselves as playing 'neo-prog and seventies prog mixed with jazz influences'.
The grand finale is the Isopoda cover Considering, which is a twelve-minute prog track with great piano and keyboard work, a surprising trumpet solo and perfectly combined vocals of father and son De Schepper. In my opinion this is by far the best t rack of the album. This may cause a possible problem for the band in view of the fact that it's the only piece which wasn't written by the current band members. In general World In Motion is a nice album that grows on the careful listener; it shows potential for more.
***+ Angelo Hulshout (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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