Harvest is a new Spanish band from Barcelona founded by Monique van der Kolk (vocals), Jordi Amela (keyboards) and Jordi Prats (guitars). They met each other at a prior band project and in the spring of 2009 they decided to form a new progressive rock band. Roger Vilageliu (bass) and Alex Ojea (drums) joined the band a few months later in order to complete the line-up. Both Jordiís already won their spurs in the Spanish neo-prog band Dracma making three albums between 1995 and 2008.
Their first self-produced album Underground Community consists of thirteen tracks with a duration time between four and six minutes. Expect no heavy or dark songs on this album; the melody is always in the centre of the songs. The music of Harvest is dominated by the clear vocals of Monique van der Kolk and the guitar of Jordi Prats. Iíve heard many influences of bands like The Wishing Tree, La Tulipe Noir, The Gathering and above all Marillion. Thereís even a Marillion-cover on this album and in the second track Beyond The Desert you can enjoy a beautiful copy of a Steve Rothery-like guitar solo. The maverick on this album is the track Mara. Itís an up-tempo song with a short, but heavy guitar solo, some spoken words and a dark ending. The title track is also the shortest song and has some piano play with ominous audio fragments. Another fascinating song is The Horizon with an up-tempo beat and varied guitar and keyboard passages.
Marillion is one of the bands Harvest admire a lot. Therefore, they covered Marillionís Waiting To Happen and thatís a real surprise. Itís well-played and Monique shows all of her talents by singing this song with great sensitivity and passion. The ending of this rendition is even more symphonic, heavy and dramatic than the original. She Tries is another good composition. The piano and guitar parts are accompanied by drums and bass guitar with again a beautiful ending. An acoustic guitar introduces the ballad Night Comes Down. Monique shows her vocal skills again in this short love song. In the final and quite heavy track Interrupted Broadcast they accelerate for the last time.
After the last sound bit I decided to listen to this album again and again and again... so, if you like Marillion with Steve Hogarth, but this time with a female singer, you certainly should try Underground Community by Harvest. I would like to compliment this new Spanish band with their fine debut album! ††††
†**** Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013