Many times before, I have mentioned that Leap Day are without any doubt one of the best progressive rock bands from the Netherlands. Their album From The Days Of Deucalion Chapter 2 (see review) was for me personally, one of the best progressive rock albums of 2015. Probably not so strange a statement if you read my review of the album. It was for me a true masterpiece with no weak compositions at all. The band was at its peak on that release and showed an unbelievable strong musicianship by all that participated. Together they made their best album so far. Now three years later the band celebrates their tenth anniversary. The band was founded on February 29 in 2008. But the band do not often have a real birthday party because they were born on a leap day (that's why they named themselves Leap Day), which is every four years, so in fact they could only celebrate their birthday twice. And just like everybody else who has something to celebrate they come up with a real pleasant surprise for their fans and lovers of progressive rock in general. And therefore their ten-year jubilee is brightened up with the release of Timelapse. Although it contains new compositions, it also contains three previously unreleased songs, three re-edits of older songs and a live version of an older composition. If you do want to know more about the seven album tracks keep reading on below here.
The album starts with two of the three new songs. Songs which again show why they are one of the best progressive rock acts in the Netherlands. In particular, opener March Under The Symbol is a very strong song. It immediately emphasizes a good melody. The keyboards and electric guitar gives the song a real progressive rock touch. Also the lyrics here are very strong. It tells about the current affairs in fascism and identity and tells us most of all that we haven't learned anything of what went wrong in our history. Also the second track Mind The Gap ,besides having great musical parts contains strong lyrics. Here the keys of Gert van Engelenburg and Derk Evert Waalkens as well as Eddie Mulder's guitar get a lot of space to shine all the way.
The third track Little Green Men is an alternative version of the original version, which appeared on their debut Awaking The Muse (see review) released in 2009. It comes now in a shortened version mainly performed on the acoustic piano. The Mellotron samples are really stunning on this beautiful ballad. It is followed by Half Man, Half Machine. This alternative version was originally released as Half Mens Half Machine on the ProgNL (2011, see review) compilation album. This time around lead singer Jos Harteveld doesn't sing in his native Dutch language but sings in English, as you can hear on all of the Leap Day albums. The songs mixes beautiful reggae rhythms with pure progressive rock parts. The follow up composition Ancient Times comes originally from my personal masterpiece From The Days Of Deucalion Chapter 2. This alternative version starts as a true Pink Floyd/ David Gilmour tune. The mellow parts that follow are truly amazing. The excellent guitar solo is the icing on the cake.
Next up is the last studio recording on this release. The unreleased Awaking The Muse was definitely intended for their debut album. I heard it the first time when drummer Koen Roozen gave me a copy of their first released demo back in 2008. I am still not sure if it is the same version you can enjoy on this anniversary album. I guess it doesn't really matter because this great instrumental is a true Leap Day tune. It has all the typical Andy Latimer and David Gilmour influences played by Mulder on his electric guitar. Also the keyboard tandem is in full operation with wonderful solos. The album ends with a perfect live version of Deucalion. The song was recorded at the Northern Prog Festival in 2016. It has become one of my live favourites without a doubt and proves one more time how great they are on a stage performing in front of an audience, which you could hear already earlier on the band's first live album Live At The Northern Prog Festival (see review). That one was recorded in 2015 and released at the same festival from which this live recording is taken.
Timelapse is without any doubt a great gift for their fans. Fans who supported them throughout the ten years in which they released four studio albums and one live album. With the addition of this anniversary album they have a true strong album in their hands. Even if it is a kind of compilation album you still hear in a way new songs which entertain you all the way! Unfortunately the album also marks the departure of bass player from the very beginning, Peter Stel. After the release of this album the band will start on the next studio album and his successor has already been announced in the person of Harry Scholing. It is the first occupancy change in ten years. I am sure we can enjoy much more excellent albums made by Leap Day in the years to come. Until they are released I once more will put Timelapse in my CD player. Because it is just an outstanding album.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)
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