ReSolve - Wayward Sanctuary

(CD 2015, 45:13, Layered Reality Productions )

The tracks:
  1- Pitch Black Eyes(6:29)
  2- These Voices(5:24)
  3- Unchained(3:52)
  4- Still Breathing(6:45)
  5- NPOAL(4:29)
  6- Blood Will Tell(7:03)
  7- December(11:32)



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The Hague is not only the residence of the Dutch government but is also the place where it all started for ReSolve. Drummer Gregory van der Hoeven and Lennert Kemper (guitar and vocals) had both been involved in several groups, playing multiple styles of music. Their passion for progressive rock and metal was the reason for the two to combine their talents into what would become ReSolve. In 2013 the line-up was completed, when keyboard player Fabian Blomsma, bass player Justus Ebel and vocalist Chrissy Spruijt joined the band. The addition of those last two instrumentalists gave the band the progressive edge the band was looking for. Things were really looking bright as the band got the chance to sign with Layered Reality. Bad luck struck as vocalist Chrissy left the band. Not letting go, the band started work on new material, while the search for a new vocalist continued. And a new vocalist they found. At the end of 2014, ReSolve could announce the name of their new lead vocalist; Radina Dimcheva. With the continuing support of their label, ReSolve finally was able to show their baby to the world; a forty five minutes mature album called Wayward Sanctuary.

Claiming to be influenced by bands like Dream Theater, Opeth, Symphony X and Porcupine Tree, their aim was very high and in my opinion they come true to these expectations as Wayward Sanctuary has everything; technical music, filled with hooks and grooves, inventive solo spots for the instrumentalists and a killer drum sound. Listen to the album's opener Pitch Black Eyes that starts with a long instrumental part; cool riffs and a Dream Theater-esque keyboard part. When the vocals kick in, it took me a few spins to feel comfortable with Radina's voice, just for the reason I expected a more gothic, higher voice. Radina's vocals seem to be absolutely perfect for this type of music, not too high pitched but nice, with a darker, lower edge. During the following These Voices guitarist Lennert Kemper adds another dimension to ReSolve's music; dark, grunty and rough. This song also holds a fine keyboard section as well as a strong and powerful guitar solo. Still Breathing is a slower, but still pretty and intense composition, highlighting vocals, which are delicately doubled so they really sound wonderful with smooth piano playing and a nice atmospheric keyboard passage. NPOAL turns the volume up again; a strong composition that starts with a movie scene, continuing as an instrumental showcase. This song highlights the power trio in the band and to be honest, the additional keyboards are funny, but do not add something to this absolute monster, which has a cool fusion section; my personal favourite on the album. Radina returns on Blood Will Tell, filled with Dream Theater style keyboard and structures; nice and technical. During the midsection the song mellows down to a percussive part that holds a very strong Dave Gilmour-like guitar solo part. Towards the end, the power increases and ends nice and powerful. Wayward Sanctuary closes with a kind of epic; December, where both Radina as Yannick Coolen handle the vocals. Especially the addition of the Michael kerfeldt style vocals turn this epic to one of the highlights of the album for me.

ReSolve has come up with a wonderful progressive metal album that holds many surprises, from harsh vocal parts to very pleasant ones. Musically very strong, nevertheless the keyboards are reminding me of Dream Theater a lot and I would like ReSolve to step into the future with its own distinguished style.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)

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