Until now I never had the chance to listen intensively to an album recorded by the Dutch band Silhouette. Therefore the new and fourth album Beyond The Seventh Wave was a good opportunity for me to set things right. On the album you'll find eleven tracks of which the titles and the lyrics suggest some sort of concept story. However, since my review copy didn't have an accompanying booklet and I didn't have enough time to contact the band on this, I can't confirm it.
In general the music can be classified as neo-progressive rock and so far the album lives up to my expectations. Most of the tracks contain huge layers of keyboards played by Erik Laan. He certainly has a major role in the band as a musical director and composer. Sometimes the music leads to a nice interplay between guitarists Brian de Graeve and Daniel van der Weijde. However, too much of this would lead to an overly bombastic album, but they manage to avoid that by including quieter, more intricate pieces. Listen for example to In Solitary, Wings To Fly and the longest track of the album Lost Paradise. The second one starts off with an acoustic guitar, flute and cello and builds up to a point where the electric guitar and keyboards end the album the way it started: with a slightly bombastic neo-prog atmosphere.
Seen from a compositional point of view, there's almost nothing wrong with Beyond The Seventh Wave. It seems that this album is the right step in the development of the band, though I have to base myself on reviews by others. The rhythm section consisting of drummer Rob van Nieuwenhuizen and bass player Gerrit-Jan Bloemink make sure the others don't get too much carried away. It would have been nice when the liner notes had included more information about the bass parts played by Jurjen Bergsma, who replaced Bloemink after the release of this album.
It's a pity to say that the album loses some of its attraction due to the vocals. Both lead vocalists as well as the backing vocalists do their best, but at times they just don't support the music. This can have two reasons. Firstly, the singers were trying to keep in tune and were therefore focussed on their technique at the expense of the emotion. Secondly, in certain places the voices sound a bit forced, which is especially unfortunate in Devil's Island. This is a great track throughout with soundscapes that could easily fit a video from a film shot while circling above that island. This could have been my favourite track, but now it isn't. I regret that I have to mention this, because at least one of the singers has the skills to sing like Nick Barrett (Pendragon), which he proves on Web Of Lies.
***+ Angelo Hulshout (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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