We hardly ever review music that only has a digital release, but occasionally we make an exception to the rule. I decided to do so when I was contacted by a new Dutch outfit called Summer Breeze Project. They recorded the album Unusual Horizons and they asked me if we would support it. Well, after listening to the first songs of the album I was convinced of the quality and therefore bring them to the attention of our readers! This even led to a nomination from Background Magazine for the Dutch Exposure project, an initiative from Freia Music.
Before I'll get deeper into the music of Summer Breeze Project I'll tell you a bit more about their history. According to their website, a number of musicians initiated an intentionally transient Dutch (progressive) rock project in the spring of 2008. This project was meant for the summer time, so they called it the Summer Breeze Project. It took them only a few sessions to experience that the various musical backgrounds of the musicians blended very well. They felt a strong drive to continue their musical fellowship and safeguard their creations. This resulted in the mini-CD Energy, which was released in March 2009 followed by the full-fledged album Unusual Horizons in September 2011. On this album the project consists of Gert Bruins (lead vocals, guitars), Gordon van Pelt (guitars), Rene Troostheiden (drums), Fons Panneman (keyboards, soundscapes, backing vocals) and Jørgen de Jonge (bass guitars, backing vocals).
The music on Unusual Horizons is difficult to pigeonhole. The nine songs represent a rather unique sound which is difficult to describe. However, being a reviewer I have to try my utmost to make clear for the readers what to expect before listening. In short you can say that this project makes music containing elements from bands as Pink Floyd and Riverside, although other people might discover elements from other bands. On their website the band members describe their music as follows: 'from the classical intro of Close Your Eyes to the schizophrenic PTSD the listener is taken on a journey along unusual musical horizons'. They also stated'the compositions are characterized by an epic structure, complex themes, rhythmic challenges and melodies supported by several voices. Progressive rock music forms the basis, influences of Arabic, classical, disco, symphonic and metal styles make the difference'. They may be right, but the most important thing is that the nine tracks are all worthwhile listening to. The strong orchestral keyboard parts, the fine guitar solos and riffs and especially the excellent vocals make this album sound rather professionally.
Unfortunately there are no hard copies of Unusual Horizons available. The album is digitally distributed by CD Baby and available via iTunes, Amazone, Zune and others. Recently the Summer Breeze Project released a new single called Hollow. With this digital release they supported Ron Willems, who climbed the Alpe d'Huez in France on a racing bike to raise money for KWF, The Dutch Cancer Society. That's another good reason to check out the album and the single. They already got my blessing with this act of charity.
***+ Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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