Since the previous album Desert Dreams (2010, see review), things have slightly changed for the Dutch instrumental collective Fusonic. By adding a fourth member, the band moved from a trio to a quartet and when this additional musician turns out to be a vocalist, the instrumental music of Fusonic no longer is wordless, but moves towards progressive rock with long instrumental escapades. At the helm of the band are the remaining musicians; Teo, who handles the guitars and occasional violin, Harry Ickelsheimer, who besides the keyboards also takes care of the bass and adds rhythm guitar parts and Ronald Hoogwout is Fusionic's drummer and percussionist. The new addition is Alex Van Hoorn; vocalist, synth player and programmer. On the new album; Fields Of No Man's Land additional help comes from sax player Paul Van Der Feen, Sjak Franssen on bass and Rob Schultheiss, who plays the clay flute “the ocarina”.
Fields Of No Man's Land continues their travels that started with the previous album, progressive music embedded in a New Age atmosphere. This means the music always flows like a little stream from one song into the other. Sometimes hitting objects and causing some kind of treble in the stream, but mostly nicely wandering by. One of the more prominent elements of Fusonic's music is the guitar sound of Teo, a distinguished sound that is nice but could need some fresh additions to the sound, because seventy minutes is quite long. Besides the aforementioned influences Fields Of No Man's Land also adds parts of movie influenced music to the music, a nice point of diversity in the music. When I mentioned the latest member of the band; Alex, his vocals can only be heard in two of the songs, Solitude and Time Waits. Two smooth and very soft compositions in perhaps a typical Dutch neo progressive rock style, sometimes reminding me of the progressive rock dinosaurs Camel.
A song that really differs from the other compositions on the album is the final composition Humanity? Almost eleven minutes of music that starts slow and relaxed, but has some eclectic moments as we carry on. A nice part is Charlie Chaplin's speech from the movie ”The Great Dictator” which is nicely embedded in the composition.
Fields Of No Man's Land is a nice album which will appeal to both new age inspired people as well to fans of very smooth and soft Dutch neo progressive music. Perhaps a little too mellowed for yours truly, but great background music when you have friends over or during dinner.
*** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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