For All We Know -
By Design Or By Disaster

(CD 2024, 58:00, Construction Records)

The tracks:
  1- Forced To Be Free(5:18)
  2- Lifeline(5:50)
  3- This Hell We Know(6:23)
  4- The Future That Came Too Soon(7:05)
  5- All We Did Was Hide(4:36)
  6- Hush(2:14)
  7- Remind Me To Forget You(5:34)
  8- Flaws(7:39)
  9- Guide Me In Getting Lost(4:36)
10- Ghosts Of Summer's Past(4:30)
11- Goodbye(4:21)

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For All We Know is the solo project of guitarist Ruud Jolie, whom we know from Within Temptation. By Design Or By Disaster is his third For All We Know Album.

During the writing process, Jolie worked closely with the phenomenal singer Wudstik. The band on this album consists of drummer Léo Margarit (Pain of Salvation), bassist Kristoffer Gildenlöw (ex-Pain Of Salvation) and Marco Kuypers (ex-Cloudmachine). They were also featured on the first two For All We Know albums. Jolie produced everything himself and the album sounds amazing.

By Design Or By Disaster is a beautifully varied album, from very subtle to complex and heavy. Jolie has written truly beautiful melodies. Although not a concept album, By Design Or By Disaster tells the story of a young man making his way through life, building and losing relationships, such as with his parents, lovers, and later, his children. This is reflected in the artwork, which shows three characters representing the same person at different stages of life. This is an album that I really enjoy. Naturally, the class of the musicians is evident and singer Wudstik in particular delivers a great performance. What a variation this man has in his voice. With Ruud Jolie as guitarist you would expect a dominating guitar. That is not the case. He plays very much in the compositions. A solo here and there, but the songs come first. There's a real band at work here. Everything fits.

What can this album be compared to? Well actually nothing. Highlights? A lot, but for the subtle work I would immediately go to All We Did Was Hide. For a more heavy song, Flaws has some Dreamtheater influences. I suddenly had to think what that band would sound like with Wudstik as singer. Probably two classes better. Ghost Of Summers Past is one of those songs that really has everything in it, from that subtle to sturdy little solo by Jolie, beautiful piano work, wonderful drum and bass parts, choirs and that great voice of Wudstik. But honestly, there isn't a single weak song on By Design Or By Disaster.

This album is an absolute must. International class!

***** Arne van Os van den Abeelen (edited by Tracy van os van den Abeelen)

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