Should the name Han Uil ring a bell? Han is a Dutch vocalist and guitarist, known from his participation in TumbleTown; a collaboration with Egdon Heath's Aldo Adema and Erik Laan, known from Silhouette. Esoteric Euphony is his latest solo release.
Listening to the album, I notice the wide variety of styles on the album's composition, perhaps due to the fact the compositions have been written over a longer period of time. These are the basic elementary compositions that impress; Runaway, The Storyteller, A Great Experience, Give Me Fire. Other tracks seem to be a bit forced, particularly both opening tracks Devil's Night and We Are United songs that see the guesting of a prominent female voice. Caroline Joy adds her classically trained vocals to a very solid progressive rock song. A bold choice and interesting experiment, but in my opinion it does not really do justice to the song. During the second track We Are United, Kate Mitchell doubles Han's vocals, nice, but as during the first track it's the combination of voices that bothers me a bit. Much more interesting are the tracks that have Ester Ladiges as backing vocalist, her supporting role does do more justice to the songs. Where Han is a functional dedicated vocalist on the album, (Han represents the typical Dutch progressive rock voice; in a way, the Dutch progressive vocalists always have something recognizing them as Dutch.) his guitar playing really needs to be mentioned. He has a very rich tone and his subtle soloing is absolutely wonderful and tasteful.
Esoteric Euphony is an interesting album with a number of very inspired compositions which are pleasant to listen to. His wonderful guitar melodies and solos are the real treat on the album.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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