A while ago a dear friend of mine, told me to keep an eye on an upcoming release of a new Dutch band. The mentioned band was Meadows, brainchild of Silhouette guitarist DaniŽl van der Weijde a.k.a. DaniŽl Meadows. After three years of writing, Modern Emotions has been released late 2020. Besides Daniel, the core members of Meadows are Incidense members, vocalist Peter Meijer and bass player Jurjen Bergsma (also Silhouette).
Musically Meadows takes a step away from Silhouette and sounds much more like a modern, guitar driven progressive rock and metal album, with amazing vocals. The eight compositions show a lot of variation, as in the opener Dance With The Corpse Bride.A wonderful instrumental orchestrated guitar focussed composition where both Erik Laan and Sophie Zaaijer contribute on piano and violin respectively. The following Modern Emotions is a fine heavy melancholic track that shows both great guitar melodies, subtle synths and the introduction of the very dedicated vocals of Peter. An instant killer track. With Nostalgia the power is reduced into one of the more emotional songs on the album, where fine orchestration supports Peter's vocal parts. The instrumental Rebecca shows influences from John Petrucci, Steve Morse and Joe Satriani. The addition of a violin part gives the song something special. For the fans of more heavy tracks, Powerture will be one of their likings, a strong powerful composition with nice tapping and soloing. For the following Good Times DaniŽl invited Within Temptation and For All We Know guitarist Ruud Jolie to play a guitar solo. Not only due to his participation, but this song became one of my favourite tracks of the album, I guess it's the atmosphere of the track that does it, both Peter's voice as well as great the guitar parts and soloing ice the wonderful cake. Continuing with The Void, this is a short guitar driven interlude, preparing us for the album's final composition; The Brave. Alongside the previous mentioned Good Times, The Brave is the creative highlight of Meadow's debut album. The emotional melancholy feel of the song is brilliant, the addition of Haken's Richard Henshall as soloist is a great find. Wonderfully done.
Modern Emotions is an exceptional debut album of a great-inspired musician. Amazing compositions, flawlessly executed. The well-chosen guests each add something to the songs they play on. Meadows leaves us with the best Dutch progressive album of 2020, in my perspective.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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