I guess, for the Dutch readers and regular ProgPower Europe visitors from all over the world, Tom De Wit doesn't need any introduction, for the name giver of TDW delivered some fine albums thus far. His disbanded band Mind:Soul left us with an outstanding album; The Way It Should Be (2013, see review) and as TDW, Tom surprised us with another remarkable CD; Music To Stand Around And Feel Awkward To! (2014, see review). 2017 will be a special year for TDW as it will see the release of a double album; The Antithetic Affiliation, an album to look forward to.
Especially for the ones who pre-ordered this forthcoming album, the twenty-four and a half minute EP Aphrodisia has gone into production. The EP is packed as a beautiful six page digipack limited release, which easily could become a true gem for progressive rock and metal aficionados the more, because the featured songs on this EP will differ from the final incarnations that end up on the 2017 release.
The EP starts with the title track, an eight and a half minute epical composition, that starts quite electronic, forming the base for Tom's vocals, who are accompanied by a nice layer of other vocalists. The addition of Hanna Van Gorcum's violin perfectly sets the sphere of the song at that point. When the power is cranked up, Lennert Kemper and Tom's guitar change the sphere to a rougher, darker one, backed up with a dark roar from Peter Den Bakker's bass and the powerful drumming of Rik Bruineman. But the true power of this composition comes from the varied multi-layered set of vocals. Tom shines with his distinguished voice over a still very recognizable trashy progressive metal style, being accompanied by the lovely voice of Radina Dimcheva. The following; Dirge is a much more acoustically based song that introduces Cailyn Erlandson as female counterpart for Tom's vocals. This track represents the other side of music featured on the forthcoming album. The song premiered beautifully at the pre-part of this year's Prog Power Europe festival which was a show I'm still impressed by. Anthem turns up the power again, a song that represents Tom in the best way possible as he really has a lot to say in this vocal laden heavy composition, that has great guitar riffs as well as awesome solos by Lennert. The lighter side returns with the final track; Lovesong, a song filled with a combination of smooth violins, subtle piano and synths by Vincent Reuling and gentle acoustic guitars. The icing is the almost bombastic choir that backs Tom up during this track.
All in all, this is a wonderful piece of music by Tom De Wit and Dreamwalkers Inc.and there are no doubts about that and if those four songs are the prelude of what to expect, you have to pre-order the forthcoming album. Just the Aphrodisia EP by itself is worth the money.
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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