The View Inside -
Strange Destinations

(CD 2023, 55:32, Hypostatic Records hyp2305)

The tracks:
  1- Passage(2:13)
  2- Bad Neighborhood(5:53)
  3- Stuck Under(4:57)
  4- Son Of Someone(4:44)
  5- The End Of Me(6:18)
  6- I'm Not Supposed To Be Here(5:12)
  7- Unvirtual Reality(4:58)
  8- Pleased To Meet You(5:38)
  9- Father Of The Future(3:40)
10- Mother Of Silence(2:19)
11- Work Of Art(4:56)
12- Portal(4:43)

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The French/ American band The View Inside released their eponymous album in 2020. Unfortunately a review copy of The View Inside never reached our office and therefore I can't compare it to the bands second album Strange Destinations. On this new album you can enjoy twelve new compositions. Those compositions are a collaboration between French guitarist/singer/songwriter Ludovic Briand, French keyboardist/songwriter Julien Boursin, and American engineer/lyricist Matt Rohr. Before the album came out, two singles were released to give the audience an idea what expect on the bands new release.

The first single from the album, Bad Neighbourhood was released January 27. Stuck Under, was the second release from Strange Destinations. Both releases sounded rather good. However, it is not easy to pigeon hole what Ludovic Briand (lead & backing vocals / electric & acoustic guitars / bass / keyboards / percussion), Julien Boursin (piano / organ / rhodes / keyboards), Christophe Briand (drums / percussion / lead & backing vocals on track 8), Serge Arese (bass on track 2, 5, 7, 8, 12), François Gomez (bass on track 3, 4, 6, 9, 11) and several other guests have put together on this new album. Some name it progressive rock. Others might put it into the box of AOR. One thing is quite sure. It all sounds very professional and smooth. Sometimes you think about Peter Gabriel when you hear the compositions and the strong vocal performances of Briand. Also, his guitar parts are very strong. Listen for example to his solos on Bad Neighborhood and Work Of Art. One of the highlights is without any doubt the track I'm Not Supposed To Be Here. It goes from mellow to more aggressive but never too heavy. Just beautiful done. Pleased To Meet You, Bad Neighborhood and Unvirtual Reality sound like Toto. But I don't think this is so strange. Because some of the band members also play in the Toto tribute band T2T. Also Pleased To Meet You comes close to the music of Toto. The piano parts might have been played by David Paich. Also, on Father Of The Future you might think Steve Lukather is handling the guitar duties on an up tempo beat which is very much related to Toto. Even Sound Of Contact (featuring Simon Collins and Dave Kerzner) and their amazing album Dimensionaut (2013, see review) comes to mind many times. Most of all on the final two tracks Work Of Art and Portal. The same feeling of longing is present as on the earlier mentioned album.

Strange Destinations is the strong follow-up to the 2020 concept album The View Inside.
Follow Walter, the debut album's protagonist, as his journey moves to a higher plane of astral travel and multiple realties. You won't regret it!

One thing is very certain. Strange Destinations, the new album from The View Inside, is a rather strong release which many lovers of progressive rock might enjoy. Most of all lovers of Peter Gabriel and Toto will enjoy this second release of the band.

**** Henri Strik (edited by Dave Smith)

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