Ulysses - #eMotion

(CD 2015, 58:18, Symbioses Music)

The tracks:
  1- Sleeping Death(6:34)
  2- City Of Lost Souls(7:06)
  3- Desolation(2:42)
  4- Lost What Was Not Mine(5:29)
  5- A Modern Lovesong(7:29)
  6- The Unexpected(6:02)
  7- When Love Becomes...(4:28)
  8- Honk If You're Happy(9:10)
  9- Providence(1:53)
10- God For One Day(7:20)

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Ulysses is a Dutch kind of prog metal band which in the last couple of years released the albums Eclectic (demo) (2001), Symbioses (2003) and The Gift Of Tears (2008). Nowadays the band consists of Michael Hos (vocals), Ron Mozer (keyboards), Sylvester Vogelenzang de Jong (guitar), René van Haaren (drums) and Gijs Koopman (bass, bass pedals).

It took the band seven years to come up with the new album #eMotion. So the question is: was is worth the wait? My humble answer would be: no, it was not worth waiting 7 years for the next album of this Dutch progressive rock band. In my opinion a lot of songs on this album are too dull, too dramatic and do not have enough musical variety. The opening song Sleeping Death is a perfect example of such a rather not original, tiresome song; heard this kind of music too often and much better, actually. Lost What Was Not Mine is another song that after the acoustic intro drags on way too long and this song never really comes to life. Then we have the longest track, Honk If You Are Happy, which is again filled with boring vocals, lots of strings and again those very recognisable prog rock melodies. Luckily the album features at least two decent tracks, being the instrumentals Desolation and The Unexpected. The latter is the absolute highlight of the album filled with organ solos, keyboards solos, guitar solos, tempo changes, prog metal elements and lots of variety. If the entire album would feature songs like The Unexpected it would have been an absolute prog rock gem.

#eMotion is a concept/theme album and every song tells a story in which a basic human emotion is described.

Sad but true, the music on this album does not really affect me as it all sounds too dramatic and without variety; furthermore I think that the vocals are way too dominant on this album.

** Martien Koolen (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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