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Illumion - 'The Waves' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ef/6d/fe/Illumion-The-Waves-67-1381602855.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 12, 2013    
 
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Prog fans will find plenty to get excited about.

This is probably one Dutch band that can truly put the "Progressive" into Rock. Formed by virtuoso guitarist Eveline van Kampen and bassist Peter H. Boer in 2002, they completed the band with the addition of vocalist Esther Ladiges (known for her contributions to Ayreon) and Emile Boelaard on drums.

This is their second album and the band now features drummer Tom Rutgers and additionally keyboard player Gerton Leijdekker. Most of the songs have a heavy dramatic intro swiftly followed by an introspective subtlety with more often than not Eveline indulging in some whimsical guitar lines or Spanish flamenco playing. Opening song 'Ember' is typical of the album with a mix of progressive rhythms and introspective segments embellished with Eveline's subtle guitar flourishes, whilst Esther's melancholic vocals sit atop the mix and carry the song along in a meditative fashion. Whilst Esther's voice fits the enigmatic nature of the compositions, she doesn't appear to have a particularly strong vocal range as throughout the album her voice appears one dimensional.

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There are many varied elements, however, as a mandolin is featured on 'The Craft Of Memory' whilst Eveline's guitar tone is simply wonderful as she finishes the song with a sumptuous flourish. There's male vocal interplay on 'Tale Of The Kings' and a piano intro on 'Sorrows End' that also features a trumpet giving it a mid-section jazz vibe, something her schooling no doubt taught her. Similarly on 'Canvas' there's a slight jazzy beginning and fretless bass before it goes all film score on me! A Chinese Zither is featured on 'Mystify' with Arjen Lucassen speaking the intro and the Zither is also to be found on ''Espirando' with, unsurprisingly, some lovely flamenco playing.

All in all, at roughly an hour long, it's not the type of album I could sit down and wax lyrical about but Prog fans will find plenty in the chord structures and time changes and interwoven passages to get excited about. But what this album does do well is showcase the sublime talent of Eveline van Kampen.

Note that 'The Waves' is not available as a CD by itself; it actually comes packaged with a vinyl album, on which there are two additional tracks. Now, that's a twist you were not expecting. Isn't that "Progressive"?

Carl Buxton

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