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(72:36; Unicorn Digital)
Canadian band Huis are back with their third album, and have resolved their issues with not having a keyboard player by bringing on board Johnny Maz who had guested on a number on ‘Neither In Heaven’. The rest of the line-up is the same as it has been all three albums, namely Sylvain Descoteaux (vocals, keyboards, piano, vocal arrangements), Michel St-Pere (guitar, keyboards, mixing), Michel Joncas (bass, bass pedals, keyboards, backing vocals) and William Regnier (drums, percussion, keyboards and acoustic guitar). This is a direct continuation from the last album in many ways, taking the styles from that one and showing just how much control they have within the genre. Lush and comforting, they provide cut through with string guitars, great bass and powerful drums. A couple of guests have also been used to good effect, and the additional piano and female vocals on “We Are Not Alone” make a huge difference. Sylvain has a wonderfully melodic and emotional vocal style reminiscent of John Wetton combined with Steve Hogarth, and the music combines with it to tell a story which is always entrancing and exciting. The band operates on many levels, so while it can be gentle and relaxing in the rhythm section and keyboards, Michel can be really rocking out, or he could pull himself right into the background so he can barely be heard. It is one of those albums when it easy to let the music wash over the listener like a crashing breaker, but one which is warm and inviting as opposed to crushing and chilling. Follow any particular musician and you will be surprised at just how much work is being undertaken, and the variety of styles on offer. However, this is an album where each musician really knows their part and locks in with the others to provide music which is always interesting, always accessible, and just a damn fine listen. This is the third album from Huis, and yet again they have produced something which is enjoyable from the very first note to the very last.
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