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(52:00; Bad Elephant Music)
Apparently Joost has been recording and performing with different bands since 2002, but I believe this is the first time I have come across any of his music. What makes this stand out is just how many different styles are being incorporated within the album, and while one can point at one song and say that he has been influenced by Saga, another is far more towards Cardiacs while he isn’t afraid to use acoustic guitar when the time is right which adds yet another dimension to the piece. But, this isn’t a solo album, as he has brought in a range of guests to help him which include Annie Haslam (who is certainly busy at present as she has recently appeared on something else I have been sent), Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon), Mark Bogert (Knight Area), Sebas Honing (Equisa) and renowned solo artist Ben Craven. Stefan Maas (Equisa) provides drums throughout. The song which features Annie, where she takes some lead vocals, is “Ever After”, which is based on acoustic guitar with wonderful symphonic keyboards adding additional touches and a delicate electric guitar solo. Compare that to the song which follows, “Judith Episode II”, which is Cardiacs combined with some PEH and King Bathmat with neo-prog to create something which is dynamic, special, and so very different to what has gone before. There are even pop style harmonies which have no place at all in a prog number yet are simply superb as they definitely bring in thoughts of City Boy and the mighty 3rdegree. This is poptastic crossover prog which is commercial, accessible, and damn good fun. I keep finding myself smiling while I am playing this album, but I am working hard at keeping a straight promise and won’t let it happen again. Damn, oh well, not my fault this is so enjoyable. Joost Maglev is a new name to me, but one I will be definitely looking out for in the future as this is a superb release and one I am sure I will often be returning to.
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