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(71:54; Freia Music)
I first came across the debut album by this Dutch band in 2012, some two years after its initial release. Freia Music have now come onboard and here we have a tenth anniversary reissue which has been remastered and remixed, to bring the album up to date with what the band believes is the current sound, and they have added additional versions of songs on the album (one live, one acoustic, and one demo). I was a fan when I reviewed it first time around (although sadly I have not heard any of their albums since then) and coming back to it again all these years later I find myself asking some of the questions I was asking back then, such as wondering how on earth can this be a debut, which is quickly followed by what on earth is this music doing in the 21st century? The reason for the latter question is that this is prog that has been heavily influenced in all the right ways by the Seventies and the only way I can describe it is by calling it 'open'. This is music that just begs the listener to come in, sit down and relax in the comfy armchair while being blown away by incredible multi-layered music that is somehow immediate and compelling. Back then I said it had been a while since I heard anything from Holland as exciting as this, and it took me back to the days when a parcel from Holland meant the next set of promos from the much-missed SI Music, and knowing that there would be music within to surprise and delight. These guys obviously know their prog, and there are a whole host of influences (although the madcap section within 'Russian Wisdom' owes more to a polka band than it does a prog act!), with Gentle Giant probably have the biggest influence (and in my book that can never be a bad thing). Mark Wilkinson provided the artwork, and they have made just a minor change to the design of the title, so it is clear this is different to the original from 2010. It is still one of the most exciting debuts I have come across in recent years, and hopefully this reissue by Freia Music will get them new recognition.
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