This young band from the heart of The Netherlands is my first review, I’m a little nervous, because I've never done anything like this before. I strive to look for the best in things and wanted to accentuate the positive while still being honest.
Fortunately made it easy for me with their debut CD 'Incarcerated". From the professionally made digipak on, it’s clear this trio is on a positive mission. Using their own resources, not having a label, they’ve managed to record, produce and release this nice gem. I hear a lot of influences in their music (new & old), none seems overwhelming, but tastefully woven throughout.Impassioned,thought provoking lyrics, well crafted songs, strong performances from all band members.
The band consists of Francois Koopmans(Guitar,Bass,Vocals), Lucas Kruiswijk(Keyboards, Vocals) and Rob Van Nieuwenhuijzen(Drums, Percussion).
1. "Ultimate Sin” Starts out soft, nice acoustic piano. Then the song kicks in to a higher gear with some nice snarly metallicky guitar riffage, some segments that remind me of Nektar, Lucas's lead vocals are pleasant, nice and clean, no growls, some tasty piano interludes interspersed to soften the sound, Rob’s drums provide a steady rhythm, and at the right moment there's a tasty guitar solo from Francois (also contributing some good vocal harmony).The lyrics are somewhat dark, the protagonist singing of facing his demons, wrestling with self destructive thoughts of committing the” Ultimate Sin",lying to himself, The ambition is there, but the self doubt gets in the way.
2. More metal than prog is how I would describe “Silence Must Break” I’d like to add a word of caution, I was driving around listening to this turned up loud, in the song there is a sample of dialog from the movie "12 Monkeys” It startled me, I thought the police were pulling me over. Loud is how this song needs to be played though, the mood is darker, the vocals are angrier, a little more pump on the bass drum, and some really skilled guitar work throughout with a great solo thrown in. What surprised me was the proggy organ solo, a nice touch.
3. Being a trio is bound to invite comparisons with bands like Rush, That being said "Tribulations" has a nice classic prog rock feel with the emphasis on the rock. Lucas’s heartfelt vocals are strong, not accented at all, very clear and his keyboards really balance the metal. Some time signature changes here and there keep things interesting. This song is fast becoming a favourite. Once again the lyrics lean towards melancholia, very introspective, but never without hope.
4. In the cd booklet under the listing of "Remnants Of The Past” is a photo of a cemetery. This instrumental does have the sounds of the past represented while offering us a glimpse of the future. Reminiscent of early Dream Theater combined with Sieges Even for an 8 minute thrill ride.
5. I immediately liked the acoustic ballad” Nothing Left”. This song really is cued for my ear by having a strong Creed/Alice In Chains-ish vibe, The haunting lyrics continue the theme present throughout the album of fear, frustration, feelings of failure, followed by an awakening of hope. Nice short song, very accessible, if I was to pick a "single", this song would be it.
6."Abeyance” is defined as a state of temporary suspension, or an incomplete or undetermined state of existence. The band didn't hold back at all here, clocking in at over 9 minutes, this tune ties all of the songs on the album together nicely, is that a Mellotron I hear under that metal exterior? Emotional lyrics again, soft passages and chunky metal riffs all leading to a plaintive piano outro,Very nice. It rocks!
"Incarcerated” grows on you, each song is memorable, I know I'll be listening to this one a lot. There is enough Prog for me, And a lot for me to bang my head and play air guitar to. One of my 17 year old sons friends asked me who this band is, he really liked it & said he wished the radio stations would play music like this. I’ll have to agree. Overall an excellent introduction to Incidence, I look forward to hearing more.
Reviewed by Chris Erbeck on July 3rd, 2011