Ayreon – 01011001 – Live Beneath The Waves

Arjen Lucassen wrote the Ayreon album ‘01011001’ in 2007. Since he never intended to perform it live, he could make it as complicated as he wanted. He did so, not only in terms of complex arrangement, but also by the amount of vocalists/musicians. Ayreon’s live shows are rare, but always a great spectacle. So was … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Armed Cloud – Nimbus

Dutch prog metal band Armed Cloud will launch ‘Nimbus’, their fourth album, on 25 May. Nimbus comes from cumulonimbus, aka thunderclouds. This is the band’s darkest and heaviest album to date. The sound at the start of ‘Safety Word’ is a bit duller than expected. The metal could have “thundered” a bit more. Still, the … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Lucassen & Soeterboek’s Plan Nine – The Long Lost Songs

The basis of ‘The Long Lost Songs’ are tapes of bluesy demos from some 30 years ago, played in by Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) and Robert Soeterboek (The Cotton Soeterboek Band). Robert’s voice has a pleasantly mild rough rasp. The quality of the backing vocals are good, but occasionally a bit sweet in sound. The predictable … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Theo van Niel Jr. – Self-Education

‘Self-Education’ is the second solo instrumental album by multi-instrumentalist Theo van Niel Jr. The extraordinary ‘Introduction’ makes me curious about ‘Anxiety Express’. In this up-tempo track, blackjazz plays saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby. This forms a beautiful combination/alternation between the rock/metal. The atmosphere in ‘Sierra’ is very different, more summery. Again, there are unexpected twists and details. … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Rick Miller – One Of The Many

‘One Of The Many’ is the new progressive rock album by singer and multi-instrumentalist Rick Miller. The album cover reveals that the digital world features in the lyrics. ‘Atrophy’ is about brain atrophy, the surreal atmosphere fits this well. The sweet (stacked) vocals are characteristic of Rick. Most tracks contain remarkable sampling, appropriate to the … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Jon Amor Trio – The Turnaround

Singer/guitarist Jon Amor became known for ‘The Hoax’. He plays with DVL, Guy Forsyth’s band. In addition, with his Jon Amor Blues Group and solo, Jon released several albums. Recently, Jon Amor Trio’s ‘The Turnaround’ was released. This debut album features 11 blues-rock, roots rock songs, including a few covers. For example, ‘Tonight I’m Gonna … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Poor Genetic Material – Possibilities

In autumn 2023, Poor Genetic Material released the album ‘Elswhere’. This additional release was with a smaller line-up. The band remains in its full line-up. ‘Possibilities’ is their new album. This album has not only the band’s signature elements, but also new ideas. The title track has a very soft, instrumental intro. Slowly it gets … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Henrik Freischlader played modest but intense at De Bosuil

Henrik Freischlader has played at De Bosuil several times. The last time was just over a year ago. Sunday afternoon 21 April he was back in Weert (The Netherlands). This time with a another bass player. The regular bass player, Armin Alic was ill. Fortunately, René Pütz was able to fill in at the very … Read more, available in English and Dutch

The Bardic Depths – What We Really Like In Stories

Stories and books are the theme on ‘What We Really Like In Stories’. Each song is dedicated to a writer from a variety of time frames. Like Alan Moore (Batman, among others) and Tolkien, and authors from the beginning of the last century.Three of the four band members are multi-instrumentalists. The cinematic opening is very … Read more, available in English and Dutch

Violet Eternal – Reload The Violet

Violet Eternal is a new, international national melodic metal band. It consists of guitarist Jien Takahashi (Majustice) and vocalist Ivan Giannini (Vision Divine and Derdian). ‘Reload The Violet’ is their debut album. Guest musicians include guitarist/keyboardist Gabriel Guardian (Immortal Guardian) and drummer Ryuya Inoue. The album opens gently, the turn to metal and the ending … Read more, available in English and Dutch