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Huis: Despite Guardian Angels

"Huis" means "house" in Dutch is a 5-man French-Canadian symphonic progressive band out of Montreal. Originally formed by Pascal Lapierre (keys) and Michel Joncas (bass, keys), they added 3 more musicians to fill out the band. I've had this in hand now for nearly a week, have played it every day, and like it more each time I do. It is a very strong inaugural effort. The band switches seamlessly between instrumentals and vocal symphonic efforts, and as is often the case in the best of prog, there are myriad time changes, orchestral-sounding songs and pointed lyrics. My take positions them toward bands such as Rhapsody and Symphony X, but with a more lyrical approach to composing and instrumentation. Songs are usually driven by the keyboards, but the guitar often soars over all of the sound, and at times is used to really ramp up the tempo and drive of a given composition.

The disc begins with "Beyond the Amstel." This starts out somber and slow, with a dripping sounds in the background over which are put voices, piano and keyboard. Piano and guitar then take over, making a grand opening for the record. "Haunted Nights" is a brief song, but it swings and moves like a mofo. It's all angular and jagged. "The Last Journey" is more symphonic and epic, in sound if not in length. I have to say, I hear elements of Genesis in this, and just gorgeous singing. "Oude Kerk I" is a song with soaring guitar, meshed with beautiful keyboards. I could go on.

Suffice it say, this is a very fine disc. It's a great release, and it bodes well for the future of both the band members and progressive music in general. No matter where you fall in "nichifying" yourself with prog rock, this is a winner. I'm a Zeuhl fanatic, but I love it. You will, too.

Track Listings

  1. Beyond the Amstel
  2. Haunted Nights
  3. The Last Journey
  4. Oude Kerk 1
  5. Lights and Bridges
  6. Little Anne
  7. If By Morning
  8. Oude Kerk 2
  9. Write your Name
  10. Salvation
  11. Garden of Dust

Added: January 29th 2014
Reviewer: Dana Lawrence
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3515
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Huis: Despite Guardian Angels
Posted by Kelly Welsh on 2014-08-01 05:35:13
My Score:

Symphony X /Rhapsody.Sounds nothing like them.Neo-prog at its very best.Recommended!

Huis: Despite Guardian Angels
Posted by PL on 2014-03-06 11:46:47
My Score:

Just listened to this album, very very impressive song writing.
But it sounds nothing like Rhapsody or Symphony X - more like Knight Area...

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