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Silhouette: The World Is Flat (And Other Alternate Facts)

Arguably Dutch progressive rockers Silhouette have gone about their business just a little too quietly over the years. The band's fifth studio album, The World Is Flat (And Other Alternate Facts), arriving without the fanfare an outfit that consistently delivers excellent, traditional prog, are due. Album number five may not push any boundaries, or ask too many unexpected musical questions, but what it does do is offer a hugely involving and engaging journey. Unlike some of their previous work, this latest outing from Silhouette isn't conceptual in construction, but as is so often the way, it does ponder similar quandaries across its fifty or so minutes. Operating in a space not that far removed from Spock's Beard territory, there's still an older school aspect to The World Is Flat; some more obvious references from the 70s and 80s plundered on occasion and knowingly so but that doesn't stop much of what's on offer from sounding fresh and forceful.

Employing a twin lead vocal attack, both guitarist Brian de Graeve and keyboard player Erik Laan reveal what has, in recent years, become a classic European prog vocal stance, with the nearest comparison being the rounded, soft but never meek style of RPWL's Yogi Lang. As you might expect from an act revelling in the sounds they do, guitar and keys are the main chosen weapons and yet with a slew of guest musicians providing flute, hobo, violin, french horn and additional vocals (both standard and falsetto) it doesn't take a genius to work out that there's more here than initially meets the eye. Running to just below and then above nine minutes, arguably it is "The Flow" and "Six Feet Underground" that make the strongest initial impression. The former blessed with a multi-faceted approach that darts from the violin and drama of Kansas to the expanse of Spock's Beard, before revealing a Danil van der Weijde guitar solo that, while possessing its own spirit, certainly isn't afraid to borrow the tone and feel of a certain Mr Rothery. "Six Feet Underground" relies more heavily on the Hammond and other keyboard work of Laan to build its base, and possibly becomes the strongest indicator of the strength, power and dexterity of bassist Jurjen Bergema and drummer Rob van Nieuwenhuijzen.

However, even with all that and the opening salvo of "March Of Peace" proving hugely memorable, it's the five part, eighteen minute long "Symphony For A Perfect Moment" that proves the album's centre piece. The collision of 70s, 80s and modern prog a joy to behold as it darts from restrained, focused sections that are all about the subtleties, right through to energetic, jagged romps that allow each band member the room to combine superbly. With the short classical guitar piece "Sakura" both dense and dark, it's "Turn It On" that closes the album out, french horn moving to the fore to offer an unexpected focal point, especially as it jostles with a barking guitar riff for supremacy.

Hopefully The World Is Flat (And Other Alternate Facts) check out the clever album art to find out what's behind that name will be the album to take Silhouette to a wider audience and bring them the attention their music undoubtedly merits. This band have been quietly effective for too long, it's time for them to be bold and loudly declare their intentions, after all, that's exactly what their latest album manages do.

Track Listing
1. March of Peace
2. The Flow
3. Six Feet Underground
4. Symphony for a Perfect Moment
5. Sakura
6. Turn It Off

Added: December 3rd 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Silhouette on bandcamp
Hits: 1860
Language: english

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