Sea Of Tranquility

The Web Source for Progressive Rock, Progressive Metal & Jazz-Fusion
  Search   in       
Main Menu

Sound of Strangers: Crossing Borders

Sailing back into the world of classic neo-prog is a dangerous voyage for any band. Many have tried but most crash against the rocks of hackneyed ideas and the slavish adherence to sounds of days gone by. These are not waters for the fainthearted and as such should only be crossed by those with the most skilled hands. Between them Dutchmen Sound of Strangers have many years of progressive rock experience and much though Crossing Borders is a debut, it possesses a certain maturity. Guitarist Paul Krempl (Torrance, Grandview Avenue) leads the way, evoking the tone and style of early Steve Rothery but with the ability to meld those beginnings into different end results, while to say he’s ably backed by bassist Paul Peperkamp and drummer Oscar Alblas (Kong, Navarone and more) would be to do their talents a disservice, the pair are locked in tight, driving the music forward, while also expanding its horizons.

The opening cut on Crossing Borders, “Ocean Sky”, is the perfect illustration of these aspects, thumping drums and roaming bass lines whisking you back to days where jesters shed tears over their scripts - the guitar solo here simply out of this world. It’s keyboard player Ron Mozer (Ulysses, For Absent Friends) who lays down an atmospheric walkway on “Endless Path”, his Hammond organ bolstered by the impassioned vocals of Serge Manee (Black Door Mine) which take you by the hand and lead you on the journey this band have laid out. And a journey it is, Crossing Borders a tale of modern day migration, the tragedies that cause people to take these life changing decisions, the perils they face along the way and the attitudes they encounter from a variety of sources as they do.

It’s a theme never shied away from by the band, with no easy answers sought or found, although there’s no doubt they begin with a view point and see those beliefs through - the clever use of a few voice samples of some extremely notable players at a political level adding to the heady atmosphere. What’s more important is that this concept is wrapped within an expertly crafted set of songs that can’t help but engage the spirit. “Years Of Memories” is slow, meandering but yet still focused and to the point, whereas “The Wake” combines a gritty riff to some surging keys and an embattled chorus that becomes quite the rousing call to arms. With the title track an ever changing shimmer of moods and atmospheres, it’s the slow building “Stateless Ending” and majestic “Fire And Ice” that bring this impressive album to a close, the latter doing so with a confidence that can’t be ignored.

It’s unavoidable to talk of Crossing Borders and not highlight its clear love of early neo-prog bands such as IQ, Pendragon, Pallas and especially the first two-album era of Marillion, but it’s all done with such an honesty and clarity that instead of feeling like a collection of retreaded ideas, what Sound of Strangers have done here is to simply and expertly celebrate a time in music they clearly love.

Track Listing
1. Ocean Sky
2. Endless Night 
3. Years of Memories 
4. The Wake
5. Crossing Borders
6. Stateless Ending 
7. Fire and Ice

Added: July 31st 2023
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Sound of Strangers @ bandcamp
Hits: 1128
Language: english

[ Printer Friendly Page Printer Friendly Page ]
[ Send to a Friend Send to a Friend ]


[ Back to the Reviews Index ]

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
For information regarding where to send CD promos and advertising, please see our FAQ page.
If you have questions or comments, please Contact Us.
Please see our Policies Page for Site Usage, Privacy, and Copyright Policies.

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all other content Sea of Tranquility

SoT is Hosted by