Even though Eternal Dignity is the debut album of young Dutch band Day Six, they definitely aren't newcomers. They were musically active for quite some time under the name Peanuts, before they decided to play heavy progressive rock with sweeping symphonic and hammond-like synths, powerful rhythm work and a very emotive singer. Recorded almost three years ago, this disc came to my attention when I heard Progman Records was distributing it in the USA and the CD was available on various prog vendors.
Day Six consists of four young and talented musicians, who are barely in their early twenties; and provided that they keep up their good work and further themselves, they have a very bright future in front of them. Eternal Dignity is a very solid debut disc, but lacks a little in the production department. The overall sound of the album is dry and vocalist Robbie van Stiphout's guitars are a bit thin in places. All of this is understandable though, given that the album was self-released. If they choose to work with a professional producer on their second disc, I'm sure they'll gain a much bigger fanbase.
Listening to the album, I often think of 70's bands like Pink Floyd, Kansas and Rush. However, today's acts such as Opeth, Riverside and Porcupine Tree also seem to be meticulously hidden in Day Six's songcraft. All of these bands' touches are very subtle though, or even nonexistent, except for Pink Floyd whose atmospheric feel definitely is
part of the band's songwriting. The third cut, "Dark Tower", perfectly exemplifies this with its Floydian keyboard intro, acoustic guitars and then van Stiphout's vocals that are very evocative of James Labrie's work on Dream Theater's Floyd-inspired "Peruvian Skies", especially during the verses. The song ventures into a heavier mode as Nick Verstappen plays a gorgeous slap-bass in a funky rhythm and closes with very tasteful drumming. Contrary to the guitars and bass, the drum and keyboard sounds of the album are amazing, not to mention the vocals which are the highlight of this disc.
Robbie van Stiphout has a very clean, midrange vocal style. He sings with lots of melody and great conviction. On "The Law of the Web" and the short piece "Water & Stones", he is supported by a great female choir. This choir really lifts the chorus of the songs and it's easily one of the best parts of the album. Each song is stylistically varied: "No-one Lives Forever" marries symphonic keyboards with heavy guitar riffs while "Legend of the Hollow" is characterized by a jazzy bass line, almost thrashy (albeit badly mixed) guitar riffs and sparse 70's keyboards. The interplay on this song is amazing when complemented by the awesome vocal melodies. The title track features the band's Opeth-like moment with constant changes in melody. I particularly enjoy the electric piano during the breakdown.
Day Six are here to stay. It will be interesting to see what they come up with next, and hopefully it will catch many a proghead's attention.
- Legend of the Hollow (10:24)
- The Law of the Web (6:34)
- Dark Tower (6:28)
- No-one Lives Forever (6:50)
- Water & Stones (3:50)
- Day VI (7:57)
- The Crypt (14:27)