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TDW: The Haunts

This is the first album I have listened to from of this progressive metal band from The Netherlands, and I am quite impressed. Upon hearing their fifth release entitled The Haunts I was hard pressed to compare their sound with other bands as they are a pretty unique outfit. If I were forced to make some comparisons, Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Dream Theater come to mind. TDW do not really sound like any of those bands but their music has similar qualities such as excellent musicianship (but never over indulgent), outstanding vocals (even the odd death growl) and a great sense of melody. I would call this music progressive metal but not in the standard sense. They also throw straight progressive rock, power metal and even some indie into the mix that makes for a very interesting listen and one that I never found boring, not for an instant.

This is a concept album about a fictional character named Juan who has a condition known as HSP (highly sensitive person). He feels emotions more intensely than other people which leads to inner turmoil and confusion. This is his story as he ventures into the world in the year 2006. Juan finds it very difficult in dealing with these emotions and it eventually leads to his destruction.

The music presented here is top quality. There are some fantastic guitar riffs along with plenty of keyboards which add the necessary atmosphere to give the songs plenty of depth. The opening song "Chameleon" starts with some catchy riffs and some eerie sounding keys reminding me of Mike Oldfield's theme to The Exorcist. Tom de Wit has a pleasing voice with hardly a trace of an accent and unlike some artists who sing outside of their native language his command of English is very good. "Wake Up Call, Part 1" is a mellow, softer number which emphasizes the softer side of Tom's voice and leads directly into "2006 AD" which contains neat processed voice samples (that's what it sounds like to me) and some ominous synth work. "The Haunts", the album's longest tune, at over thirteen minutes, has a lot to offer. Heavy riffs, a smattering of keys, sinuous synth lines, plenty of tempo changes and even some death growls that coincide nicely with the more melodic side of Tom de Wit's voice make this one of the musical highlights.

I enjoyed all the songs on offer here making this a recommended album, especially for those who are into metal and/or progressive metal and do not mind the occasional dose of Indie thrown in for good measure. Album highlights include "Chameleon" and "The Haunts". Well done gentlemen!


Track Listing:
1) Chameleon (5:11)
2) Wake Up call, Part 1 (1:12)
3) 2006 AD (2:15)
4) Home (4:59)
5) The Bright Child (7:04)
6) Desert Of Memories (4:27)
7) The Daze (6:47)
8) Wake Up Call, Part 2 (5:34)
9) The Haunts (13:23)

Added: October 20th 2008
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: The Band's Website
Hits: 2122
Language: english

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