Band Website: www.silhouetteband.nl
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 2012
The thing that immediately hit me as I started listening to the latest musical offering from Netherlandís Silhouette is how much it reminded me of late seventies era Barclay James Harvest! I guess it was the acoustic guitar and vocals, but wow it took me back. Silhouette formed in the early 2000ís and is made up of Brian de Graeve (guitar, vocals), Jos Uffing (drums, vocals), Erik Laan (keyboards, vocals) and GJ Bloemink (bass). Across the Rubicon is the third CD from the band and is a wonderful dose of eighties inspired symphonic prog thatís hard not to like.
Across the Rubicon features eight tracks and besides my early recognition of the Barclay James Harvest feel thereís also a well-developed eighties symphonic vibe that has been updated to modern sensibilities. Three of these compositions are just over eleven minutes and are full of dramatic music full of grand crescendos and climaxes; huge swells of music that cascade into more introspective parts. The bandís core sound focuses on the softer side of the symphonic genre, incorporating some nice acoustic guitar throughout. The songs themselves are highly melodic, lush with keyboard backing. Even the shorter songs are rich with instrumentation and are usually of a more major-chord feel, and perhaps a bit more upbeat in nature. Itís the longer songs where the bandís prog compositional chops are on full display. They tend to be more dramatic and expansive. They also reserve their harder guitar parts as accents or transitions between the longer songís multiple segments. There is almost a story-telling feel to these songs. Oh and did I mention even some beautiful Mellotron makes an appearance here and there reinforcing a pleasant sense of nostalgia. I will sum up by saying the music of Across the Rubicon has a very modern feel even though itís influences are from the late seventies or early eighties.
Silhouette create music that is instantly recognizable as classic symphonic prog and are not ashamed of that in any way. And while some will want to tag the band as not as not offering anything new I think thatís a postmodern mistake. The band clearly love their craft, and work hard to make great music. Thatís whatís on display on Across the Rubicon. I heartily recommend Silhouette to symphonic prog fans everywhere.