Leap Day Netherlands

B25 Prog21
[Solidly Awesome Musicianship6, Solidly Awesome Production6, Solidly Awesome Songwriting6, Beyond Great Composition6 and Excellent Lyrics5]
added by Windhawk
Links:PA
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Review by lukretio published
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C Prog Rock

Not a bad effort, but somewhat lacking originality and diversity.

The 8 songs on Skylge's Lair, the second album by Dutch band Leap Day, have all a definitely melodic neoprog flavour, with a predilection for accessibility and melodiousness over complexity and technicalities.

Featuring two keyboard players in the ensemble, keys and synths play an obviously important role in laying down the texture of the songs and in defining the overall sound of the album. Unfortunately, the type of sound that is often chosen by the keyboardists is not entirely to my taste and it sounds slightly outdated. Guitarist Eddie Mulder also features prominently on the album and does a very fine job, especially in the soulful solos and guitar breaks that abound in all songs. There are also several exchanges between guitar and keyboards, with the latter used to repeat melodic lines first proposed by the guitar, and vice versa. However, in my opinion this does not always work as intended and results quite monotonous at times. Jos Harteveld's voice is convincing in the quieter passages, but not that much when the songs gain pace and would demand a more powerful approach. In fact, I believe that the vocal department is the weakest link on the album, and I am afraid to say that I enjoy much more the instrumental parts (such as the title track) than the ones that contain vocal melodies.

Overall, Skylge's Lair is a decent album, and I certainly enjoyed spinning it a couple of times. However, it does not do enough for me in terms of originality (this sounds too much as a standard 80s/90s neoprog release to be considered an 'excellent addition to any prog rock music collection') and diversity (most of the songs have similar sounds, pace, and structure, with the poppish ballad Road To Yourself and the short acoustic instrumental Humble Origin being welcomed exceptions).

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