iO Pages, November 2012
Reviewer : Menno von Brucken Fock

Review - The Waves

A good half year after the intended releasedate the new album of gitarist/composers Eveline van Kampen's brainchild has found a home at the very young and new Dutch label: Freia Music.
Thanks, amongst others, to the arrival of keyboardist/gitarist/midi-specialist Gerton Leijdekker (S.O.T.E.) the development of this band can be called fervent. There is even more depth and variation in the compositions, that are mostly written in 'difficult', non standard, time signatures. A characteristic that that will make a lot of people describe this as 'intelligent prog'.
Esther Ladiges' voice, that you would sooner expect at a jazz or folk ensemble, might not speak to everyone, but that's highly personal of course; I find it a very unusual combination that works really well.
The nifty bassplaying of Peter Boer (also S.O.T.E. and now including basspedals!) , the crafty and versatile drumming of Rutgers and especially the big jump forward in the keyboard playing of Leijdekker, who also handles the guitar impressively, are an important support for the nimble-fingered Eveline van Kampen.
We find several pieces insired by Spanish music and Evelines connection to China is further emphasized because of the use of the Chinese spike fiddle (Erhu), while guest musician Pearl Cheng is heard playing the Chinese zither. Next to the guitarsounds that we know from Hunting for Significance, Eveline also uses other sounds which influences this in favor of this new album.
The variation between symphonic, jazzy and heavy together with the more often used 'close harmony' vocals are a breath of fresh air amids all the little original retro-prog bands and the abundance of female fronted metal bands, however good they may be. The beautiful symphonic parts, the acoustic pieces, the bridges, the subtle alterations in style, everything fits the progressive 'label', but then with its own face and interpretation.
Illumion cannot be compared to anything and that is, in this day and age, a formidable achievement.
Arjen Lucassen (his voice features on Mystify) lends a hand to this album which says enough about the quality. A further guest appearance is for trumpet player Wouter Hakhoff.
The album is available as a CD with 9 or a double LP with 11 tracks, so that's 2 extra.
A splendid achievement of this young Dutch band!