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progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members.

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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Helloïsse - Fata Morgana - 2001

Helloïse is a Dutch band whose style could be classified as Hard Rock oriented to Power Metal with some Progressiveness. During the mid 80's they were very important in their country becoming very popular. Two great records such as "Cosmogony" and "Polarity" prove so. Transmission Records decided to reedit these two records and seeing the level of popularity they reached again, Helloïse decided to record another album called "A Time and a Place for Everything" that included old songs (finished for this record) and new and more up to date ones. Not a long time after this, two of the band members decide to drop out (bass player and guitarist) for different reasons, and the remaining members are Helloïse Stan Verbraak (vocals), Enrst Van EE (drums) and Ben Blaauw (guitars). Well, these three guys have recorded this album called "Fata Morgana" which we are going to analyze in depth, song by song.

"Secura Prologue": As usual in all the CDs produced by Sasha Paeth, the album opens with an orchestral introduction with choirs in Latin. "Children of the Night" has a catchy rhythm where they combine very well aggressiveness and melody. While I listen to it I realize that they have aimed their style more than I expected to Power Metal. What a surprise! When I reach the third track I realize that they have included a version of the well known song that Barry Ryan made famous, "Elloise". Of course they have added numerous changes mainly in the strength. What to say about this version? The truth is that I am quite surprised because I have loved it. Good work by Stan Verbraak in the vocals. This track is extremely catchy. We carry on taking this CD apart and we come across "World of Make Believe" where they go back to their Hard Rock roots. It's a criticism to today's world that they want to make us believe to be perfect. The fifth song is "The Game and the Rules"; it starts in quite a hard way. Heavy and progressive riffs that show the variety of styles that have influenced them in the making of this CD. Now it's time for a slow song; "Wasted Time" is the typical ballad with love and indifference as the main topic. It is worth mentioning that the chorus is quite commercial. Wake up! "Wings of an Angel" brings us back the strength and we find the first special guest here, the beautiful Lana Lane sings a duet with Mr. Verbraak in this song. "Dream Maker" starts with a kind of native melody that immediately moves on to a harder style. In a way it is noticeable that the band is from the 80's and that they haven't lost the style characteristic of that time. The ninth song is "Mirage"; it is the instrumental track of the album. Here we find the second special guest, the keyboard player Robby Valentine that shows off with various keyboard solos that remind me sometimes of the song "Chaos" of Ayreon. Without realizing the CD has nearly finished and we come across "The Fugitive"; again, a lot of melody and some Hard Rock and progressive influences from the drums. "Secura Reprise" is the ending reprise that finishes the CD just like it started.

To sum up, Helloïse are not very original within their style, but I have to mention their professionalism. Their songs are very well composed and of course their version of the song "Eloise" is incredible. They are not a Progressive Metal band, their style lies between Power Metal and Hard Rock. It is very difficult to be original playing this style of music, but even then Helloïse is a great band and nobody can doubt that. By the way, in the pictures they look more like a Country band than a Heavy Metal band.

Germán Villén - April 2002
rating - Transmission Records

 

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