Five years ago I reviewed the album “Across the Rubicon” of the Dutch band Silhouette and I categorized it as a good sounding and well balanced album full of fine Neo-Prog and that the album definitely would find it’s way to the lovers of melodic Symphonic Rock. In the year 2014 the band released “Beyond the Seventh Wave”. An album that was very well received in the progressive rock community and won the iO Pages award for Best Progressive CD of the Benelux. A special performance of that album was captured for the live CD/DVD set “Staging the Seventh Wave”. Last month Progress Records, the label of the late Hansi Cross, released the new and fifth studio album of Silhouette which carries the ingenious title “The World is Flat (and other alternative facts)” that was recorded between January and June 2017.
Brian de Graeve - lead and backing vocals, 12 String guitar; Daniel van der Weijde - electric and acoustic guitars; Erik Laan - lead and backing vocals, keyboards, bass pedal; Rob van Nieuwenhuijzen - drums and percussion; Jurjen Bergsma - bass guitar, backing vocals
Chantal van den Dungen - flute; Petruschka Schaafsma - hobo; Sophie Zaaijer - violin; Ger Otten - French Horn; Joke Laan Morsch - Additional soprano vocals; Marjolein de Graeve - backing vocals
You will find six compositions on “The World is Flat”. One of those compositions is a real epic of eighteen minutes, more about this later. The album opens with a song called “March Of Peace”. I find this a typical Silhouette song with nice vocal parts and catchy vocal refrains on a bed of keyboard layers, a steady rhythm section and tingling electric guitar injections. A nice up-tempo opener you would categorize as Neo Prog. But Silhouette is much more than that. Listening to the following song “The Flow” you will notice that the band that has now a steady lineup has developed further on a compositional level. In “The Flow” you can find wonderful melodies and the band integrated the classical instruments of their guests perfectly into their music. Keyboardist Erik Laan and lead guitarist Daniel van der Weijde sting out with their fine contributions. And those classical instruments gives the song the needed diversity. With a beautiful piano parts the song goes seamlessly into the following track “Six feet Underground”. As always the vocal parts are well taken care of in the music of Silhouette. With Brian de Graeve the band is blessed with a good vocalist. Again you will find wonderful instrumental parts in this song. The synths and guitars are competing with each other in the last part of this great track.
Talking about great tracks, the following track “Symphony For A Perfect Moment” is a real epic of almost eighteen minutes and is absolutely the highlight of this wonderful release. The suite is divided into the parts “A Perfect Moment”, “Keep the Memory Alive”, “Lost Diaries”, “Lucid Dreams” and “The Promise”. “A Perfect Moment” has a strong opening with nice guitar work and multi-voice singing and lovely keyboard orchestrations. The instrumental parts are very nice with melodic guitar solo’s, a Hammond organ part and a synth solo. Together with the strong and melodic vocal parts the band sounds mature. You can enjoy the vocal melodies in the part In “Keep the Memory Alive” and the instrumental part “Lost Diaries” has nice aggressive guitar work. The diverse part “Lucid Dreams” and the finale “The Promise” which are composed by Erik Laan are the highlights of this epic for me. The album closes with two shorter tracks. The first one is called “Sakura” and is a beautiful classical oriented acoustic guitar piece accompanied only by tasteful keyboards. The last piece “Turn It Off” opens with the classical sounds of the hobo, French horn and violin. It is a delicate song with nice vocal parts and beautiful hobo and flute parts. I like those classical elements, they are perfectly integrated into the music of Silhouette.
Well this fifth studio album from our own Dutch progressive rock band Silhouette is a very strong album. The band has grown in the compositional department. Every member has his own input and the young members are responsible for a fresh wind in the music. Guitarist Daniel van der Weijde is playing not only the more aggressive and metal influenced electric guitar parts and the melodic stuff but is also responsible for the beautiful classical guitar parts in his own composition “Sakura”. This said I would also mention keyboardist and composer Erik Laan. He is the driving force behind the beautiful epic “Symphony for a Perfect Moment”. For me absolutely the highlight of this wonderful album. This is food for the lovers of melodic Symphonic Rock / Neo Prog.