Flamborough Head

Defining the Legacy

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The Netherlands' Flamborough Head released the follow-up to Unspoken Whisper in late 2000. Defining the Legacy is a big step forward for this neo-prog outfit; the music is more assured, tight, and energy-packed, while the band's signature becomes more obvious. Of course, the usual neo-prog ingredients are there: catchy melodies over pompous keyboard parts, songs moving from one section to the next but not requiring virtuosic talents, occasional guitar solos, and a theatrical singer. Siebe-Rein Schaaf's voice is powerful but he tends to scream too much (another band on Cyclops, Grey Lady Down, has a singer with the same habit). Guitarist Andre Cents takes more room and brings a crunchier sound to some songs; "Impulse" gets close to heavy metal in some sections. The lyrics, mostly crude and full of anger, seem to relate to a concept -- a young man has a score to settle with his abusive and alcoholic father. The album's magnum opus is the suite consisting of "House of Cards" and "Garden of Dreams," 20 minutes of music that should be enough to consolidate Flamborough Head's status as one of the best European neo-prog acts of the '00s. Defining the Legacy brings nothing new to the genre, but that's OK. It's simply very well done.

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