Third flight of fantasy for Dutch visionaries renders their reverie celestial and pulls it down.
The sky’s the limit for this quintet who refuse to be restrained by progressive idiom yet work within its frontiers, sometimes pushing the envelope but often getting down to a melodious detail for the sake of beauty. That’s the case here, on the album which, alluding to Gabriel García Márquez’s classic, measures the distance between heaven and the underworld, the endpoints of an inquiring mind’s journey. The trip begins with the epic “The Curious One” ushered in and out with arrestingly funereal guitar and sprinkled with abstract noise on the way to the cosmic waves of Moog, but the escapism takes a poignant turn once Tom Luchies extracts acoustic strum under his soft voice, before Wabe Wieringa’s wah-wah’s and Rik Van Honk’s synthesizers attack the serenity until Hammond brings the battle to a halt and a silver piano pours into the silence.
“Elegy Of A Solitary Giant” grows from the same place, although it offers more cinematic spectacle, new vistas unfolding when Van Honk’s brass enriches the flow, and the short “Jim’s Ride To Hell” marries a rock ‘n’ roller-coaster groove to Spanish-tinged symphonic slalom, yet “Revolutions” tries to ride a soul train only to fall under its weight. In its turn, “Tides” pushes forward, somehow losing its momentum, the metronomic unit of Guus Van Mierlo’s bass and Christiaan Bruin’s drums, whereas the telepathic interplay takes a back seat to the chorale and lyrical vocalise in “Wormholes” where funk and a fair carousel rule the game. The finale comes with “Traveller’s Last Candle” that employs spoken word and arena chant for an arguably otherworldly experience and ups the overall adventurousness level, but at this point one may really want to get out of here and spend some time alone: it’s good while it lasts, albeit the quest feels somehow unfulfilled.