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Arrival

a Studio release
by
Majestic

Release Year: 2009

Date Label Catalog # Comments
All music written and performed by Jeff Hamel.
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 9/2/2009 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 8/25/2011 3:10:00 AM by: Rob
  1. Gray (22:38)
  2. Wish (9:12)
  3. Glide (9:36)
  4. Arrival (36:04)
    1. Echo of Spheres
    2. Manifest
    3. Dawn
Jeff Hamel
all performances and all compostions
With:
    Jessica Aasche
    vocals

Reviewed by Nuno on 28 Dec 2009


With Arrival, Jeff Hamel continues using the label majestic to pursuit his musical imaginary. This time around he mixes his Floydian reminiscences with a more modern and sometimes more metallic sound.
While his usage of the mechanized drumming may need further evolution and sharpness (it sounds too much inorganic), musically wise this is a well achieved album.

Comprised of only 4 tracks, one of them clocking the 36+ minute mark and other almost 23 minutes long, Arrival breaths progressive rock attitude and commitment all over, and not only on the length of the tracks.
The music, besides relating here and there to a Pink Floyd reminiscent sound, also seems to take some musing ideas from such contemporary bands as Ayreon (and everything Arjen Lucassen related), Porcupine Tree and some heavier (melodic prog-metal) bands (my friend Hugo Flores several projects comes to mind now and then). Jeff takes his time when exploring the ambiances he proposes, therein resulting such long tracks that, nevertheless and in the good spirit of prog rock, are full of changes in direction, dynamics, tempos and rhythms.
Playing with intensity, velocity and melody, Jeff has accomplished a strong and robust sound (with the aforementioned drum machine minor problem). He is perfectly capable of putting out a group of long yet consistent and never boring tracks. And if in the opening Gray he shows his heavier and more aggressive side, Jeff easily shifts to a softer and subtler sound in Wish. From there he swifts back to heavier pastures and then back again, playing with intensity while adjusting layers to the resulting sound.
The vocals are majorly provided by guest appearance Jessica Aashe, and they result very well, as her voice easily fits the music presented here, independently of its intensity and heaviness.

This is an album to be discovered by those who like the contemporary proposition of Floydian reminiscences applied in a heavier package, as hard progsters, prog-metallers and those who just like such outfits as Ayreon, Stream of Passion, Project Creation, Sonic Pulsar, Jupiter Society and other prog-with-a-step-in-metal bands will certainly find a lot of interesting stuff in this release. Not something to rival (at least yet) with the mentioned names, but interesting nevertheless.