In-Tension - Fragments

Year of Release: 2004
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:15:00

Once upon a time, you come across a CD, which, once in your player, does not want to come out. In my case this happened when I listened to the album Fragments by the new progressive rock formation In-Tension. Fragments is the debut album of this young band, of which bassist Robin Zielhorts and guitar player Ruud de Boer will graduate this summer [from] the Dutch Rock Academy. Outside this, all members have played in several bands and gathered the necessary experience. With the first spin of the album, you already hear how talented this band is.

This talent is not just the skill to play and sing well, but it also shows in the rock-solid compositions, which are on the album. Although the album is song orientated, it sounds as a whole, yet varied, as the band knows perfectly to use and mix various styles in the compositions. The overall sound of the band is close to The Gathering, not in the least because of the beautiful voice of singer Noortje van de Voort. I find her voice a nice mix of Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering) and Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn). If you listen well, there are some influences present on the band (in the strong technical play of the band, the spirit of Dream Theater is almost tangible), In-Tension mainly presents you their own sound.

Opener "Unbreakable" sets the atmosphere for the rest of the album: beautiful keyboard play by Nelis van Lierop, heavy riffs by de Boer, a great rhythm section by Maarten Spoor (drums) and Zielhorst, all richly flavoured with the, sometimes, fragile vocals of van de Voort. Fortunately the part of the keyboards is more than just filling up the background; no, the play of van Lierop is quite important in the compositions and is well balanced with the guitar parts. A very beautiful, atmospherical song is "Mind's Illusion," where the piano sound and the warm vocals take the lead. In contrast wit this, the band shows a bit of its dark side in "Frozen Memories," which starts with dark synths, to be followed by fast double bass and crunchy guitar riffs, but then it slides back to soft keyboards, guitars and again the warm voice, making this a very versatile song. Drummer Maarten Spoor really shows he can play anything, from metal to jazz, and together with Robin Zielhorst, puts down a very solid rhythm section.

In-Tension knows how to bring a varied album, with a fantastic sound of their own. Each and every one of the members is a highly talented musician, who do not focus on one style, but show on their debut how versatile they are. Also because of the strong production, done by the band themselves, and assisted by Pieter Kop (who was sound engineer at the live shows of Star One and Erik Norlander), everything sounds crystal clear and none of the parts is snowed under by other parts. Of course there is room for growth for this young band, but there is no doubt we will hear lots more of In-Tension! Highly recommended

[This review originally appeared May 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Unbreakable (4:28) / Dying In My Beauty (5:14) / Too Much Of Anything (4:50) / Mind's Illusion (4:21) / World Of Illusions (3:57) / I Was Wrong (4:11) / I Still Remember (4:16) / Frozen Memories (7:06) / Way (4:04) / Empty (6:48)

Noortje van de Voort - vocals
Ruud de Boer - guitars
Robin Zielhorst - bass
Nelis van Lierop - keyboards
Maarten Spoor - drums

Fragments (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 1042
Language: english


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