Dust Connection, The - The Dust Connection

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 29:45:00

The Dust Connection may seem a completely new band, but when looking at the line-up of the band some familiar names catch the eye: Niels van Dongen (bass), Robert Spaninks (drums) and Martijn Balsters (guitars) used to form the core of symphonic/progmetal band Forever Times. On top of that, Laura van Driel (the former Forever Times singer) is responsible for at least part of the lyrics of the songs. Surprisingly all this doesn't mean the Dust Connection is a continuance of the style of Forever Times.

One of the major differences is obviously the very different style of vocalist. Jeroen Voogd has a very powerful voice and his performance seems to get better with every spin of the disc. Even though I think there is some room for improvement in the mellow vocal parts, Voogd can compete with the best during the powerful passages (which is most of the songs). In the high regions he sounds amazingly similar to Paul Stanley, but fortunately Voogd is versatile enough to create his own pleasant sound.

The change in musical style compared to Forever Times is as drastic as the change in vocal style. The Dust Connection is far more "metal" than I had anticipated: gone is the sympho emphasis, exchanged for some serious crunch and heavy riffing, while the keyboards still have a very important role. The opening track "Armour To Shatter" is a more or less typical prog metal song in the style of bands like Dreamscape. The middle, calm part of this song is for me the only real weak part of the disc: the vocal harmonies are not very charming and the whole thing seems to be a bit too long. The next song "Out Of Nowhere" takes off as a slow-paced ballad, then transforms into a great heavy tune which reminds of the better Psychotic Waltz days, even vocal-wise! It gets even better with "Desert Sessions," which definitely is my favourite track, showing a heavier and at times more technical approach supported by great Ayreon-like keys. The disc is concluded with "Temporary," which is a bit more straight-forward and therefore the catchiest track on the demo.

The songs are lengthy, but except for the first song I have no complaints about that. Overall this material is quite a few steps up from the Forever Times level. The Dust Connection have compiled a solid line-up and their songwriting is diverse but kept identifiable by Voogd's vocals. Both the quality of the music, the decent production of the recording, the original packaging of the disc and their website show that the Dust Connection have serious intentions. And I could use some more of this.

[This review originally appeared January 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Armour To Shatter (6:16) / Out Of Nowhere (6:07) / Desert Sessions (9:17) / Temporary (8:05)

Niels Van Dongen - bass
Robert Spaninks - drums and percussion
Jeroen Voogd - lead vocals
Sander Heerings - keyboards
Martijn Balsters - guitars and vocals

The Dust Connection (demo) (2003)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Erik Van Geel
Artist website: www.thedustconnection.com
Hits: 1376
Language: english


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