Like Wendy - The Storm Inside

Year of Release: 1998
Label: LaBraD 'or Records
Catalog Number: LBD 040003
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:11:00

When this disc starts spinning, the heartbeat-like pulse and backing synth might hint at a revisit of Pink Floyd 's Dark Side Of The Moon, but with a sudden change in tone, the album reveals its neo-prog leanings. Like Wendy -- which is, for all intents and purposes, a solo project of Dutch multi-instrumentalist Bert Heinen -- fits snugly within the neo-prog territory of bands like IQ and Marillion, although it tends to be more laid back than the former and more progressive than the latter. You can often hear Genesis, too, in these tracks, as well as a touch of Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream.

Most of the tracks open with slow beats, relaxing melodies, and drifting guitar and keyboard. However, more progressive bits, featuring Genesis-style keyboard textures, accompanied by Hackett-like melodic guitar solos, emerge from the quieter moments. The song "Birth," for example, begins with a placid vocal backed by picked guitar chords and floating keys. The pace picks up with moody rhythm guitar and drum-guitar-keyboard punches before a Tangerine Dream-like electronic section, overlaid with a Gilmore-esque guitar solo, takes over. The track builds to a hard-driving section with synth and guitar solos trading off. Finally, the meter slows for its closing section featuring acoustic guitar and vocals.

Another case in point, "Another Day," starts off reminiscent of Genesis, with a laid-back vocal backed by piano, chorus-like keys, and synths. Then the full "band" comes in with chunking guitar and a melodic lead-guitar melody under the vocal. The instrumental section features a synth solo with lush background keys and a throbbing beat. Vocal and instrumental sections trade off until a melodic guitar solo closes out the track.

The pattern followed by the previously described tracks is typical for the long songs on the album. The shorter tracks, especially "Falling Star" and "Prince X," draw from present-day (i.e. with Steve Hogarth) Marillion, except for the latter 's concluding section, which sounds a heck of a lot like the ending to the Beatles 's magnificent "I Want You (She 's So Heavy)" -- so much so that it almost has to be a deliberate nod to the masters. The song "Never Abandon" also sounds like Marillion until its Genesis-inspired ending.

This is an album filled with beautiful vocal melodies and lavish symphonic arrangements, peppered with energetic instrumental passages. All in all, a satisfying listen and a mature work, especially considering that it 's Like Wendy 's first album. (As of this writing, there have been two subsequent Like Wendy releases.) Anyone who likes the softer side of bands like Genesis, IQ, and Marillion will want to add this CD to their collection.

Blue Velvet Skies (5:58) / Another Day (10:45) / Falling Star (3:17) / Birth (10:38) / Prince X (5:38) / The Storm Inside (12:41) / Never Abandon (6:07) / Shine On Memory (10:19)

Bert Heinen - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Mariln - drums, keyboards

The Storm Inside (1998)
Rainchild (1999)
Tales From Moonlit Bay (2000)
Summer In Eden (2002)
Endgame (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: April 25th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 1550
Language: english


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