Medea - Individual Unique

Year of Release: 2003
Label: independent
Catalog Number: MRK5022
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:13:00

The inspiration for Individual Unique came to composer Henry Meeuws (Casual Silence) when he was on vacation in Florence, Italy, the town of the famous artist Michelangelo. The end result is a concept album/rock opera that can be compared to Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus or Daniele Liverani's Genius: A Rock Opera and has 9 different male and female vocalists. This is the third Medea release, but the first full-length album, as the first two were demos. Henry Meeuws himself wrote the (partly) fictional story and composed the music and played all instruments on the album. His musical roots go all the way back to 1989, when Meeuws was guitarist of the melodic metal band Yarreth, with which they released three demos. In 1998 he went solo with his Medea project and in September 2000 he joined the Dutch progressive rock band Casual Silence.

The story of Individual Unique is set in the Florence of the 18th century and deals with a young, ambitious artist called Enzio. It is a somewhat sad story, but what a way to tell! The album opens with "Ouverture 1564," a keyboard intro followed by a crunchy guitar, which tells you that this is a rock opera with a metal edge. The role of main character Enzio is done by Casual Silence singer Rob Laarhoven and makes his appearance in the second track, "Making The Grade," an excellent rock song with some nice orchestration, harmony vocals and again that heavy guitar riff. The song ends with a beautiful keyboard solo, which flows into "Silhouette And Monuments," one of the best songs on the album, a passionate ballad with vocals that will give you goose bumps and in the second part of the song the guitar comes back in.

"'Day' And 'Night'" is a very progressive song, which starts with a keyboard intro and some acoustic guitar, but it develops into a solid rock song with a haunting beat and great theatrical vocals and with room for some keyboard orchestration and a great guitar solo. Also the various other vocalists fit in very well with the parts they sing, although the singers cannot always be discerned from one another. "The Blind One Leads The Way" starts with a very heavy riff, a rock song with a metal edge as also the vocals are a bit over the top, but still very good. The pass is slowed down with the ballad "Tell Me...," where the guitar is gone and the piano is back, and again vocals that give you goose bumps. And in the second half of the song, the drums, bass and guitar crash back in to give the song a boost. "FuGa" is originally composed by J.S. Bach, but Henry Meeuws has turned it into a good rock song that would make J.S Bach proud! Rolls of drums introduce the next song, "Mirror Man," but after a while. Meeus opens up all registers and the song rocks! This song has a nice touch in the form of an acoustic guitar in the middle of the heavy drums and crunchy electric guitar, and has again the metal edge, and has even a small hint of the popular nu-metal sound (Limp Bizkit, Linkin' Park). The song has a guitar solo that made the hairs in my neck stand straight. The last song "A Dream Left Behind," will leave a huge impression, as this is a very passionate and emotional song where Rob Laarhoven sings a beautiful duet with Marina van der Aa, accompanied by Henry Meeuws on acoustic guitar. This song is a perfect closing song and in one word: perfect.

If you ever have the chance to go to a Casual Silence concert, do it as you might hear a Medea song pass by! Medea's Individual Unique is a fantastic album and it definitely exceeded my expectations, as this album has everything: metal guitar riffs, great rock songs and passionate ballads, superb melodies and a nice story. This album should be in everybody's music collection, as the compositions are very good and the production is also very good. Henry Meeuws is a multi-instrumentalist who understands his instruments very well and he also knows how to pick his singers, as the all sound very good, some even superb. On the Casual Silence website you can read more on Medea and also there you can order the album. I strongly suggest you do that, as you will not be disappointed!

Similar bands: Dream Theater

[This review originally appeared May 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Ouverture 1564 (4:43) / Make The Grade (4:47) / Silhouette Of Monuments (5:23) / 'Day' & 'Night' (9:52) / The Blind One Leads The Way (6:26) / Tell Me... (8:52) / FuGa (2:04) / Mirror Man (8:36) / A Dream Left Behind (4:26)

Henry Meeuws - guitars, keys, drum programming
Rob Laarhoven - vocals
Ernst Le Cocq D'Armandville - vocals
Eric Smits - vocals
Marina Van Der Aa - vocals
Marcel Van Den Boogaert - vocals
Maurice Fende - vocals
Loes Jansens - vocals
Desiree De Greef - vocals
Richard Verhoeven - vocals
Ruud Kohlen - as Michelangelo

Individual Unique (2003)
Room XVII (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: January 7th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 601
Language: english


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