Ken's Novel - The Guide

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Big Sky Music, dist. by Musea Records
Catalog Number: 5B4MM
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:21:00

Two years ago I got to know this new Belgian sensation when they performed during a prog festival in Corbigny, France. They had just recorded a demo tape and were looking for a deal. Like I have done with so many promising new acts, I informed them about ALL the labels and told them about both the positive and negative aspects. In the end the band decided to clinch a deal with Big Sky Music, a small company launched by Vincent Fis, one time guitarist/singer with the band Now. With the help of some Now-members and friends from the band Machiavel, the band learned a lot of know-how in order to make their debut album The Guide a true sensation.

For me it remains difficult to be 100% objective as I have already known more than half of the songs on this album for over two years, which means the surprise effect is gone. That's why I can honestly say that for a listener who has never before in his/her life heard the music of Ken's Novel, this album will sound even more powerful, even more professional. The band has worked hard, very hard, in order to make this debut a real treat in every respect. The band wanted their calling card to be one you simply couldn't miss even if the end result costs eight times as much as the debut by Dutch fellow proggers Flamborough Head!

The band's trademark without any doubt is singer Patrick Muermans. His original voice flows very well with the rest of the music which has its influences in Marillion, Queensryche (listen to the heavy guitars in "Homeland"), Pendragon, Arena, Saga, Styx, Janison Edge and other BIG names from the "neo-prog" scene. In fact the band tries to create different atmospheres with their compositions, trying to put you from one mood into another. The band even dares to introduce some world music (intro for "Power And Dignity"), which means the band gets close to the sound of Simple Minds (the same applies to "Rumor Of War," which includes a terrific synth solo). "Power And Dignity" also has a very catchy chorus.

From a technical point of view everything has been done to make this album indeed a very powerful one. Listen to "Shielded," where the voice has been changed by means of a vocoder.

I am convinced that Ken's Novel will be one of the first Belgian bands that will do well abroad. Do very well! Now go out and buy a copy of this superb album so that the band can start booking that studio for a sequel!

The Guide (9:02) / Guilty Witnesses (5:31) / Homeland (8:16) / Power and Dignity (7:42) / Be Yourself Again (7:59) / Thorny Present (1:09) / Rumour of War (6:16) / Shielded (4:58) / In Disgrace (1:28) / A Matter of Pride (4:58)

Patrick Muermans - lead and backing vocals, drums and keyboard programming
Eric Vanderbemden - acoustic and electric guitars
Bernard Piette - keyboards
Geoffrey Leontiev - drums, percussion, and keyboard programming
Jacky Giglio - backing vocals
Daphn? Legrand - backing vocals
Marcellin Williquet - bass
Fran?ois Gaube - keyboards (10)
Ireneusz Grabowski - violin (3)
Alain Vael - guitars (9)

The Guide (1999)
Domain Of Oblivion (demo CDR) (2002)
Domain Of Oblivion (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin BE

Added: February 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 941
Language: english


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