Egdon Heath - Him, The Snake and I

Year of Release: 1993
Label: SI Music
Catalog Number: SYMPLY 38
Format: CD
Total Time: 46:52:00

Having discovered Edgon Heath with The Killing Silence, and liking very much what I heard, I was excited to know that there was a new release out - Him The Snake And I. The line up had changed again with this release, as Maurtis Kalsbeek was now on vocals, as a bandmember rather than a guest as Jens van der Stempel had been on the earlier disk, and Wolf Rappard on their first, In The City.

Egdon Heath are progressive in the neo mold, Marillion perhaps being the best comparison. Though, there are some comparisons to their more northern brethren, Landberk. Egdon Heath are bit brighter than Landberk, but in a dark, moody track like "Slightly In Despair" the comparison seems obvious. Actually, there are also comparisons to be made with Arena, though this release predates Arena by 3 years.

Overall, this isn't as strong a release as Silence, but there are some very good moments - the harmonized closing chorus to "Witness" for example, on a track this is otherwise often awkwardly arranged. "Mother's Dream" begins with a marching percussive beat very much like Landmarq's "Terracotta Army," but concerns an entirely different topic. But it does create a very strong mood, as the song's subject is about beauty pageants. The young girl is being force-marched down the catwalk by her mother. We've seen the story before, all too often.

My favourite track here is plaintive, gloomy "Slightly In Despair." Now, at first I thought the five-second (or so) classical interlude seemed out of place, but it is like this brief moment when despair lifts, but only lasts for a few seconds. Not really a track to listen to if you're more than "slightly in despair." I just wonder if it is something about the region, northern Europe, that makes people so gloomy - where music reflects the climate. Perhaps not, since this region also produced Abba and Ace of Base.

"Satellite" is a bit like early Icehouse, actually, with a paranoid theme that made me think of a lyric from Marillion's "Fugazi" ("?gracefully cruising satellite infested heavens"). The same could almost be said of "Thousand Stories," too - that is, a bit like Icehouse.

It's a slightly less than terrific album, but fairly good nonetheless. Recommended, though I have to admit it may be hard to find since the label that released it (SI Music) is no longer. Whether Cymbeline, which rose from SI's ashes, will or have re-released it, I haven't seen.

Cymbeline seems to have expired as well; and this CD is listed as out of print - ed. Dec 2005]

Jinc (4:28) / Gringo (6:43) / On A Bench (1:42) / Witness (6:11) / Mother's Dream (5:00) / Slightly In Despair (6:41) / Satellite (7:10) / Thousand Stories (8:57)

Maurits Kalsbeek - vocals
Jaap Mulder - piano, keyboards, background vocals
Wolf Rappard - keyboards
Aldo Adema - guitars
Marcel Copini - basses, background vocals
Val?re Wittevrongel - drums

In The City (1991)
The Killing Silence (1991)
Him, The Snake and I (1993)
Nebula (1996)
Rareties (1999)
Live At Last (2000)

Genre: Neo Prog

Origin NL

Added: March 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1982
Language: english


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