Like Wendy - Tales From Moonlit Bay

Year of Release: 2000
Label: LaBraD'or Records
Catalog Number: LBD 040011
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:14:00

Like Swiss clockwork, dutchman Bert Heinen delivers his third album under the pseudonym Like Wendy (progressive spelling of Laiquendi = people from Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings). After the success of The Storm Inside and especially Rainchild, the new album continues in the same style as its predecessors. So don't expect any major changes, as the formula works rather well and Heinen has both a clean Hackett-like guitar sound and an equally interesting voice to match. Although the title track is an epic of over 20' long it sounds to me as if it was made up out of various fragments glued together to make it sound as one long track, however the atmosphere of certain parts don't really fit very well. Take the introduction which kind of stops before the song continues in a slightly different way than what could be expected. I really like the final part of the song which has the guitar in a repetitive mood with Bert's voice adding to the mystery. Great lush symphonic arrangements end this prog collage.

"The Price For Trust" is like Mike & Mechanics combined with Porcupine Tree and with Hackett on guitar. Heinen has a slight bit of that Feargal Sharkey (ex-Undertones) vibrato in his voice adding an original touch to the music making a song like "A King's Epitaph" a really enjoyable song as it contains very powerful hooks all over. "Paradise" is dark in the mind of Like Wendy if you listen to the sombre arrangement and the agressive drumming. Simplicity strikes during "Ivory Tower" which has "acoustic Porcupine Tree" written all over it, whilst the end of the song gets close to vintage Barclay James Harvest.

To enhance the "live" feel, "Live At Armageddon" sports some live applause before cosmic synth loops form the backing for some outstanding guitar solos both in the funky department as well as in the modest area of the Like Wendy music. Nowhere in the booklet do I find information whether at all this track was indeed recorded live so we'll probably never know! The album closes with "Wreck Of The Dancer" whose introduction gets bloody close to Earth & Fire's classic "Storm And Thunder"! Luckily the mood quickly changes adding original bits and pieces in order to stay away from the word "plagiarism" as far as possible. In fact this track is kind of my favourite as it features some great ideas and a perfect balance between voice, guitar and keyboards. The atmosphere builds and builds ending with yet another great guitar solo.

Tales From Moonlit Bay illustrates once again the songwriting talent of Bert Heinen who has proven to be one of the top contemporary prog icons from Holland. I'd only wish he would also introduce some guests on acoustic instruments such as cello, flute and/or violin which would certainly add an extra dimension to this otherwise fairytale kind of music. Hats off Bert for yet another wonderful experience!

Falcon Suite (20:57) / The Price For Trust (4:40) / A King:s Epitaph (8:07) / Paradise (5:33) / Ivory Tower (4:58) / Live At Armageddon (7:19) / Wreck Of The Dancer (12:22)

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

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

Genre: Symphonic Prog

Origin NL

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

Artist website:
Hits: 1539
Language: english


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