US - The Ghost Of Human Kindness

Year of Release: 2004
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:44:00

In 2003 I was completely caught off guard by the album Eamon?s Day, by the Dutch band Us. Great symphonic music in the vein of the Great Ones, such as Yes and Genesis. After several setbacks and technical difficulties, they released their third album late 2004: The Ghost Of Human Kindness. Just as their first two albums, this one is also completely recorded and released by the band themselves.

When I look at the tracklisting, I see the gents have moved on, walking the same road and take their time to deliver their compositions. This results in songs with a lot of variation, to keep the attention. The melancholy, which appealed to me on Eamon?s Day, is also present on this album and especially singer Christiaans knows to express this very good. I am not entirely crazy about the singer, but for some reason his voice fits the music very well.

Composer Jos Wernars has restrained his parts a bit, in favour of the general sound. His bass playing is less explosive than it was on Eamon?s Day, but adds to a more balanced whole. The guitar play of de Frankrijker is simply fantastic to listen to, with excellent solos. The only thing that should have been more upfront is drummer Paul van Velzen. His drumming is laid back and sometimes is hardly noticeable.

At times the Genesis influences are very strong in their presence, especially in the intro of "Domes," which could very well be a great clone of the Gabriel-era Genesis. Ok, if we look at the latest discs of IQ and The Watch, we see that Us is in good circles. Whether it is weak, bad or meant as tribute, depends greatly on your taste. Personally it does not bother me, since Us has influences here and there and have enough sound of their own to lean on (contrary to Vacuum, by The Watch, which is almost a perfect Genesis clone).

Us is definitely carrying the banner in The Netherlands for classical symphonic rock and they fulfill their task with honours. Compositions that are well worked out, good lyrics and skilled musicians, The Ghost Of Human Kindness is just an album to enjoy. And for an album they released themselves, it sounds very good. Now let?s hope a record label finally recognizes them as the talented band they are.

Full Circle (19:28) / Domes (14:22) / Grand Canyon (8:31) / The Dream (7:58) / The Ghost Of Human Kindness (17:18)

Jos Werars - bass guitar, acoustic & electric guitars, E-Bow
Stephan Cristiaans - vocals, backing vocals
Ernest Wernars - keyboards
Paul van Velzen - drums, percussion
Peter de Frankrijker - lead guitar

Saga - To Whom It Concerns (1975/6)
The Wizzard Of Us (ltd. edition demo) (1990s)
A Sorrow In Our Hearts (2002)
Eamon''s Day (2003)
The Ghost of Human Kindness (2004)
The Young and the Restless (2006)
Reflections (2007)
Climbing Mount Improbable (2008)
Everything Changes (2009)
Feeding The Crocodile (2010)
The Road Less Travelled (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NL

Added: March 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 9182
Language: english


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