(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
Gert van Engelenburg - keyboards, vocals
Jos Harteveld - vocals, guitars
Eddie Mulder - guitars, vocals
Koen Roozen - drums
Peter Stel - bass, vocals
Derk Evert Waalkens - keyboards, vocals
Dutch outfit Leap Day was formed early in 2008, consisting partially of musicians known from other acts (Flamborough Head, King Eider, Nice Beaver) and partially of more unknown musical talents. In the autumn of 2008 they released a three track demo/promo CD; and soon after they got picked up by Polish label OSKAR, who'll issue their debut album in 2009 according to plan.
The Netherlands have a long tradition for the formation of bands exploring progressive rock and in the barren decade of the 90's neo progressive outfits partially based in Netherlands and partially foreign acts promoted by Dutch label SI Music were amongst the few examples of progressive music relatively easy available for fans of progressive rock (the others mainly being releases from French label Musea Records and German label Music Is Intelligence).
And although other countries sprout a more prolific growth of progressive acts these days, it's always interesting when a new band forms in the Netherlands; at least when it consists at least partially of seasoned musicians.
The three compositions on this promotional release showcase a band with a sound at times heavily dominated by synths and keyboards, clearly influenced by Genesis in particular and 70's symphonic progressive rock of that era in general. The compositions are mostly slow to mid-paced, atmospheric guitar soloing adds to dreamy themes already set up by the keyboards and the organ provides depth and a certain majestic feel when needed.
In sound this act comes across as a mix of vintage Marillion and The Flower Kings, with an emphasis of the former's more mellow explorations while the latter's influences are mainly found in a few spirited and energetic passages, where staccato themes and even some jazz-tinged elements creep in.
Well performed and well made, the three compositions on this promotional release indicate that another quality neo progressive outfit is starting out. It's not the most adventurous type of music made but it's well crafted and should be interesting to fans of the bands mentioned above, followers of the Dutch prog scene and people generally interested in atmospheric, melodic progressive rock of the less challenging variety.
My rating: 72/100
Reviewer: Olav Björnsen