(All Album Reviews by Bungalow Bill)
Another difficult review, difficult in that I'll discuss a band that is decent enough…but about which I ultimately don't have a whole lot to say.
Place in Time is the debut recording by Intentions, a Dutch band from Groningen. The members are Roelof Beeftink (vocals); Sanne te Meerman (guitars and backing vocals); André de Vries (keyboards); Erik Kuipers (bass guitars and backing vocals); and Petrick Glasbergen (drums and percussion). The band was formed in 2003 by Mr. Kuipers, Mr. te Meerman and Mr. de Vries; it then evolved into the current line-up to begin the recording process for Place in Time in 2008.
To be honest, I was never especially struck by any of the twelve tracks. I'd say the music is a (fairly derivative) blend of late 80s metal (think Black Sabbath's Tony Martin era) and American grunge rock. While I have some fondness for the later genre (loved STP and Nirvana's catchier offerings), I have none for "Headbangers Ball".
There are definitely some positives on Place in Time. Mr. Beeftink has a melodic, tasteful singing voice that reminds me of Mikael Akerfeldt's calmer efforts (a good thing). The use of keyboards throughout the proceedings, while too scanty for my tastes, is intriguing. That said, the album is unfortunately somewhat bland: no impressive solos, no "wow" moments, not much compositional dexterity, no irresistible hooks—in short, no ear candy. It's all well intentioned and I wouldn't say any of the tracks are trite. But…Place in Time doesn't impress strongly upon the mindwax.
Typically, when reviewing music, I listen to a recording a minimum of three times. By the third listen, I usually have a nice sense for the band's dynamic, the relative skill of the musicians and the degree to which the songs are compelling, or not. In the case of Place in Time, I only managed one listen, which is probably unfair but that's the reality. My gut tells me that this disinterest isn't as much a commentary on the quality of the music as it is on my current aesthetics and tolerance. Place in Time might be better than I'm suggesting. I can't imagine that it would garner attention in hard-core prog circles but anyone who enjoyed the musical transition in the late 80s and early 90s from big-hair rawk to flannel-shirted punk pop might find Intentions a band to investigate.