Huis is a new progressive rock band from Montreal formed in 2009 Pascal Lapierre and Michel Joncas, keyboards and guitars respectively. This month they release their debut album, Despite Guardian Angels, on Canada's Unicorn Digital label.
Their prog is rather traditional melodic progressive rock, with an often somber or solemn tone to it, and not necessarily all that complex. Huis is not trying prove how tricky than be with constant changes of tempo or odd time signatures. Not dismissing other members or instruments, most of the songs are lead first by the keyboard, often piano, and then guitar. The mostly instrumental Oude Kirk 1 & 2, named after the oldest building and church in Amsterdam, are notable examples. At times, Huis will remind me of Porcupine Tree or Riverside with maybe a touch of Pain of Salvation thrown in.
Sometimes the music is straight up prog only a bit heavier as with beyond the Amstel. In another song, If By Morning, there's nearly a little jazz fusion feel about midpoint, with some terrific drumming from William Régnier supporting. Salvation begins with a strong melodic rock groove then, unexpectedly and curiously, mellows out with vocals seemingly the vocal point, then ends with the Floydish guitar lead. I'll admit I didn't connect with several songs. While still very good songs, Lights and Bridges and Garden of Dust feel a bit flat on my ears. The former had some tasty bass and drum lines, the latter seemed all synths and vocals, with drums underneath. Nevertheless, Despite Guardian Angels is strong effort and a fine debut for the band, and something progressive rock fans should check out. Recommended.
Despite Guardian Angels is strong effort and a fine debut for Huis, and something progressive rock fans should check out. Recommended.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]