Profuna Ocean is a new Dutch band formed in 2008 by guitarist, lead singer and composer Raoul Potters. The other musicians are Arjan Visser (keyboards and bass guitar), Renť Visser (keyboards and guitar) and Fred den Hartog (drums). You can describe their musical style as typical Dutch neo-prog, reminding me of bands like PTS, Wings of Steel and Marathon, who sadly disappeared from the prog scene in the nineties.
The first track Changing Legacy is a good example of the musical skills of the band members. Starting with short soundscapes and tick-tock drumming the pace increases with a rocking guitar and a nice chorus sung by Raoul. His voice is not spectacular, but good enough. After five minutes, a break follows by heavy drumming changing the song into a light version of Dream Theater with a typical guitar riff and chorus in the end. Lost Inside is not as good as the first track. In the beginning, the singing is rather boring, but later on, the song changes definitely into a good rock song. That is mainly due to the guitar solos in David Gilmour style and the very well played bass and drums in the background. Itís a pity that this song quickly fades away after eight minutes. ††††††
Sad Silhouette is the most melodic track on this album. This song lasts for seven minutes, actually too short for me, but well done. The magnum opus of Watching The Closing Sky is the last track entitled S.C.I.T.S. The abbreviation stands for Sadness Crawled Inside The Summer that is, if I understood the textbook correctly. After the short Eloy-like soundscape, the song goes up-tempo and fortunately Raoulís singing is much better here than on the three previous tracks. After five minutes, the mood changes off-handed. The way of drumming alters the song in a completely different style: more experimental with heavy guitar riffs. Four minutes later the musicians give all they have as far as their musical skills are concerned: a dramatic symphonic sound, bright guitar playing with nice bass and drums and a beautiful piano solo.†
In general, this rather short (37 min) debut (mini-)album of Profuna Ocean is a good one indeed, and I expect them soon on the Dutch podia, because they shortly start a tour with Dutch prog and jazz rock legend Alquin. †
***+ Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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