Place in Time
This is a review by Alex Torres, music reporter for Dutch Progressive Rock Pages Tracklist: A Promise (1:24), Aimless (4:23), State Of Mind (5:41), Back (3:08), Eneme (5:50), Drowned (6:16), On The Run (6:11), Thaw Me (5:06), Cu In The Real World (3:39), Crash (7:15), Joy And Misery (4:19), Wasted (6:14) One of the benefits of reviewing music for a website like DPRP is that, once in a while, you come across little gems that you would otherwise never have picked up on, even in our age of the world wide web. Intentions's Place In Time is one such gem - an album that is an absolute delight to listen to, time and again, from a new Dutch band, no less. For all those of you who worry that melody is seeping out of music, then go and listen to this band! They're not heavy, that's true, and the pace might be a tad slow for some, so maybe if you're looking for melody within a heavy rock or metal soundscape then perhaps this is not the band for you; but if you enjoy good guitar and keyboard work within the context of melodic, rock/pop compositions then you'll be on to a winner! Place In Time reminded me of some of my favourite bands, from the second half of the Seventies, whose basic musical root lay in the late-sixties music of The Beatles, but who drew influences from a number of other areas. The results ended up as what has often been called "art-rock" or "crossover prog" and, given their root origin, the music of these bands never became over-heavy or over-fast. I'm thinking of, broadly, the type of music that Barclay James Harvest, Camel and Caravan were coming up with in their later Seventies periods. A more recent soundscape benchmark might be Sylvan, in their "less progressive" moments. Fans of all of these bands, and more, would surely enjoy Place In Time. Melodically beautiful music with time to savour the many nuances of the individual instruments: a perfect recipe! The band have actually been around since 2003 when Erik Kuipers (bass), Sanne te Meerman (guitar) and André de Vries (keyboards) formed Intentions, but it wasn't until late 2006, when they found the singer they wanted, Roelof Beeftink, that the band's spark was truly lit. Roelef also brought along Petrick Glasbergen, the drummer of his former band, to join Intentions and the five-piece line-up was complete. It is this quintet that has completed the recording of Place In Time, which had begun prior to the new pair's arrival with drummer Theo van der Zee also contributing. I can easily understand that Roelef was the inspiration that allowed the band to complete the recording of the album: his vocal performance is first-class and suits these songs to perfection. The other sonic elements to highlight are the wonderful selection of keyboard sounds (as well as André's playing!) and the guitar work. The keyboards range from symphonic textures, to lead melody, to rhythm accompaniment, but on every occasion the choice of particular keyboard or synth just seems perfect. The guitar also carries various moods, lyrical or menacing, depending on the circumstances: this is a great, understated performance from Sanne. The guitar does, however, give rise to my only - but very minor - criticism of the album, which is that it is occasionally too low in the mix, particularly when a little harder edge would have enhanced the contrast with the more subdued songs: State Of Mind is an example. A Promise acts as an introduction with (mellotronic?) synth and wistful acoustic guitar and the remainder of the album delivers with aplomb. Amongst the melodic highlights are Aimless, Back and the sublime Thaw Me. The rockier numbers are no less impressive: special mention go to the aforementioned State Of Mind, which impresses despite the guitar mix, Eneme, which has oodles of menace and Crash, which is a contender for "best track of the year" in my book! This even develops a rap phase towards the end - no, don't be scared, it's perfectly integrated!; it manages to meld all the best elements of Intentions's music in one powerhouse track - excellent! The other songs on the album are also high quality; there are no weak moments whatsoever - really very impressive for a debut album! Place In Time comes close to being perfect. It's not going to wow pure metal-heads or symphonic-prog addicts but, frankly, good music is what matters, irrespective of genre labels, and Place In Time has it in abundance. This is the sort of music I want to hear! Melodic, but not frightened to yield some rock power; simply arranged with beautiful keyboard sounds. Do yourself a big favour and give the band's music a listen! Conclusion: 9 out of 10 ALEX TORRES.