Joost Maglev - Alter Ego

ExplorerExplorer England
edited July 31 in year-2019

Coming some three years after the quite majestic 'Overwrite The Sin' in 2016, we finally get his follow up album, 'Alter Ego' which builds upon the grand ideas fostered on that album and then some.

Joost Maglev - Alter Ego
ARTIST: Joost Maglev
ALBUM: Alter Ego
LABEL: Bad Elephant
SERIAL: BEM 067
YEAR: 2019

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Vocals and instruments by Joost Maglev, with: Mark Bogert (5), David Clarkson - drums (6) * Valensia Clarkson - instruments, backing vocals (6) * Ben Craven - guitars (3, 7) * Marie Doesburg - vocals (1, 9) * Annie Haslam - vocals (4) * Sebas Honing - guitars (4, 7) * Arjen Anthony Lucassen - guitars (4) * Stefan Maas - drums (2, 3, 4, 5. 7, 8) * Joop de Rooij - piano (8) * Faried Verheul - guitars (2, 8)

TRACK LISTING: 01 ~ Lucid * 02 Angel * 03 Corpus Christi * 04 Ever After * 05 Judith Episode II * 06 Alter Ego * 07 Burning Girl * 08 Demon * 09. Dreams ~

WEBLINKSS: Site Link | Bandcamp

Background

Coming some three years after the quite majestic 'Overwrite The Sin' in 2016, we finally get his follow up album, 'Alter Ego' which builds upon the grand ideas fostered on that album and then some.

Joost obviously has enough clout within the business to get the likes of Annie Haslam, Valensia and Arjen Anthony Lucassen on board for this ambitious project, which I'm guessing is a self funded effort, and if that's the case it's quite a feat as this is quite an amazing album.

The Songs

This album is a veritable feast if you are longing for the pomp of Queen, Styx etc but also with more than a smattering of prog along the way. Every song swoops and darts with a style that belongs in the 70's, you know back when this sort of thing was the pretty much the norm.

After the short opener '~Lucid' (it's companion piece 'Dreams~' closes the album) comes 'Angel' which has elements of the likes of Aviary, Styx and Queen, and the Dennis DeYoung like backing vocals make for a dramatic listen.

'Corpus Christi' is up next and runs through folk, hard rock and balladry such is the range of Maglev's vision. 'Ever After' features the delicate tones of Renaissance vocalist Annie Haslam to tell the story within the song and is an absolute delight. 'Judith Episode II' is a fine piece of modern melodic prog with some very nice Brian May flourishes added too just for good measure.

The title track is up next and is pretty much all done by Maglev's Dutch compatriot Valensia, and unlike the last Valensia album, which was a strangely rambling, incoherent record, this is a focussed upbeat jaunty Queen like tune.

'Burning Girl' and 'Demon' effectively close the album, with the former being a hardnosed rocker with some fine guitar work. The latter after a slow start, turns into as fine a piece of pomp/prog as you're likely to hear, basically a heady mix of prime time Styx and Dream Theater. A suitably sumptuous production job really helps too, everything is big and grand, befitting such lofty ideals.

In Summary

Its prog credentials are all here with the help of various members from the likes of Knight Area, Ayreon and Renaissance, but there's a whole lot more to this album than that.

It's melodic without losing its (in places) heaviness, and also has some classical leanings too, which makes it a quite absorbing listen. In a year that has been woefully short of quality releases, this album is a shining (no make that a blinding) beacon of light.

Video

Joost Maglev


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