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Symphonic Prog • Netherlands

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Salmon biography
SALMON is an enthusiastic "pur sang" symphonic rock band from the Netherlands with members who are highly influenced by several musical trends. This fact means, SALMON's repertoire consists of two hours authentic and varied sympho rock: in other words dynamic, rhythmic and versatile. You will recognize the influence of symphonic rock from the seventies instantly, next to baroque and classical music from the 18th and 19th century. All this comprises the unique SALMON sound!

SALMON starts off through the renewed contact in October 1997 of keyboard player and lead singer Jan Jaap Langereis and bass player Sven de Haan. They used to be fellow members of an Amsterdam based symphonic rock cover band. A few years and many other bands later, Sven puts an advertisement in a Dutch magazine that specializes in symphonic rock music, called IO-pages. Jan Jaap responded with in the back of his mind the successful collaboration in the past.

After months of so called "attic rehearsals", Henk Sonnenberg joined them. Henk used to be the drummer of the before mentioned Amsterdam based cover band and had remained Jan Jaap's friend over the years. At more or less the same time (May 1998), Jan Jaap spotted an advertisement in a local newspaper in which a "symphonic music-minded" guitarist, Gerrit Hoogebeen, was looking for employment. Contact was made and a few days later the SALMON line-up was complete.

The School of music in Heiloo, where Jan Jaap teaches, was found to be and still serves as a very appropriate venue for the rehearsals. The school was also the place where the name SALMON was decided upon.

The name SALMON stems from the idea that we consider our music to go against the mainstream of nowadays music. As the salmon struggles to swim upstream to find her hatching place, the music of the band SALMON does the same by being averse to the popular tunes we hear today. The musicians approach their music with a non-commercial attitude and refuse to make any concessions as to the end result. Hence the term: swimming against the tide.

On the 31st of July 2000, Henk Sonnenberg informed the other members, he would quit the band and on the 27th of August 2000, he was subsequently replaced by Robbert Schuster: a drummer with a melodic-percussive style.

On January 26th, 2002, drummer Robbert Schuster has left SALMON.

On May 4th, 2002 a new drummer has completed SALMON again. We welcomed Michel Nieuwenhuis from Heiloo (living just 300 meters from Jan Jaap!) He has lots of experience in prog- and jazz-rock music!

: : : © Sven de Haan : : :
This Dutch band was rooted in a progrock coverband (CAMEL, MARILLION, IQ) with Jan Jaap Langereis (vocals, keyboards and flute) and Sven de Haan (bass, bass pedals) as the prime movers. They wanted to make their own prog and in '97 both musicians founded SALMON, the band was completed with guitar-player Gerrit Hoogebeen and drummer Henk Sonnenberg, soon replaced by Robert Schuster. In 2001 SALMON released their debut-album entitled "Decade Reference", a 24-carat symphonic rock album with hints ranging from KAYAK and CAMEL to RUSH and KANSAS and classical composers like Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart. In mid 2004 they released their second effort entitled "When the Dust Settles..", their progress on this album is stunning. Very remarkable: this Dutch progrock band often replaces their drummer, once a famous British progrock dino did the same...!

The new album "When the Dust Settles.." is a beautiful, very warm and melodic CD. It contains strong echoes from GENESIS (HACKETT-era) and some vocal harmonies in the vein of GENTLE GIANT. The keyboard sound is lush with lots of organ along nice synthesizer runs, majestic Mellotron samples and Grand piano. The guitarplay is strong and sensitive with some great solos. SALMON embellishes their 24-carat symphonic music with the sound of the violin, flute and acoustic guitar. Yet another promissing Dutch progrock band!

: : : Erik Neuteboom, The NETHERLANDS : : :
Fan & official Prog Archives collaborator

Salmon official website

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SALMON discography

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SALMON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.48 | 24 ratings
Decade Reference
4.02 | 29 ratings
When The Dust Settles

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SALMON Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 When The Dust Settles by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.02 | 29 ratings

When The Dust Settles
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by sinslice

4 stars Music refined on a good foundation of keyboards, and arpeggiated guitars.

The voice is also characteristic and protagonist. A good rhythmic bass accompaniment, and drums neat, punctual. It is a product rather thoughtful and to listen carefully. Especially in Time to Fantasize perceived this.

Do not expect deployments energy or power, the pace is slow and thoughtful. With variations and twists, but never dramatic or dissonant. Keyboards solos abound and some vocal harmonies. It is close to a neo symphonic at times.

September Weeps contains a beautiful melody and folk, is executed with emotion as very quiet.

Three is more energetic, with an introduction to the style of The Knife, but instrumental. From the second minute, the music regains normal rhythm, with guitar and piano as main protagonists.

Finally, I mention Dubious Dried Ink. Close the work leaving a good musical tastes, and touring like landscapes above.

It is melodic and diverse work, but do not blow your mind. 4 stars well deserved.

 Decade Reference by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.48 | 24 ratings

Decade Reference
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Salmon - Decade Reference (2001)

Professional trained key and flute player Jan Jaap Langereis found the proper musicians to finally record one of his own progressive rock records after being a prog collector for decades. I met Jan Jaap at the music school of Heiloo, where I myself was working on my own first progressive compositions as a young guitar student. Jan Jaap was so kind to offer me some of his old vinyls of Gentle Giant (which became a favorite band of mine) and some more bands and he also gave me this cd of his own band, Salmon. It is thus noteworthy to mention that it is kind of hard to write an objective review here, but a man does what he can.

Salmon plays symphonic, slightly neo-progressive rock with a certain lightness to it. As main points of reference I would point to Genesis, Gentle Giant and the more intelligent works of Supertramp. Furthermore minor folk influences can be found. The atmosphere's range from slightly optimistic and adventerious to emotional (but not theatrical), back to serious and to playful (some Gentle Giant influences on modern symphonic compositions). Salmon has the capability to wright both shorter and longer compositions without loosing itself. The production of the album surprised me a bit, for this debut albums sounds actually quite warm and thick! Keeping in mind it was recorded in just two days (if I remember it correctly). The lyrics by Jan Jaap are good, but really stand out on the 'A second life and soul'-epic and the short acoustic folk-track 'Inconceivable'.

The song-writing and composition is quite strong throughout, though I would point out that there are some minor flaws in the harmonic interpretations of some bass and guitar lines in relation to the chord progressions. The keys of Jan Jaap Langereis are particularly strong and his assortment of keyboards and synths sound up-to-date but not to midi-like (a sound I dislike). The vocals of Jan Jaap are very pitch-perfect and his voice has a certain calmness in it. The guitars of Gerrit Hoogebeen sound a bit too electronic processed for my tastes, but most of his lines work very well. I really wished that his opening solo on 'A Void' would have been reconsidered. His acoustic sections on 'Prologue' and 'Inconceivable' are however very strong. The bass-guitar of Sven de Haan plays a melodic role on most parts. The drums of Robber Schuster are tight and clean. A bit more guts (heaviness) and jazzy influences wouldn't have hurt here in my humble opinion.

Listening to this album I am impressed by how good it actually is. The tasty ambient sound of 'Prologue', the opening-epic 'A void' with it's many strong sections, the short and folky 'Inconceivable' and the excellent former-side-long epic 'A second life with heart and soul' really stand out for me. The latter has six sub-parts that actually do make sense and the lyrics about future technologies applied on humans are both serious and ironical. The other tracks all have strong sections like the guitar-keyboard cooperation on Trespassing and the nice symphonic interludes on Dancing Bird. My only problem with this album is that it is bit too long for my tastes. The last three songs have to create their own momentum because the tension-bow the album is actually quite finished after the sixt track 'A second..' with it's 22 minutes of duration.

Conclusion. This album perhaps hasn't been a success on the commercial side, but it surely can be called a great artistic achievement for Jan Jaap Langereis and his band. For an album written, played, recorded & released by only the four members of the band this really sound great and more then original enough to be recommended to fans of symphonic prog and neo or crossover prog. Three and a halve stars rounded up.

 Decade Reference by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.48 | 24 ratings

Decade Reference
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Helping the modern Dutch symphonic rock scene being more active and stronger, Salmon were formed in 1997 in Heiloo by singer/keyboardist Jan Jaap Langereis and bassist Sven de Haan.Jan and Sven have been friends since playing together in a progressive cover band and soon they recruited drummer Henk Sonnenberg,who has been also a member of the same band.Through an advertisement they found their guitarist Gerrit Hoogebeen and so the first complete Salmon line-up was a fact.Their first album ''Decade Reference'' was privately pressed in 2001.

The opening double masterpiece ''Prologue/A void'' is a good example of the band's general style:Soft Symphonic Rock with beautiful melodies led by Hoogebeen's guitar and Langereis' piano,sensitive vocals and strong GENESIS/YES hints.Unfortunately the rest of the album in not in the same league,but it is definitely good.''Trespassing'' is a melodic Prog Rock cut with classical-influenced breaks,while ''Dancing bird'' is a very sensitive piano-driven ballad with warm vocal lines.The short acoustic ''Inconceivable'' helps as an intro to the grand epic ''A second life with heart and soul''.Compositionally the track stands well without being outstanding,it contains very strong CAMEL hints in the guitar section combined with classical piano passages and massive changes between complex and mellow ballad-like musiacianship,reminding me a lot of ANYONE'S DAUGHTER.''Houses on Voorde banks'' is a rather too long number,maintaining a vocal/piano-led atmosphere all the way,but things are put on the right way again with ''Shazz''.This one has a strong SPOCK'S BEARD flavor with a catchy sensitive chorus,while Langereis' leaves his piano for some synth soloing.The closing ''The observer'' contains some of the album's greatest guitar work,Langereis' piano is again on the classical side with nice passages,the vocals are very expressive and this one is the second best track after the opening cut.

The first step of Salmon into the prog world was done with the right foot,although the album has more than enough piano sounds and vocals.However,''Decade reference'' is certainly a fine start and the band showed potential for an even brighter future,as the compositions are all good with a nice balance between delicacy and adventure.Recommended for fans of Neo/Symphonic Rock,especially if you like bands in the vein of ANYONE'S DAUGHTER,GENESIS,ROUSSEAU,CAMEL.

 When The Dust Settles by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.02 | 29 ratings

When The Dust Settles
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars One of the nicest surprises so far this year. This Dutch band is under most proggers radar, but really deserves the scene's full recognition.

The mood and style of this album reminds me a lot about Cathedral's superb debut album Stained Glass Stories. Just a lot less heavier and more baroque. The similarities to Gentle Giant is obvious and clear. But Salmon does a more minimalistic symphonic prog than both Cathedral and Gentle Giant. Genesis is an obvious reference too. Salmon does their music in an understated, subtle manner. The instruments is low-key and subtle. The songs takes time to get through. This is not an ELP album. It is the opposite end of the symphonic prog spectrum from ELP and Trace.

....Still, Salmon is very symphonic and epic. The music is also very complex. The subtle use of vocals, synth, guitars, bass and drums is very elegant. Less is more. The music contains some superb solos. The vocals too are superb. The songs are superb too. This is an album well worth checking out and I regard it as a treasure in my large collection of music. Salmon is most definate on my list of bands I need to check out.

4 stars

 Decade Reference by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.48 | 24 ratings

Decade Reference
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I knew Salmon through their second release, 2004´s When The Dust Settles. I was moved enough to try to find their debut CD and see how they started. Upon hearing it a couple of times it was clear that the band had developed quite a bit since their start recording. Nevertheless, this is a good record considering it is their first. Their strengh and talent is very obvious from the beginning.

This dutch outfit is quite melodic and the musicians are very good. Their songs are more on the softer side of prog, but they are also bombastic and climatic at times, specially during the epic A second life with heart and soul (21:42). I loved the guitar solos on this album: guitarrist Gerrit Hoogebeen has a fine style that reminds me of Andrew Latimer sometimes. Bassist Sven de Haan is a bass virtuoso and even if keyboardsman Jan Jaap Langereis´s vocals aren´t not nearly as good as their instrumental prowness, the overall result is very pleasant and, more important, the band has a personality. Even the simple ballad like Dancing Bird is very poignant (thanks largely to guest singer Marina Knip). And the band was still working their skills (the amazing Gentle Giant-like backing vocals on their second release are still absent here).

The production is only average. Salmon is the kind of band that will please both the symphonic fan and neo prog lovers since the music is both melodic and complex. Very promising. My rating: 3,5 stars.

 When The Dust Settles by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.02 | 29 ratings

When The Dust Settles
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although I thought I had quite some knowledge about the dutch prog scene thanks to some friends in there (hi Erik & Henk!), I had never heard about this band till very recently when I found this CD totally by chance in a friend´s house. It amazed me that such talented and strong group is hardly mentioned on the many prog forums I visited. Nevertheless, it is always good to discover such fine piece of work.

The production of the album is very good, and I was amazed to find that Salmon is only a quartet. They play like a seven member outfit! Their sound is a good mix of many different influences played through some modern hands. There are hints of Yes, Genesis and others, but generally they have a sound of their own. Their Gentle Giant-like harmony vocals are some of the more tasteful and beautiful I have ever heard: it fitted their style like a glove. Much better then a lot of groups that seem to try emulate GG without ever grasping that legendary band´s knack for the simple tune (yes, behind all their complexity GG knew all along that less is more!).

The CD has no highlights, all the songs deserve a careful listen. The tracks are quite varied and yet retain a cohesive whole. Even if it is not perfect, When The Dust Settles shows that Salmon has both the chops and the songwriting skills to become one of prog´s most proeminent acts to appear in latter days. If you, like me, never heard of Salmon, then there is still time to find this little symphonic gem. I´m looking forward to hear their future works. Highly recommended.

 When The Dust Settles by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.02 | 29 ratings

When The Dust Settles
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I am totally stunned that there are no reviews with a comment for this good Dutch band. OK, they don't play in the major league, they might sound retro-prog; but still: their music is very pleasant and should draw much more of your attention. I just hope that justice will be done with my humble contribution.

When you listen to this album, you will be brought into some of the great bands who are the heart and soul of this site. Some might find this irritating (and I belong to these at times as well) but this is a nice trip into past glory; but with some modern and catchy touch.

The opener "King Of A Day" should please any "Yes" or "Genesis" fans (in terms of music) combined with "Gentle Giant" ones (for some vocal parts). Complex and simple at the same time, this fine symphonic piece is an excellent start.

I even find that Japp Langereis has improved in his vocal duties in comparison with their debut album. His name is also funny (but you need to grab some Dutch to get it): it literally means long trip. This song holds a fine melody and even borrows some lines to "Watcher Of The Skies" of which you might have heard already.(ah, quand tu nous tiens.).

A song as "September Weeps" is so moving, so melodic. the delicate piano play is outstanding and what to say about but a so emotional guitar break. Some might find this mellow, but I am just found of these moments. A fine track indeed.

The shadow of Watcher is again hanging over the intro of "Three". I might be on a good mood tonight but I really like these seventies sounds which are making every second of this track a pretty good and wonderfully symphonic matter. This is a fine instrumental which can be also related to ELP of course. And I like it quite a bunch.

The closing "Dubious Dried Ink" also holds some gorgeous synth parts. OK, they are Banks oriented, but I told you, I'm in a good mood tonight and I am so enchanted with those sounds from my youth. Did I say nostalgia?

To be complete, there is an almost twenty minutes epic song called "Time To Fantasize" as well. The intro is a splendid band's work: each of the musician being so much in line with his colleagues; and to perform this gentle yet sophisticated music is such a beautiful treat.

If I had one negative comment about "Time.", it would be the lead vocals which are closer to the ones of their debut album than what we could experience on "When The Dust Settles". But even if most of this track is on the mellowish side, there are some fine synths and GG type of vocals. Some will say: again. But they are so pleasant.

IMHHO this good Dutch band holds the symphonic flag pretty high in the prog sky. Together with their excellent Dutch colleagues "Knight Area". Two good examples of the lively Dutch scene. It is a pity though that so little information is available from this band.

I like this album very much. When I discovered it, I rated with "Y" which means "Yes" which means five stars in my jargon. I wouldn't rate it that high for my official post (it is somewhat too derivative to achieve the highest rating) but I grant it four stars.

This is a very good achievement and a very enjoyable album. From A to Z. A fantastic return to days I would like to return to. Unfortunately it is physically not possible; but musically, such a good work helps.

 Decade Reference by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.48 | 24 ratings

Decade Reference
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is yet another good Dutch bans which should deserve much more attention on such a site. They play a very symphonic music, typical of the seventies but with a fresh angle.

Melodies are so pleasant: being the guitar or the keys. No difference, they are both bombastic and full of passion. If I had one reserve it would be about the lead singer who is not as good as his fellow band mates.

This album is pure melody even if at times mellow like Dancing Bird which features a good vocal part from Marina Knip. She brings some power in here even if this is a gentle and tranquil song.

It can't compete with the excellent A Void. This long song is one of the best track from this album. I have to admit that it sounds maybe too much like a seventies song but I quite like this mood to be honest.

The band is demonstrating his abilities during the epic of this album. A Second Life with Heart and Soul holds lots of ingredients which should please any proghead IMO. After a fine intro, the song enters into a more complex part. If you happen to have heard Genesis, this number will sound familiar to you. Only vocals bring you back on earth.

Apart from the epic and A Void there are no real outstanding songs on the album: each of them are pleasantly designed and should lead to a nice prog discovery. The music is on the soft edge and not too complex; but still beautiful and moving. This is a good album which deserves a lot more than only two reviews with comments. Wake up guys!

Three stars (but seven out of ten is more accurate).

 Decade Reference by SALMON album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.48 | 24 ratings

Decade Reference
Salmon Symphonic Prog

Review by Clepsydraakje

5 stars Since this album was released it has been my favourite cd. The four Dutchmen composed some beautiful themes, played with technical skills. The singer, Jan Jaap Langereis, has a pleasant voice. He also plays the keyboards. The guitarist (Gerrit Hoogebeen), the bass player (Sven de Haan) and the drummer (Robbert Schuster) know exactly what to play. The group is more important than the individuals so don't expect freaky solos. I have listened to this album at least five hundred times and every time I hear something new. The album was produced by the band itself, but the quality is great. In the seventies a lot of record companies would have signed this band, but nowadays it is almost impossible for bands to get a record deal. So this album was released by the band itself. Imagine what would have been when the boys wouldn't have had enough money to finance the recording and printing of this cd... The magnum opus of this album is the song "A second life with heart and soul", with a lot of changes in rhythm. It lasts over 21 minutes, but it seems like five. Other highlights are Shazz, Trespassing and A void. Is there something I don't like about this album? Yes! I don't like the voice of female guest singer Marina Knip on the song "Dancing bird". Her voice doesn't harmonize with Jan Jaap's. This means that theoretically it is possible to make a better album than this one. I recommend this album to fans of "Forse le lucciole non si amano piu" by Locanda delle Fate. The atmosphere is the same and you can feel the love for melodic captivating music. Salmon, in my opinion, is an orchestra: no note is played if unnecessary and all notes have a meaning. Unfortunately the band split in the beginning of 2005, after the release of their second album.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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