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SILHOUETTE

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Silhouette picture
Silhouette biography
Formed in Utrecht, Netherlands in 2005

The genesis of the band was Jos Uffing responding to an ad from Brian de Graeve in 2001. Brian was looking for a drummer & singer for his band. By the time Jos called though, the band had already broken up. But during the phone call, they found that they had a shared taste related to music. So they kept in touch , working on their own songs & sharing them with each other from time to time.

By 2004, they came to a point where they felt they were ready to get a band going to complete their songs. Brian quickly filled out the group using his connections in the local music scene. Bass guitar player GJ Bloemink; keyboardist Toine van Riesewijk and guitar player Henny van Veenendaal joined the band. Though the group & the songs were coming together very well, Toine & Henny would soon leave due to personal reasons. Henny would stay on to do the artwork for their CDs. A new ad finally got their newest member - Erik Laan. He would replace Henny on keyboards.

Through 2005, the band rehearsed in Brian's studio, with recording starting in 2006. Their debut A Maze was put out in 2007 as a self-release, and Silhouette began playing gigs in their home country. Come 2009, the band would release their second album - Moods though the swedish label Progress Records. It showed Silhouette coming into its' own, and with the mixing & mastering done by Knight Area's Gerben Klazinga, it also brought a more polished & professional sound to the group's songs.

The band released their third album "Across the Rubicon" in 2012.

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Across The RubiconAcross The Rubicon
Progress Records
$21.99 (used)
Beyond the Seventh WaveBeyond the Seventh Wave
Freia Music 2015
$21.72
$27.99 (used)
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SILHOUETTE discography


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

3.18 | 33 ratings
A-Maze
2006
3.92 | 64 ratings
Moods
2009
3.98 | 279 ratings
Across The Rubicon
2012
3.80 | 83 ratings
Beyond The Seventh Wave
2014
4.00 | 92 ratings
The World Is Flat And Other Alternative Facts
2017

SILHOUETTE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SILHOUETTE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.16 | 13 ratings
Staging the Seventh Wave
2017

SILHOUETTE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SILHOUETTE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SILHOUETTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The World Is Flat And Other Alternative Facts by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.00 | 92 ratings

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The World Is Flat And Other Alternative Facts
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

5 stars

For me, I will always associate Progress Records with Hansi Cross, who sadly passed away earlier this year. But, although Hansi is no longer with us, the label he left behind continues to release albums of incredible stature and worth. That is definitely the case with Dutch band Silhouette's fifth studio album. 'The World Is Flat and Other Alternative Facts'. Somehow, I missed their last studio album, although I did manage to hear their live album which was released earlier this year. I gave a 4 * review to their third album 'Across The Rubicon' which came out in 2012, and there is no doubt in my mind this is superior.

This has everything I want from a prog album, great melodies, wonderful musicianship, soaring vocals, layered arrangements that can appear almost simple at times, and never forgetting that the music always must come first. They may all have wonderful virtuoso skills, but how does that fit in with what is needed? Brian de Graeve (lead & backing vocals, 12-string guitar), Daniel van der Weijde (electric & acoustic guitars), Erik Laan (keyboards, bass pedals, lead & backing vocals), Jurjen Bergsma (bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals) and Rob van Nieuwenhuijzen (drums, percussion) have created something that contains elements of Yes and Neal Morse alongside more melodic rock elements, as well as plenty if prog. The vocals are superb, and everything somehow gels together seamlessly. One can't imagine another instrument or note needed anywhere, yet there is nothing superfluous in what they are doing. This is majestic, soaring prog that makes me smile each time I play it. And I have been playing it a great deal indeed.

When discerning progheads compile their top albums of the year list soon, there is no doubt that this will be one to reckon with. From acoustic 12-string to heavily layered arrangements to rock guitar, this has it all and so very much more. I love it. This is simply essential to anyone who dares call themselves a progger.

 Staging the Seventh Wave by SILHOUETTE album cover DVD/Video, 2017
4.16 | 13 ratings

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Staging the Seventh Wave
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars

In 2014, Dutch band Silhouette released their fourth studio album, 'Beyond The Seventh Wave'. In 2016, they were filmed and recorded performing the album in its entirety, and this has now been released as a DVD and CD set, along with a few additional songs on the DVD. They wisely had a few additional guests make appearances, the most important of which is an additional guitarist who was there for the whole set (he did try to stay at the back of the stage and out of the way), who assisted in providing some additional heaviness to proceedings, allowing Daniel van der Weijde to provide some delicate solos on his seven-string guitar.

Although their sound is more in common with bands such as Saga than IQ, I did keep being reminded of the former in the way they set up the stage, the use of a backdrop film throughout, a keyboard player who also provides superb vocals when needed, and a rhythm section that just keep it locked down so that the others can take centre stage. Brian de Graeve has a gentle vocal style, never showing any strain, while Erik Laan uses a myriad of keyboards and sings in a similar fashion, so that when they harmonise they do so with aplomb.

This is a powerful album, with lots of drama and dynamic shifts in the music as they tell the story of what happens to the main character (which has been reproduced in the centre of the digipak so that even those who haven't heard the original knows what is happening). Somehow, I have managed to miss all of Silhouette's albums apart from 2012's 'Across The Rubicon', a situation I am going to have to address. The concert footage is well filmed, with multiple cameras and angles, and this is a great introduction to the band.

 Across The Rubicon by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.98 | 279 ratings

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Across The Rubicon
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by vinyljeopardy

4 stars Across The Rubicon was my first exposure to Silhouette, and I found them a skilled band. The album itself was excellent and I'd recommend it without reservations to anyone who enjoys neo prog, or good music for that matter. While I enjoyed the first half of the album more than the second half it was not without it's excellent moments. I absolutely loved the first four tracks. Breathe and When The Snow's Falling Down were particularly striking. The entire album is well played and always interesting. I will seek out more of Silhouette's releases. This one will bear repeated listens. A solid 4 stars here.
 Moods by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.92 | 64 ratings

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Moods
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by Thandrus

5 stars Despite the extensive availability of highly produced quality prog rock online. Silhouette is definitely the modern band whose albums I've been returning to the most recently. The reason is chiefly that people in this band are hands down today's best masters of melody. For quite some time, main trend in English-language prog-rock has been the one of atmospheric, moderately-paced, comfortable music, often alternating metallic riffs and spaciness (Porcupine Tree, Anathema, Riverside, Gazpacho, Airbag and the list goes on and on...) - Silhouette do not play by these rules!

Coming from Netherlands, they are a part of local prog scene that cherishes the melodic approach (Knight Area, Odyssice, Ixion, Trion etc.), but Silhouette takes it to yet higher level. The potential of their previous album ("A Maze") was largely brought down by downright bad sound quality, but on "Moods" equipment is much better so sound can hold itself together. Wisely engineered by Gerben Klazinga (of "Knight Area") sound is very fragile and it gives the special charm to this kind of melodic neo-prog. In these circumstances, music can fall apart if it's not backed with excellent melodies (like it happened to a lot of 80s English neo-prog), but this album holds it together thoughout the album by this magical beauty.

I can't really pick up any highlights here, because it all is excellent and catchy, but let's showcase "Far Away" - starting seemingly straight-ahead, but then diversified by various keyboard moods (no pun intended, honestly). with beautiful verse followed by super-catchy chorus and the keyboard runs of enormous beauty. The vocal department is not a best side of this music, but singers (and there are a couple) do their best, still maintaining a charming naivety.

To sum it up, this is a band that doesn't have any trick up their sleeve to make music appear better than it is. "Mood" is the album that calls every card, coming out as a winner every time. A certain triumph of imagination, dare I say. 5 stars of course - the world needs more of it.

 Beyond The Seventh Wave by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.80 | 83 ratings

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Beyond The Seventh Wave
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Imagine killer guitar riffs like vintage Saga, fueled by a supple keyboard wizard and a steely tight rhythm section that spares no prisoners. Sounds pretty promising, no? Well, that's what you get with Dutch band Silhouette, whose previous work 'Across the Rubicon' was a critical success, on their new recording 'Beyond the Seventh Wave'. What made its predecessor so attractive was the incorporation all the ingredients above into a song writing ethic that produced some entertaining neo-prog, flexible yet muscular, agile and attractive. This hard act to follow syndrome is sometimes fraught with dangers of exaggerated expectations but that only makes it easier to analyze in proper context, and only if you truly enjoy their style.

Erik Laan is the name of the ivory tickler and he profoundly impacts the dense sound that can be delicately romantic only minute with precious piano colorations and darn right snarling with fiery organ and synth barrages the next. Legendary Dutch keyboardist Ton Scherpenzeel (Camel, Kayak) is given a cameo opportunity, so needless to say there are plenty of symphonics here. The ballistic guitars are split between lead vocalist Brian de Graeve and newbie Daniel van der Weijde, giving plenty of meat and flesh to the arrangements, while the propellant tandem of bassist Gerrit-Jan Bloemink and phenomenal new recruit Rob van Nieuwenhuijzen on the drums, provide added acceleration.

The material is perhaps not as strong as on the previous masterpiece but there are some expressive mini-epics presented here, such as the 2 part 'Web of Lies' (14 and a half minutes of bliss), the tremendous 10 minute + 'Lost Paradise', the disturbing 'Devil's Island' and the title track. Toss in some exciting snippets and a flabbergasting instrumental 'Escape' and you finish off having a wholly acceptable segue album to an unassailable previous gem.

The grandiloquent 'Web of Lies part 1' kicks off with a muscular disposition, a memorable chorus within a thumping melody, tortured by a Saga-like instrumental platform for soloing, Laan in particular doing some serious damage on the warbled synthesizers, while the dual guitars assist in the assault, vaulting a tricky solo to boot. Part 2 alters the mood by introducing some lovely cello amid acoustic guitar adornments, massed mellotrons adding fuel to the impending fire, as the mighty drums roll on like some cannonade, urging even more desperation in the vocals. Very entertaining epic, hovering near fellow Dutchman Ayreon territory. The elegant piano outro is sublime.

'In Solitary' is a piano-led beauty, typical of the neo-prog school of delicate balladry, garnished with some illuminating electric guitar passages, celestial flute and romantic vocalizing. Both Laan and De Graeve handle the lead vocals, though I personally prefer the latter's more passionate delivery. As with Rubicon, I feel De Graeve should be the main (if not only) lead lung but that is not my call to make. Great simple tune. The entirely instrumental 'Escape' is a bruising monster, explosive drums, reverberating bass and simply titanic guitar and keyboard interventions make this a sizzling intermezzo. Van der Weijde throttles his guitar with manic abandon, Laan screeches on his synths like a modern day Manfred Mann, yes it's heavy and powerful and I like it!

The 10 minute + 'Lost Paradise' smoothly entrances the bedazzled listener with lovely Spanish guitar, the velvety vocals seem only to be inspired to aim for some distant utopia, 'dreaming of running away'. A luminous e-guitar slithers into the gentle fray, soon to be joined by a mellifluous synth foray. This little exchange goes on, like two lovers intertwined, impervious to any set of pre-determined rules. The mood actually increases in modulation, so as to almost become a cry in the night. Things get pretty perspiring, as the howling guitar rages into the deeper horizons, trembling and sizzling with little restraint. A churlish organ creeps in, spookier than Dracula's teeth, you just gotta admire the sweeping beauty of it all. Sweeping beauty? It's time for a kiss!

'Betrayed Again' is so overtly Genesis, you can only smile in admiration. A sweeping keyboard melodrama that serves only to announce the next epic, the majestic 'Devil's Island'. Inspired by the infernal penal colony in French Guiana and the book and movie Papillon by Henri Charriere , 'Le bagne de Cayenne' was an Alcatraz-like prison of hopelessness and despair, nowhere to escape to, just resignation and eventual miserable death. Typical prog subject matter, all that would be missing is a reference to Alfred Dreyfus, the most illustrious prisoner. As such, the music is dense like the Guyanese jungle, sweltering and pervasive, with hopeful reprieve coming with its ultimate demise in 1953.

The title track is a rambling affair, pretty aptly defining this crafty Dutch band style, namely a bright, crisp and exalted take on neo-prog, nothing lame or by the numbers. This piece in particular navigates the two extremes quite well, voyaging between sweet and wild, turning on a dime if required. Brian de Graeve shines on lead vocals, his high-pitched voice exemplifying the passion within his soul, contrary to what previous reviewers have stated, I do not find his voice 'forced' but I will admit that Erik Laan's can be a bit pushy on occasion.

'Wings to Fly' ends this fine affair, an intense cry for freedom and liberty, well-performed and loaded with passionate detail. Violin and cello provide coloring to an urgent and imperative chorus, a classy bit of entertaining music.

A perfectly acceptable follow-up to Across the Rubicon, great artwork, production and a well-paced set list of fine neo-progressive nuggets.

4 surfing shadows

 Beyond The Seventh Wave by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.80 | 83 ratings

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Beyond The Seventh Wave
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by GuntherW

2 stars After Across The Rubicon expectations ran very high for this new album by Dutch neo-proggers Silhouette. I have to admitt I did like Across The Rubicon. It was a step forwards for Silhouette after two rather bad albums. They invested a lot to accomplish this effort and they delivered. And now we have Beyond The Seventh Wave. There were some changes in the line-up. With a new drummer on board and a new guitar player things should get even better. Daniel van der Weijde on guitars is a revelation indeed. As I understand Gerrit-Jan Bloemink isn't with the band anymore. The bass player who has been there right from the start has left the band (or was kicked from it??) even though he has worked on Beyond the Seventh Wave and therefore is mentioned in the liner notes of the booklet. Erik Laan is the main force behind Silhouette. His keyboards are all over the place and he has done most of the writing. And even though he has done a solid job, I don't like what I hear! Chords keep on coming in the same order, over and over again. I've heard it all before. No surprising hooks, key changes, no challenging chords whatsoever. Just more of the same. This is why so many people don't like neo-prog. And they are right! Good neo-prog bands are really hard to find. I thought maybe Silhouette might become a good one some day, after the promising Across The Rubicon. But they fail me! The vocals are the weakest part of the album. I don't understand that they don't ask good vocalists to work with them. They invite lots of great names (mr Scherpenzeel just to name one) from the world of prog, but they keep on doing the vocals themselves. The best part of the album is the song Escape, which is an instrumental. And I do like the cover art. But over all this album isn't even mediocre and doesn't do anything for me. One and a half star.
 Beyond The Seventh Wave by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.80 | 83 ratings

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Beyond The Seventh Wave
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by Angelo
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Silhouette is a Dutch neo-prog band, who released their fourth album this year. An album consisting of 11 tracks, each well composed and well executed.

At the base of Silhouettes music on this album is the keyboard work of Erik Laan, who is also the most productive composer in the band. Together with the two guitar players he creates a musical bed for the vocals, without overdoing it. In the tracks In Solitary and Lost Paradise there is still plenty of room for quieter parts. On Wings to fly, the band builds up nicely by starting with acoustic guitar, flute and cello, to end with a full blown electric crescendo. All of this carried by a very steady rhythm section - where part of the bass tracks are played by Jurjen Bergsma, because Gerrit-Jan Blooming decided to leave the band.

The album is at times a bit bombastic, but never annoying (unlike some of the overdone things that for example ELP could produce in the '70s). A slight defect of the album, from my point of view are the vocals. There are a few occasions where I feel, although both singers try their best (and with good results in e.g. Web of lies), the vocals either lack emotion (perhaps due to focusing too much on technique) or sound a bit pinched in the higher regions. There is some room for improvement there, because in Devil's Island it can get a bit annoying for the listener.

That last track, Devil's Island is great in its instrumentals: when listenig with eyes closed, it is easy to imagine a flight over an island, seeing it from above, in the middle of the sea.

Overall, a good album, worth listening - but not as good as it could've been.

 Moods by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.92 | 64 ratings

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Moods
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Despite a limited budget ''A maze'' ended up to be in the top list of several prog listeners regarding the 07' releases and by the end of the year the band had already started rehearsing material for a new album.''Moods'' was based on an autobiographical story of Brian de Graeve, the recordings lasted for more than 18 months, most part of which took place at The Avenue Soundstudio in Utrecht with Knight Area's Gerben Klazinga as the producer.During this period Silhouette got to know Aldo Adema, formerly of Egdon Heath and at the time a member of Seven Day Hunt, who contributed guitar duties in a couple of pieces.The album came out in 2009 with Progress Records approaching and finally signing the band.

The band had made a slight switch towards a more symphonic sound with this album, which holds typical similarities with other releases from the Dutch music industry such as KNIGHT AREA, FLAMBOROUGH HEAD, ODYSSICE and ICE.Passionate material overall, which is now characterized by excellent and inspirational songwriting, the extended time in the studio had only good effects on the band's style and sound.The music is brilliant to say the least with obvious GENESIS, MARILLION, ARENA and PENDRAGON influences, containing dramatic keyboard orchestrations, flashy and neurotic synth soloing and elaborate guitar work over a manifest of refined and clean singing.But it turns out that Silhouette had decided to add a retro feeling to their modern and fresh sound, thus there are some fair doses of Mellotrons and organs among the soaring keyboard deliveries.While there are not many points separating them from the mass of recent Neo Prog bands, Silhouette stand out with the bunch of beautiful melodies, impressive singing lines and balanced keyboard washing, completing series of convincing pieces with some killer instrumental passages and always highlighted by a warm place for symphonic orchestrations.You've got to love this work, cause there are almost 80 minutes of music in here and you'll hardly find any dead holes.Their ability to offer striking electric rhythms, lush keyboard lines and pompous textures is trully impressive and the result is often outstanding.

First-class Neo Prog by a band on the rise.Among the top albums of 2009 and an excellent addition for both Neo Prog fans and Sympho maniacs.Highly recommended.

 Beyond The Seventh Wave by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.80 | 83 ratings

BUY
Beyond The Seventh Wave
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by Thandrus

5 stars I've come to view this as an antithesis of today's most massive prog and generally music trends. In the world full with overlayered ocean of sounds that substitute apparent comfort for the lack genuinely good melodic ideas, the world where a charismatic frontman is a requirement for musical (and critical!) success, SILHOUETTE comes in, without any apparent cool-factor, with everything on the sleeve, trying their best and barely succeeding holding the tunes together...

... but in the end, nothing matters, because these guys might be one of the most perfect melody makers modern music has ever witnessed. They musically state is as the sole requirement and they fully succeed. This is a music that cannot lie. It never plays cool, being often very fragile... but it goes unhurt from beginning to the end, enshrouding everything with its mesmerizing beauty.

Key songs: "In Solitary", "Lost Paradise".

 Beyond The Seventh Wave by SILHOUETTE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.80 | 83 ratings

BUY
Beyond The Seventh Wave
Silhouette Neo-Prog

Review by emperorken

5 stars Silhouette's last album, "Across the Rubicon", was a personal favorite for me for the year 2012, so I had high expectations for this new release, "Beyond the Seventh Wave". And after my first few listens, I thought this was almost as good as "Rubicon" But now, after repeated listens over the last couple of months, I actually think is album is much better than "Rubicon". At first I thought the songs had a certain sameness about them, as they were not instantly memorable. But now, after having learned the music, my appreciation of the album has grown with each new listen, and I have raised my rating from four stars to five stars. There are no weak tracks on the album.

The guitar-keyboard interplay is superb, and the vocals, although generally on the higher pitched side, are appropriate for the music, varying from soft to aggressive, such as in the title track. So for me, this album has everything I would want- outstanding musicianship, good vocals, and excellent compositions. And considering that I was disappointed with Knight Area's latest release, I now consider Silhouette to be my favorite of the Dutch prog bands. Highly recommended.

Thanks to debrewguy for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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