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DIFFERENCES

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Differences biography
DIFFERENCES is a Dutch band of which few records have survived into the digital age, to the point where even the release year of their initial album appears to be mired in a haze of confusion. But the arguably most reliable sources indicate that the production in question, The Voyage, appeared in 1985. Initially issued as a vinyl LP on short-lived indie label Frizz Bee, then reissued on CD 6 years later by then fledgling Dutch label SI Music.

One more production would be assembled by this band before they disbanded. But while their initial album was one distinctly influenced by 70's symphonic progressive rock, their sophomore effort A World of Difference from 1992 had more of an emphasis on mainstream oriented, radio friendly music of the pop/rock variety.

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DIFFERENCES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.46 | 13 ratings
The Voyage
1985
3.00 | 6 ratings
A World of Difference
1992

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

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

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

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

DIFFERENCES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Voyage by DIFFERENCES album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.46 | 13 ratings

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The Voyage
Differences Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Being Dutch and performing around mid-80's, Differences was normally a regular name of the SI catalogue.This obscure group comprised of brothers Ardie Westdijk (keyboards, backing vocals) and Arjen Westdijk (guitars, vocals), next to them were drummer Gerard Lock and bassist Aad Van Der Valk.Their debut ''The voyage'' was recorded at Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum with experienced producer and sound enginner Pieter Nieboer, known for his work on several Ekseption albums.The album was originally released in 1985 on vinyl by the little-known Frizz Bee label, re-released in 1991 on SI.

Differences stand exactly on the thin line between the fading 70's Symphonic Rock stylings and the emerging Neo Prog trends of the 80's, leaning slightly towards the first style.The 75'-77' GENESIS seem to be their strongest influence with a bit of second-wave Teutonic aura in the process akin to ANYONE'S DAUGHTER and ROUSSEAU and, of course, some reasonable MARLLION echoes in the more haunting moments.The music though is mostly soft, performed rather in a romantic symphonic style, featuring smooth melodies on guitars and atmospheric synthesizers.The guitar work contains much of STEVE HACKETT's trembling techniques but also some convinving CAMEL/ANYONE'S DAUGHTER-like solos with a deep melodic content.The tracks are quite long and the arrangements are pretty nice, even if Differences avoid any serious interplays and focus on astmospheric, elaborate compositions with both lyrical and instrumental variety.It seems that a dash of higher energy is needed in the most of the tracks, but this will come with the emphatic epic ''The melody'', clocking at 17 minutes, and offering a very British-styled Progressive Rock with heavy MARILLION overtones in the keyboard passages and again some impressive GENESIS orientations in the symphonic textures.Absolutely great and well-composed piece of classic Prog.

We're talking about 1985 here.I admire all these bands trying to keep the prog spirit alive in the middle of its less productive period.Nice GENESIS-influenced Neo/Symphonic Prog of the Dutch school, highlighted by its beautiful epic track.Warmly recommended.

 The Voyage by DIFFERENCES album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.46 | 13 ratings

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The Voyage
Differences Neo-Prog

Review by Progmind

4 stars Review N° 1 Band: Differences Album: The Voyage Label: Si Music (1991) Simply 4

As a member of ProgArchives for many years I decided to write my first review, overcoming my panic because of my poor English language skills.

The first band I chose is Differences, because in my opinion they created one of the best albums of the 80s and which unfortunately was unknown, I guess because it was promoted by a small label (Frizzbee) and then was reissued by SI Music that broke the mid-90 `.

Differences have strong influence of bands like Camel (I recommend listening to the third track of this album, "True or False") also can recognize the influence of bands like Genesis of the era of "Wind and Wuthering" and Novalis.

The structure of the songs is not very complex, but has very good arrangements, typical of bands like Amenophis, Osiris, Rousseau, Coda and Arkus.

The jewel of this album is the penultimate song called "The Melody", a song full of nuances, very melodic guitars and many layers of keyboards.

Recommended as it represents a transition between the symphonic rock of the late 70s and early neoprog 80.

Solid 4 star (8/10)

Cheers

Rodrigo

 A World of Difference by DIFFERENCES album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.00 | 6 ratings

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A World of Difference
Differences Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars So in the end PA decided to place this obscure Dutch band in the neo prog subgenre. As the band description quite rightly suggests Differences can be satisfied about this because their music (at least this album) is only borderline (neo) prog. In the early nineties SI Music put one track of this album on one of their samplers and those samplers were indicated as progressive and melodic music ( so not per se prog).

Anyway, I feel the band has some right to be present here. Their music is modest but their tracks are lengthy and complex enough to be called progressive. The modesty is best shown through their vocals which sound really shy. The style is soft and almost dreamy and the contemporary band (also from Holland by the way) they come closest to is Mangrove although it has to be said Mangrove is much more impressive in both sound as compositions.

In the end it's pretty hard to decide for the ultimate rating. It's very much right in between the 2 and 3 stars all things considered and the final decision depends on your taste and then mainly if you like your (neo)prog spicy or gentle. Personally it depends on my mood on the day but because there is quality enough on this album and Differences at least did the maximum effort where playing time is concerned I will give 3 (though strongly rounded up).

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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