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DR. COENOBITE

Symphonic Prog • Netherlands


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Dr. Coenobite biography
DR. COENOBITE (also known as The COENOBITE) is a one-man unit, namely guitarist Coen Vrouwenvelder, whose symphonic electronics with a classical twist may remind you of Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. He handles classical, electric, 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars as well as piano, synthesizers, drums and percussion. His technical abilities aren't exactly what sells his albums but his accessible melodies are pleasant enough (or cheesy, depending on your inclination).

He released two albums in the early 90's. "My Habit" ('92) is all instrumental with a very dark atmosphere. Among others, it features a 30-minute track with a good range of mood and tempo changes as well as some interesting sound effects. The more acoustic "Castles in the Air" ('94) features a few tracks with female vocalist Nynke Kooistra - not a particularly gifted singer although she does break the monotony of what would otherwise be a boring set of tunes. Think of this band as something like a diminutive GANDALF.

Somewhat interesting if you're into New Age, but certainly not essential.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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DR. COENOBITE discography


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

DR. COENOBITE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.70 | 7 ratings
My Habit
1992
3.08 | 4 ratings
Castles In The Air
1994

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DR. COENOBITE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 My Habit by DR. COENOBITE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.70 | 7 ratings

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My Habit
Dr. Coenobite Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The Coenobite is the moniker chosen by Dutch multi-instrumentalist Coen Vrouwenvelder in early-90's, free translated from Greek into ''common life'', under which he produced a couple of albums.His first work back in 1988 was the demo ''Turn the page'', a low budget production recorded with a 4-track recorder and a very cheap equipment.This was followed by the full-legth CD release ''The habit'', featuring Coen at the front cover dressed as monk and shot in his home's garden.

It was a self-financed production with Coen helped only on guitar solos and voices by Joost Cornelissen and Nynke Kooistra, suffering from the awful drum programming and the average- sounding keyboards, but also containing some good electric guitar work.Actually ''The habit'' sounds a lot like the early efforts of ELEGANT SIMPLICITY, the one-man project of Steve McCabe.Melodic, mostly instrumental, Progressive Rock characterized by the good electric solos, the dreamy keyboard work, sometimes close to New Age soundscapes and the repetitive grooves.The guitar of Mr. Vrouwenvelder is the shining instrument in here, covering parts filled with melodic solos, dramatic chops and groovy leads, while his keyboard work also contains some nice ideas, especially on the grandiose symphonic passages and the few harsichord notes.However the recording sounds somewhat amateur, the drum machine is really unbearable, while the album has tons from similarities from track to track, all based on the same dramatic atmosphere.

Dedicated fans of acts like ELEGANT SIMPLICITY, COLIN MASSON, MIKE OLDFIELD or modern CAMEL but with a poorer sound are those having some possibilities to dive deep into this album.Decent effort by a single person, but not good enough to categorized as recommended...2.5 stars.

 Castles In The Air by DR. COENOBITE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.08 | 4 ratings

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Castles In The Air
Dr. Coenobite Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars One of the more obscure artists in ProgArchives and the second album from the Dutch artist Dr. Con Vrouwenvelder.

Listed as symphonic prog, this is one of the artists which is leaning far more towards New Age music than the likes of Yes, Genesis and ELP. But Mike Oldfield is an obvious reference point here. This also because the music here contains of some gentle guitar picking, keyboards used as sound collages and some female vocals. The music here sometimes breaks into proper songs in the Mike Oldfield mould.

In short; if you are looking for dramatic symphonic prog with time changes and intricate details; don't bother about this album. If you on the other hand adore Mike Oldfield and Gandalf, Dr. Con Vrouwenvelder's two albums under this moniker is well worth looking into if you can find them.

As an added bonus, this album is actually a good album. The guitars are good and the female vocals are not overpowering. They reminds me about Anneke in The Gathering. It is not her, though. OK, the stuff here is a bit boring and cures insomnia. Some great melodies are also sorely lacking. But despite of this, the result is good. Check Ebay for the remaining copies of this album.

3 stars

 My Habit by DR. COENOBITE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.70 | 7 ratings

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My Habit
Dr. Coenobite Symphonic Prog

Review by erik neuteboom
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When I worked for the Dutch progrock paper SI Magazine I got in touch with Coen Vrouwenfelder, the man behind Dr. Coenebite. We both wrote for SI Magazine and played guitar. He invited me at his home and I was impressed by his very enthousiastic attitude and great musical ideas. This debut-CD (on his own label) is a pleasant blend of classical and symphonic, I'm delighted with the nice words from PA veteran James Unger! To me Dr. Coenebite was the Dutch Gandalf, unfortunately things didn't work out and he disappeared from the scene. Last month (almost 10 years after our last contact!) I got an e-mail from him and he sent me some very promising tapes. I hope to inform you about these tapes very soon, this multi-instrumentalist has so many skills and great ideas!


 My Habit by DR. COENOBITE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.70 | 7 ratings

BUY
My Habit
Dr. Coenobite Symphonic Prog

Review by loserboy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With songs written and performed by this virtually unknown musician, The COENOBITE delivers a highly captivating album full of surprises and charm. "My Habit" is a concept based album with a wide range of mood and tempo changes throughout. The opening track clocks in around 30 minutes and is made up of some 6 distinct parts. The COENOBITE plays a highly dark symphonic style of music which also contains some nice electric guitar parts. The COENOBITE is credited with playing most of the keyboards, guitar and drums. Sound effects are used throughout to add to the macabre feeling The COENOBITE is trying to evoke throughout this album. A good listen.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Symphonic Team for the last updates

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