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Morning - Hour Of Joy (CD)

Hour Of Joy
by Michael Dalakos at 18 August 2005, 8:45 AM

One of the great things from being a reporter of a webzine is the ability to learn and listen to stuff way before they reach the greater audience. In some cases you get to listen to albums way before they even reach a label for a contract. That's what happened with Morning and their debut Hour Of Joy. I had the chance to listen to the entire album more than six months ago. And even though it wasn't yet mastered at the time, it caught my attention.
The band was formed in 2000 by Saskia Van Heugten and Mauro Pi. The first recruits were the two brothers Pol and Stijn Bannier. During the following two years the band released two demos in 2001 and 2002 respectively. Their next move was to continue with two new guitarists, Martijn Brauwers and Bas Rensen. With their new lineup they released a demo EP called Inside. What is really interesting is that the band has achieved an extensive live activity with more than 40 gigs in 2003 and 2004. An impressive number for an unsigned band, indeed.
What Morning describe as Dream Metal I describe as a mixture of Epica and After Forever with maybe a couple of innovations along the way. Their style is symphonic, based on keyboards and of course the excellent voice of Saskia Van Heughten. What I like the most in Morning is their ability to combine this style with more down to earth compositions. The band doesn't sound all the time pompous like Epica (check for example This Unreachable Mess) while at times they get down to business with tracks like Hour Of Joy.
If there is a problem in the album I think it's the production. Sadly I found it (still even after the mastering) a bit thick in order to recreate the depth this kind of music has. The approach the band follows in their cover version of The Show Must Go On is quite interesting but as we all know trying to cover Queen is like playing with fire.
In conclusion this is a really good debut CD. Morning seem to make it into the major league of symphonic Metal with just one move. Let's see what the future holds for them.

3 Star Rating

Hour Of Joy
This Unreachable Mess
The Unknown Is Searching The Unfound
Kill The Silence
Circle Of Power
When Shadows Dance In Light
Captured By The Colour Of Faith
Perception Of Feelings
You're setting Fire
Stop Drawing
The Show Must Go On
Saskia Van Heugten - Vocals
Martijn Brauwers - Guitar
Bas Rensen - Guitar
Pol Bannier - Bass
Stijn Bannier - Synths
Mauro Pi - Drums
Record Label: Black Lotus Records


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