Released by: Independent Release
Release Date: Out Now!!!
Genre: Melodic Neo-Classical Prog/Power Rock/Metal
Mark Bogert – Guitars
Matthijs Kieboom – Bass
Harmen Kieboom – Drums
Wendy Heuvelmans – Keyboards
1. Penny’s Twist
4. Forgotten Words
5. A Way Out
6. Waisting Time
7. Dying Dream
8. What We Become
10. Back Home
Although the major label releases always offer high quality material, the world of independent releases should not be ignored. How amazing independent releases sometimes can sound can be heard on the debut CD of the Dordrecht, Holland based band PENNY’S TWISTED FLAVOUR. They released an incredible album that is filled with high quality Melodic Neo-Classical Prog/Power Rock/Metal that is clearly influenced by SYMPHONY X, MASTERPLAN, CIRCLE 2 CIRCLE and a little SAVATAGE, both instrumental and vocally, yet the band is a little more diverse here and there as they are also going for a calmer approach a few times (which DREAM THEATER also does of course sometimes) and even regular Neo-Progfans of the IQ, SPOCK’S BEARD, TRANSATLANTIC kind might find something of interest here.
However, the main genre of PENNY’S TWISTED FLAVOUR is clearly the Neo-Classic Melodic Metal genre that fits right between MASTERPLAN and SYMPHONY X. This is a very difficult genre of course that demands a lot from the musicians and the lead singer of the performing band, but luckily it is all under control on the first CD of PENNY’S TWISTED FLAVOUR.
The band did everything on their own and I must say they sound as good as one of the INSIDE OUT, PROGROCK or SPV releases. To my surprise one of the songs features a guest keyboard solo by none-other than Dutch hero TON SCHERPENZEEL (of KAYAK and YOUP VAN T HEK fame!). 10 tracks are included, starting and ending with an instrumental, but in between are 8 impressive tracks. The music is as already mentioned Neo-Classical Metal with some steps into Symphonic Melodic Rock here and there, always very keen on bringing a catchy melody (vocally reminding a little bit of BERT HEERINK of KAYAK/VANDENBERG, yet also clearly showing RUSSELL ALLEN and JON OLIVIA influences in especially the song “A way out”) and interesting instrumental passages (massive keyboards are combined with some excellent MALMSTEENish guitarwork).
Highlights are “Falling” (lovely straight-forward uptempo Melodic Heavy Rocker, very catchy tune actually), “Forgotten worlds” (very nice calmer almost AORish semi-acoustic ballad) and “Wasting my time” (hello MASTERPLAN meets CIRCLE 2 CIRCLE, a fantastic Neo-Classical Melodic Metal Masterpiece!).
This CD belongs to the best Dutch releases of the past few years, right up there with the long and lost similar releases of bands like SUN CAGED and SILENT EDGE (where are these guys!). This band should not be missed and the fact they hail from my old hometown of Dordrecht makes it quite special for me personally as well.
Written by Gabor
Ratings Gabor 8/10
Hear a compilation of “Sketches”