Mike McLatchey 15-September-2002 Due

It has been a while since H2O's debut, Unopuntosei, an album which for me was a split hair short of excellent. It seemed like the band was on the cusp of greatness, thus I looked forward to this new album in particular. Before the term "neo prog" was copped to describe "bad prog," this would have been the type of band to pull out as a fine example of a symphonic rock album played with modern equipment, as H2O never seems to have any intention to throw an 80s hair ballad or cheesy upbeat "hit single" into the mix. The new album does not break any new ground, but it is a genuinely interesting and slightly complicated form of keyboard progressive. Heavily melodic, with much of the inspiration coming from classic period Genesis or early Marillion and IQ, H2O never shy completely away from accessibility while keeping one's interest with lots of key and chord changes. There are five tracks, with the two shortest at just over seven minutes and the title track the longest at 16'32. Have H2O decisively made a step to sheer excellence? Maybe not decisively, but surely marginally. This one is definitely recommended to the symphonic prog enthusiast, although not the 70s only type.

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