At the end of this year I probably need to change my year end list of best 2017 (progressive) releases. Ayreon released The Source in april this year and that was a fine and good one. Now Day Six will probably be my number one with their third release Solitary League. This band combines influences of some of the best progrock/metal bands.
The opener ‘Hypervigilant’ is one of the heavier pieces with strong riffs and strong vocals of Robbie van Stiphout. This combination of singing and riffing reminds me of another great Dutch progressive band called Cirrha Niva. After that jazzy influences follow, great bass lines and drum patterns carry ‘Flight to Mars’. Add on top of that the hammond organs and you experience a fine 70’s atmosphere.
The fantastic ride follows with ‘Myriad Scars’, a modest song with a nice build up. Again jazz influences follow and the riffs and the increasing tempo later on in the song give it just the necesarry heaviness. This 2 songs made me think of bands like Led Zeppelin, Rush and indeed also Ayreon. With a title called ‘Math’s Patterns’ you can expect some very complicated rhytmns and patterns. This is exactly what you get, but this all briefly worked out and with great emotional vocals.
‘The Cloud’ and ‘Grace In Words’ are pearls reminding of the 70’s, with great orchestral pieces, strong keys and even influences of Pink Floyd included. Just listen to the first minute of ‘The Cloud’ and indeed you fancy yourself somewhere lying on a cloud in the sky. After this 2 real prog rock pieces, a more metallic song follows introduced by the threatening piano instrumental ‘3:09’. ‘Deadlock’ is packed full with nice riffs, tempo changes, powerful vocals and is the heaviest track on the album. The almost 10 minute long epic ‘Modern Solitude’ forms a strong climax with a nice choir part creating the perfect atmosphere and filling up the song. Solitary League is the perfect Christmas gift for every progressive rock/metal fan.
Warning: If there are progressive rock/metal fans that already made up their end of the year list, I advice you to reconsider and listen to this album before posting it!
02. Flight to Mars
03. Myriad Scars
04. Math's Patterns
05. The Cloud
06. Grace in Words
09. Modern Solitude
Playing Time: 61:00
Drums: Daan Liebregts
Keys: Rutger Vlek
Bass/ backing vocals: Eric Smits
Guitar/Vocals: Robbie van Stiphout