Band: Semistereo

CD Title: Trans Earth Injection

Website: www.semistereo.nl

Label: FREIA Music (2017)

Rating: Great Stuff 4/5



This is album number three for this Dutch quintet and it’s a good one! Coming in at a neat fifty-minutes, these seven compositions are powerfully dramatic, launching great riff after great riff at the listener. Sprinkled in amongst that performance are some wonderful melodies too. Semistereo find themselves in an unusual “no-man’s land” given that they create music that is easily identifiable as Progressive Rock and yet they are often lumped in with Alternative bands. The good thing about this is that those Alternative fans are being exposed to some great prog. Half of these tunes are on the longish side, two are over ten-minutes so as you might expect there are plenty of musical change-ups along with shifts in time, tempo and structure. The music incorporates some nice heavy guitar crafting big power chords that lend a grand and epic scale to the music all of which contrasts the softer melodic moments. That “bigness” is all over this record with all manner of hammered guitar riffs combined with keyboards filling in the wall-of-sound. The soft and heavy trade-offs remind me a little of bands like Pendragon, Pineapple Thief and Porcupine Tree. Semistereo has also toured with Marillion and there are subtle similarities in compositional approach although there’s a lot more guitar crunch on display here. All in all, this is a really great listening experience, with more than enough prog chops to keep you entertained. Perhaps it’s also a disc to keep handy to play for those friends not yet into prog. I’m just sayin’. Recommended.