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On disc: Day Six

The Grand Design - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

The Grand Design

The Grand Design
(Lion Music - 2010)

The Dutch quartet Day Six was founded in 2002, in 2003 they released Eternal Dignity. Now they release the follow up called The Grand Design.
Lyrically The Grand Design is a concept album which focuses on an extraterrestrial spaceship that has been found in Lake Vostok – Antarctica. The story line is following five weather scientists who did this discovery and found out about the secrecy on Extraterrestrial contact on Earth. The elite government finds out about the scientists - and to prevent them from bringing out the truth on E.T. life, they are locked in psychiatric hospitals while agents try to erase their experiences from their memories. However, the scientists develop a way to communicate telepathically with each other and with the E.T. beings. One of the scientists is writing a diary – the song A Soul's Documentary is about these writings. In this way, they try to bring out the truth to the world despite the plans of the government.
The opener Massive Glacial Wall begins with heavy riffs, a complex passage, then a break, a slow, melodic passage follows. They switch between heavy riffs and slow catchy passages. A sonic roller coaster ride. The opener is a bit over 9 minutes long, but the foursome knows how to keep your attention. Lost Identity follows the chosen path as they combine slower, melodic parts with heavy, guitar driven ones. Robbie van Stiphout's guitar sings, his vocals are varying - always adjusting to the song. The saxophone part of Eric Berkers some might find annoying, but personally I love it. At Castel Gandolfo Mr. van Stiphout reminds me of Warrel Dane for a brief moment, but it's just a facet. Dolf van Heugten's synthesizer give it a spacy atmosphere, but it also has a dash of Oriental sounds in it. Quite heavy is Inside, but the synthesizer gives it a dash of 70's prog rock. Songs like Age Of Technology are atmospheric and enchanting. In The End... is the closer and with melancholy soundscapes they close the chapter.
Day Six don't show their craftsmanship in lenghty instrumental passages, the guys invite you to join them on their sonic journey and you won't regret to accept this invitation. Fans of bands like Dream Theater, Vanden Plas, Threshold, Symphony X or Porcupine Tree should check out this opus!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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