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Silhouette: Across The Rubicon

There’s no going back for the Dutch neo-proggers.

Across The Rubicon is Silhouette’s third release, and while not a concept album per se, its eight tracks are linked thematically around the ‘dramatic choices from which there is no return’. It’s largely dominated by three 11-minute epics, and punctuated by five shorter pieces.

The title track’s gently strummed acoustic guitars and washes of symphonic keyboards recall Barclay James Harvest, but this is hardly representative of Silhouette, who are a bona fide neo-prog outfit.

The first of those three epics, Breathe almost veers into prog metal territory initially. When Erik Laan’s sparkling piano takes over the track heads more into the realms of their usual sound, echoing the likes of IQ and Pendragon. The symphonic ballad Empty Places is excellent but would’ve benefitted from a stronger vocalist than drummer Jos Uffing. When Snow’s Falling Down plays out nicely until, right at the death, it’s blighted by a children’s choir.

Across The Rubicon is prime neo-prog, with fine songs and instrumental prowess (especially notable in Laan’s Moog solos). But on this evidence Silhouette have no fresh twists to apply to the genre’s well-trodden path.