Exposé Online banner

Mindgames — Actors in a Play
((Not on label) no#, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Actors in a Play Cover art

Actors in a Play is the second release from this Dutch quintet, following 2002’s International Daylight. The lineup here is the same (though since the album was released bassist Eric Vandormael has departed). Being Dutch there’s a good chance this band follows in the footsteps of many, many neo-and symphonic-prog bands before them, which they do. The trademark elements are all in place: loads of melodic guitar leads and twiddly synths, warm beds of organ, lush instrumentals and drums that rock steady though with the requisite amount of jazzy finesse. Each song on the album is a mini epic, the longest being “The Statue” that clocks in at over 16 minutes and the closer “Both Sides of the Show,” packaged as a three-part suite. Singer Bart Schram has a distinctive vocal style, like a softer, gentler version of Fish, which may not appeal to everyone, though he helps give the band’s music a distinct personality where otherwise they’d sound just like so many others. The title of the album and several of the songs have a thespian bent, another nod to early Marillion even if the arrangements more often harken back to Lamb-era Genesis. The writing is good, though not brilliant and the performances solid, though nobody particularly stands out. Overall the album succeeds, though I sense the band hasn’t hit their full potential yet. Hopefully they’ll be willing to step out of the neo-symphonic prog box some on the next one.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Mindgames

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Thompson - 1000 Years of Popular Music – When the end of the millennium started creeping up, lots of people started making lists. When it comes to the subject of popular music, most of us are only familiar with that of the 20th Century, with...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues