Ulysses — The Gift of Tears
(Musea FGBG 4823, 2008, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2010-07-01
Ulysses is a Dutch metal-prog band and The Gift of Tears is their second album. Apparently, The Gift of Tears is a concept album, as Ulysses wanted to share their views and opinions on how we as human beings can live our lives more meaningfully. However, I find it very difficult to grasp their message as their instruments dominate the music. There are big instrumental breaks between the vocals, so you lose any continuity and the vocals do not stand enough above the music to make a difference. The problem, as I see it, is Ulysses’ music is so energetic and packed to the gills that the listener rapidly tires from the sonic barrage and tunes out anything that follows. The first two songs, “”Family Portrait” and “Guardian Angel,” are a sonic assault that is finally relieved by the first two minutes of “Lost.” I do detect some similarities to 70s prog, especially to Kansas. “Family Portrait” reminds me quite a bit of “Carry on My Wayward Son” with their vocal harmonies and riffs. For me, Ulysses is at their best when their arrangements are at a minimum. The best song is the three-minute “Silence of the Night,” with street sounds, cars, whistles, footsteps, piano, and simple vocals. Unfortunately, the other songs are just too long and boring. This is one of the discs best taken in small doses. So, if you liked Kansas in the day, then you might enjoy The Gift of Tears.
Related artist(s): Ulysses
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more