Kingfisher Sky - Hallway of Dreams
The Laser's Edge
Progressive Rock/Metal
11 songs (49'04")
Release year: 2008
The Laser's Edge
Reviewed by Alex

Within Temptation is certainly a band name recognizable by many in today’s radio oriented metal. The band has gained itself some new fans by popularizing the sound, but many original followers were probably left behind. Honestly, I stopped my Within Temptation forays right where Mother Earth ended, so I can’t possibly have an opinion on the Within Temptation of today. Turns out drummer Ivar De Graaf also did not stick around. Instead, he went after significantly less commercial angle, teaming up with Judith Rijnveld to produce Kingfisher Sky, the band dedicated to progressive rock with an atmospheric mythical twist.

Even though musicianship of Kingfisher Sky members is honed and polished, the band does not go after technical displays of their prowess or complex song structures a la Pain of Salvation. Hallway of Dreams is a collection of pleasant well-crafted nicely-flowing soft tunes, first and foremost. Take it or leave it. If you count yourself among the haters of Tori Amos and/or you local Soft Rock the River radio station, November and Her White Dress are strongly not recommended. The Dutch connection is also rather strong in Kingfisher Sky sound on their debut. Seven Feet and Persephone very much adhere to The Gathering trip-rock canons in their early phases, Seven Feet growing considerably heavier, while Persephone retains that feeling induced by the mild substance abuse herb legalized in Netherlands.

Kingfisher Sky is often trying to make a point that they are not only about nymphs walking around misty forests (Balance of Power), so once in a while, almost on queue, they are trying to go for a heavier slant, with such breakdowns, for a lack of a better word, appearing rather predictably. Many a song has a moment like this, the most obvious being a double bass Nightwishy chorus in the title track or the aforementioned Balance of Power and Seven Feet. The heaviness appeared to be quite less artificial and more organically woven in, when it was called for by the darker acoustic opening of Through My Eyes or when Judith voice demanded the rise in surrounding her intensity (Through My Eyes, Brody).

Overall, Judith is the alpha and omega of Kingfisher Sky. As she goes, so goes the band. Classically trained, she is a crossover between Anneke (The Gathering) and Lana Lane. Judith does not strain herself with operatics unless they are logical (the ending of Brody), preferring instead to flow out as a clean silver spring (Big Fish). When guitars add weightiness to their riffs, Kingfisher Sky brings to life the sound of sadly defunct Amaran and its frontlady Johanna DePierre, although Hallway of Dreams is decidedly less stormy than Pristine in Bondage.

The truth is – you could do much worse in the world of progressive rock/metal than Kingfisher Sky. Most importantly, they never sag down to cheap, beaten down chick-loved hooks and sappy balladry, although given ample chances to do so. I only wish that there could be more interesting instrumental moments, like didgeridoo sounding guitar solo on November, or vocal variations, like overlaid polyphony of Through My Eyes. With this signing/licensing Sensory/The Laser’s Edge does nothing to diminish it reputation for spotting quality talent.

Killing Songs :
Through My Eyes, Brody
Alex quoted 81 / 100
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