Artist/ Band: The Barstool Philosophers
Title: Sparrows
Label: Self release
Year of Release: 2008
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

From their beginnings in 1997, Dutch band The Barstool Philosophers, has evolved over the years to, what I feel to be an important part of the new breed of progressive rock. In 2008, they released their debut album entitled, Sparrows, which was well received by the progressive rock community and was nominated for some awards too. It wasn’t until November 2010 that I got a hold of a copy (as they say, “Better late than never“).

Musically, I hear a mixture of Queensryche and David Bowie mostly in the vocals. While the music has elements of Queensryche (mostly from Rage For Order to Empire) as well as Marillion (Fish-era). The end result to me is a rather unique take on their influences. The current line-up consists of Leon Brouwer (vocals), Rene Kroon (keyboards), Bas Hoebink (bass), Ivo Peolman (guitars) and Martin Kuipers (drums).

From the opening track of “Afterglow” (5:31) to the closer “Away From Here” (7:02), there is not a bad track on the album. This is one of those albums that I fell in love with. It has two of my favorite bands, Queensryche and David Bowie, combined in one. Just imagine the vocals sounding like Geoff Tate filtered through David Bowie and you have a good idea of what to expect.

As I previously mentioned, I received Sparrows two years after it’s release and had I heard it back then I would come to the same conclusion that it’s an amazing essential album for those into the modern progressive rock sound. I’d put The Barstool Philosophers along side most of the current roster of bands. In conclusion, I’d highly recommend this release to the aforementioned bands as well as the melodic side of progressive rock.

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on February 21st, 2011


01. Afterglow
02. Silence
03. Lies
04. Dreamscape
05. Eyes Show The Heart
06. Descendents Of The Fall
07. Fallen Angels
08. Endless Seasons
09. Away From Here

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