Artist/ Band: Freak Neil, Inc.
Title: Characters
Label: Lion Music
Year of Release: 2005
Artist/ Band Link (click for details/ ordering)

The Review:

Upon opening a package from Lion Music, I was expecting more of the same. Lion Music is famous or infamous (depending on who you ask) on releasing power and neo-classical metal. Once in a while they release something unique and original. This time they did with the ultra modern metal sounds of Rob Van Der Loo’s Freak Neil, Inc. And it’s debut , called Characters. This is a project headed up by Rob who plays bass and stick in the band Sun Caged. Joining Rob on Characters is Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Sean Malone, and Irene Jansen among many others.

One may think Characters is yet another rock opera based on the many players but this time the listener is pleasantly surprised with the combination of math metal, avant-garde, experimental fusion, industrial and gothic musics. All but one song is bass driven hyperactive music insanity. All tracks are fantastic and very intense but the songs that stand out the most for me are the techno driven, I Understand, to the beautiful melodic ballad “Beyond The Garden” and the final epic track,. Absence.

Let’s hope for more experimental works like this from Lion Music especially from Rob Van Der Loo in the very near future. Rob is a force to be reckoned with! Which makes this album very recommendable to fans of Devin Townsend, Mars Volta, Cynic and Gordian Knot as well as modern rock and prog!

Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on Deecmeber 6th, 2005


1. Characters
2. Talking Chair
3. I'm The Hero
4. I Understand
5. Downtown
6. Beyond The Garden
7. Bulldozer Blues
8. Cafe Supreme
9. Jaba
10. Absense

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