Winston : In 2008, the Dutch prog metal band Ex Libris released their debut Amygdala and in that review I mentioned that this band had a good chance of success as the popularity of the genre of gothic opera metal or whatever you want to call it was large. Meanwhile drummer Eelco van der Meer, who we know from Ethereal, has join the fold.
Hearing the new album I was quickly satisfied with the better and fatter production of ‘Medea’, the successor that appeared in January 2014. The prog metal is pounding away at will occasionally and so I hear that also the later Dream Theater era has affectet the younger bands in this genre. The flag on the ship of Ex Libris is singer Van Giersbergen with her classical voice, which occasionally brushes the level of opera. The songs are tighter , more mature and the outer aspect, such as the logo and CD cover is lifted to the professional level. To emphasize this as a bonus we get to hear Threshold vocalist Damian Wilson in a song as a guest, which results in some nice tension between Van Giersbergen and Wilson. And this brings me also to the criticism on ‘Medea’. The classical Greek drama could have been given more room. There is so much happening musically it is a bit overshadowing the story. ‘Song Of Discord’ is a good example, with especially drummer Van der Meer who is battering away. Sometimes it is simply better to gear a bit back and play in service of the music instead of continuously who skilled you are. But progression is audible, that's for sure.