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Label : Eigen beheer | Archive under prog / sympho metal

Release type: Full-length CD

Wim S. : PBII is a symphonic rock band from The Hague in Holland. In the past, the band has shown to be socially engaged: in 2010 they made an album about the oceanic problem 'Plastic Soup' and in 2013, funds were collected for KiKa, child cancer. Very noble, very good. With this new album 'ROCKet', the band pays tribute to Wubbo Ockels, the only Dutch astronaut. Just before Ockels passed away, he held an urgent speech about saving the earth. With 'ROCKet', in 12 songs PBII wants to view the Earth from a distance, just as Ockels did. The widow of Ockels, Joos, even wrote a beautiful preface to this album.

Well, pretty pretentious, right? But to be honest, the band also makes it true. Apart from the theme and the backgrounds: PBII is a symphonic rock band in the classic sense of the word: prominent keyboards, a singer with a rather high voice, a single heavy riff and quite complex song structures. Indeed, music reminiscent to Yes and Gentle Giant, but I hear, for example, also pieces that remind me of Queen. I am very pleased with the voice of singer Ruud Slakhorst: he lacks volume and power but he is very comfortable in quite high regions. He also sings very naturally and I think that is an absolute pleasure. Compliments are certainly in place for the vocal contributions of Nathalie Mees. She adds really beautiful parts, whether or not combined with the male contributions of, for example, Nad Sylvan (from thousands recognizable!). I feel a bit sorry for guitarist Ronald Brautigham who gets (or does not take) much space to show his ability, because his solo in 'Trapped' or his contribution to 'Nothing Is Real' betray a lot of class. What I always feel sorry for with bands like PB!! is the fact that it's always so damn serious. Nowhere do I hear fun, pleasure, joy: it's music that is played with tight faces and the smile does not appear on the face until the album is over.

I hope that the band has the opportunity to play their music more often than that one time in The Boerderij in Zoetermeer ....

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