Leon : In the music world there are many genres and subgenres, concerning the rock and metal genre I dare to say that I know most of the subgenres but sometimes I come across one that I have never heard of before. The British group The Kentish Spires, for example, make 'Canterbury-inspired Progressive Rock', the album is also recorded with techniques that reinforce this sound. Since I don’t know the genre I also don’t know what to expect, there is also nothing I could find about this group online, except that 'The Last Harvest' was released this year and the debut album is for the group. Without knowing anything about the group, I played the album and was ready to be surprised.
As soon as the music started I wondered if I had received the wrong CD, because the music sounded like something that was recorded thirty years ago by a starting band (especially the first song). Unfortunately, that is not the case, as I read in the book that they deliberately choose for the old sound, because this fits with the genre. The result is that it makes the music sound a bit messy and dated, but other than that it’s good to listen to. In terms of style the band plays progressive rock but I find it difficult to name another band with the same style, but then again I’m not familiar with Canterbury Progressive Rock. The music contains at least trumpets, flutes, and atmospheric keyboards, something that was not uncommon during the seventies. Actually, it’s quite alright, although there are clearly stronger and weaker moments to be found on the album but also in the songs themselves, the songwriting is too inconsistent to say it’s really good. The biggest problem on the album is with vocalist Lucie V., who often chooses to sing lower tones so she completely disappears in the music, her voice at that tone also doesn’t sound nice and a little bit forced. In addition, I also find that the flutes and horns distracting too much, but I have to admit that I am usually not a fan of these kind of instruments in progressive rock. Though admittedly, at moments the saxophone is quite nice.
In general, 'The Last Harvest' by The Kentish Spiers is a nice album that has room for improvement. That said, there are certainly moments on the album where the band shows potential. I would strongly recommend vocalist Lucie V. to look at the vocals, there is still something to be gained there. This album will be disappearing into my archive and is almost certainly not going to come out any time soon.