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HUBI MEISEL ‘EmOcean’ Lion Music (2004)

German vocalist Hubi Meisel has been around a while, but this his is his 2nd solo album. Prviously he is known for his singing on prog-metallers Dreamscape debut album 'Very'.

His first album was an album of covers, fortunately this time he has recorded an album of originals and a concept album to boot. This time around he has surrounded himself with some musicians of the highest calibre, guitar maestro, Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged, Lemur Voice) and Mind's Eye drummer, Daniel Flores, being the more well know.

As the album title says, the album concept based on Hubi's visions of and enchanting underwater world. Song titles like,'Dolphin's Wake', Underwater Fears' and Aqua Phoenix' indicate this, but without a lyric booklet to go into detail, it's a little vague as just exactly what Hubi is trying to say.

The music, while nothing like the progressive metal of Dreamscape, is more in the AOR mould, Hubi's voice is more suited to the lighter material presented here. In fact his voice does take some getting used to if you haven't heard it previously. All the songs are well written, have memorable melodies, without being too outstanding. Heavy riffs are few and far between, with the keyboards providing the background for Hubi's lyrics and melodies. Marcel Coenen gets to rip a few solo's here and there, when he does he is, without doubt, the highlight of 'EmOcean'.

Fans of the lighter side of progressive music, though I am not entirely sure this music is progressive, will appreciate 'EmOcean'. A pleasant surprise that I liked this so much, it wasn't what I was expecting, but that is more the pleasure of discovering something like this.


Review by Graham Hyde

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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