Huis ("home doors" in French, and "house" in Dutch) is a Canadian Progressive Rock band from Montreal, in the Canadian province of Quebec. ‘Abandoned’ is their third studio album.
Despite the subject matter of the album is somewhat forbidding in nature with lyrics relating to loss and abonnement the actual music in itself is extremely peaceful and relaxing with beautifully melodic combinations of dreamy keyboards and lead guitar. The whole affair is saturated with rhythmic patterns of gorgeous undulating bass lines and bright and breezy drumming seemingly conveying an overall air resplendent pleasure. Such a trick often utilised by ‘Steely Dan’ in embellishing their sad and doom-laden somber lyrics with melodic instrumental charm.
The album as a whole, over the eight tracks. Is very song based and although indisputably progressive rock in makeup there is throughout a definite nod towards the softer AOR market? This reveals itself more with the extremely pleasant vocal arrangements and harmonies which tend to take on a kind of lead singer role rather than being absorbed within the musical framework. But the progressive edge to their music certainly comes to fore with a multitude of complex time signatures and changes of direction especially little flurries of synthesizer counter-melodies spilling off at angles to the main themes. There is an abundance of extremely pleasing main theme and break away piano sequences that add much interest and this together with forays of exquisite flute.
The vocals are very strong on each track. It seems from my internet dabbling’s that several very strong singers have been utilised but it’s not very clear as to who is who. But not withstanding that it is clear that a great deal of work has been incorporated within the musical and lyrical arrangements to ensure that the correct blend of vocal sound and projection has been selected.
Although in itself quite a unique sound there are elements of Saga, Genesis, Jon Bon Jovi
Summary: A very enjoyable mixture of Progressive Rock with a slight helping of AOR
TRACK LISTING 1. Abandoned 2. The Giant Awakens 3. Caducée 4.Stolen 5. Solilude 6. Chasing Morning Glory 7. Haunting Days
8.We Are Not Alone
Michel Joncas: bass
Pascal Lapierre: keyboards
Sylvain Descoteaux: vocals
William Régnier: drums
Michel St-Père: guitars.
INFO FROM RECORD COMPANY -Abandoned is produced by Huis bassist and songwriter Michel Joncas, with mixing duties provided by guitarist and songwriter Michel St-Pere (also from the band MYSTERY) at Studio Illusion 4, and mastering handled by Richard Addison at Trillium Sound in St-Hippolyte, Quebec.
Abandoned features singer-songwriter Sylvain Descoteaux, drummer-songwriter William-Régnier, guitarist-songwriter Michel St-Père, keyboardist-songwriter Johnny Maz and bassist-songwriter and band founder Michel Joncas. All five HUIS members also provided keyboard tracks for this release.
HUIS is also joined on Abandoned by guest musicians/singers: Jean Pageau (MYSTERY) on flute, Gabby Vessoni (FLEESH) on vocals, Serge Locat (exHarmonium) on piano and Éloïse Joncas on vocal