This fine band is Plackband version 2 = PBII, this is their second outing under the new name and it is quite a daring topic (the dreaded and damned decease cancer) given a concept story on a full album. It is an amazing (and you would think impossible) task this fine band has given themselves. It's the story of a young boy Eric, nine years of age, whom gets the horrific diagnosis: you got cancer!! It's a story about hope, friendship, life and death and the will to survive. Yes it is a tough topic for any kind of musical endeavour, but what better way than beautiful symphonic prog music?! Let me tell you right now, PBII puls it off and may I say, in such a delicate, wonderful & unsentimental, still serious manner. The music and story here unfolds before your very ears and believe you me, when I state this has got to be one of the best concept albums of 2013, both musically and story wise!! This is symphonic prog music of the highest order and delivery, not only does the whole band shine, the lead singer Rund Slakhorst sounds uncanny like Jon Andersson (he of Yes fame) on many tracks and the whole production is superb!! Furthermore you get The Hague Youth Symphony Orchestra, a guest performance from the great Steve Hackett on "Evil Weed", the wonderful soprano vocals of Nathalie Mees, superb spoken word of James Potter as Eric and Roger Watson as the storyteller! It is indeed an extraordinary piece of work PB II has created here and friends of classic prog will love it!! The Epic track here being " A Perfect day" with its perfectly laid construction and compositionally brilliance, a majestic soaring piece of music that holds you captured throughout the duration time (11.36 minutes) leaving you wanting more and that is just what you get, from this exceptionally fine release!! That said, it really is a solid cast album nothing stands out or rather everything stands out. A perfect concept album in every sense, start to finish, great story, great musicianship, great vocals, great compositions, great orchestration, great production, great cover art !! What more do you really want? Highly recommended to any serious collector of suberb symphonic prog and/ or great music in general!! Why wait? Go on, treat yourself to a perfect gift, go buy this wonderful release!! Full rating from me and this one´s a keeper!!
P.s. Every sold album donates surplus money to the Dutch foundation for child cancer: KIKA !!