After Arjen Anthony Lucassen completed his latest triumph,
the Ayreon rock opera The Human Equation, he wanted to focus
on the many talents of Mexican singer Marcela Bovio, one of
the vocalists on the album. Bovio entered and won a vocalist
contest through Lucassen's website. The winner would have
a chance to sing on the highly successful Ayreon rock opera
series. As they say in Hollywood, the rest is history, or
I probably should say - history in the making. The first band
for Lucassen in 10 years, Stream Of Passion, is off to great
start with their new album Embrace The Storm. They signed
on with Inside Out Music and most recently with BMG. All things
are pointing to nothing but success for this exciting progressive
I have to say straight away that I am totally hooked
on this album. I cannot stop listening to it. Marcela’s voice
and the music behind her is like a drug, it is so intoxicating
you have to keep coming back for more. I have been expounding
upon the brilliance of Arjen Luccassen in every review I have
ever done, and there have been many mind you. Well, this time
I think he has struck gold by taking Bovio and few other choice
musicians to form a band that everyone is going to love, whether
you are a prog-rock lover or not this music is irresistible.
The music is powerful, sweeping, and beautiful all at once,
pushing Bovio’s vocals and thought provoking lyrics out into
the forefront of your thought process. The entire experience
is intense as it gets for music.
I know I am focusing on Lucassen and Bovio, with good
reason, but they would not be so recognizable without their
band mates, and I am sure they would agree. Lori Linstruth
is a good match for Arjen on lead guitar, they play off each
other very well, and the rhythm section of Johan van Stratum
(bass) and Davy Mickers (drums) are like the rock of Gibraltar.
Alejandro Millán provides just the right softness when necessary
with the piano and Bovio plays a fine violin furthering the
progressive aspects of their sound.
I loved every track but there were a few that gave me
chills, like “Haunted” and “Wherever You Are.” When Bovio
starts whispering in Spanish it just makes you melt. When
she keeps singing - wherever you are I will find you, regardless
of how beautiful her voice is, there is something inside that
tells you she means it, it is eerie.
Stream of Passion has my vote as best new band of the
year and I do not think over the next few months there will
be another band that comes together that could possibly impress
me as much as this. Mark my words, this album will be recognized
as one of the best progressive rock albums of the year and
classic in a few years. Arjen Lucassen is so smart, he is
stepping into the background, and pushing Bovio out front,
he knows better than anyone that she is going to be a star;
it will not take long, just watch, and listen.