Dutch family affair marries modern prog with a melodic and metallic sheen.

Featuring brothers Bart and Arjen Laan on guitar/vocals and drums respective­ly, plus dad Erik on vocals and keyboards, Homesick is a massively assured debut.

Ostensibly, the album is concerned with the “gloomy loneliness that overshadow­s modern life”, but that doesn’t mean the music is unremittin­gly downbeat, sombre or depressing.

From opener The Day That Never Came – with its clever combinatio­n of Stranger Things theme-alike sequenced keys and insistent Middle Eastern percussion, which builds into a varied yet very contempora­ry-sounding combinatio­n of crunchy guitar riffing, anthemic vocal hooks, and flute and keyboard solo interludes – through to Lonely City’s gorgeous intro and the dark funk of much of Stop Yelling, the band play around with feel and instrument­ation, while retaining a strong identity and coherence. The title track is a great example of their range; an acoustic ballad making the transition to powerful rock statement.

There’s room for growth certainly, but this is a confident and impressive debut from Chain Reaktor and one hopes that there’s plenty more to come.

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