Review of Rofloré
Peter Swart - Rofloré
Based on a story by Peter van der Laan, Rofloré describes a minstrel living in a fantasy-like setting. It is a philosophical adventure, comparable to Hesse's Siddhartha, or to remain in the fantastic literature, figures as Paolini's Eragon and Marysons Jyll, in which the main character, through a cosmic journey full of dangers, challenges, disappointments and loves, hopes to gain as much experience to fulfill his lifetask with motivation and wisdom.
For this new project, Peter Swart has chosen a slightly more robust approach than on the predecessors The Path and Shades, without denying his melancholy style. He approached his concept again with a typical seventies attitude: the narrator (van der Laan) introduces the hero and his quest, which are further sung by Swart with his whispering voice. This has an introverted acoustic character, which effectively contributes to the development of the theme. Although not entirely disappeared, the intimate Anthony Phillips atmosphere of yesteryear has largely given way to a fuller symphonic sound, which in terms of guitar and keyboard performance is more in line with Steve Hackett, Phillips' successor at Genesis (and his Voyage Of The Acolyte in particular). We regularly enjoy warm parts, full of lingering and jubilant guitar solos and mellotron-like strings and choirs, that come with well dosed dynamics from the traditional drums of Koos van Reeven. A good example for this is the end of Descriptions Of Ymyty, called The Edhazherã, which builds up to the classic final. The tension is further enhanced by a variety of effects, such as spacey synths in The Dawning Of Nylyo (the planet), Also Sprach Zarathustra-like timpani in The Pontha (spacecraft) or dark, heavy thumps in Mysterious Allurement.
With Rofloré Swart more or less continued his own biography. Like his protagonist, he left the almost cozy safety of his previous albums to venture into the musically more erratic outside world. This openness to the extrovert has led to a melodious journey, which combines strongly all the features of his old work with a drama that will sound familiar to many Genesis fans.