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Trion - Funfair Fantasy CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 57 ratings

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4 stars The third Trion album `Funfair Fantasy' sees the band return with another winning selection of lush, endlessly melodic symphonic prog, and a more lovely and carefully crafted collection of instrumental music you won't find. Anyone who enjoys the pleasant instrumental passages of bands such as Rousseau, Camel and a little bit of Genesis will find an album lovingly crafted in the same style, proudly in debt to them yet not simply remaking their work. The music by the trio of Edo Spanninga, Eddie Mulder and Menno Boomsma is so gloriously joyful and proud of it's prog heritage that it's very easy to be swept along for the ride!

It's no surprise to find that the album is overloaded in Mellotron glory throughout, as well as plenty of tastefully melodic electric guitar solos in the Andy Latimar fashion. It's superb beginning to end, not a dud track or filler to be found. But special mention must go to the upbeat opener `Ampenmunnchen', the regal and drowsy Pink Floyd-styled `In The Distance' with it's gently humming Hammond and grand, bluesy David Gilmour guitarwork, and `Song For Canada', with the kind of hearfelt extended guitar soloing that would make Nick Barrett and Roine Stolt green with envy! The playful `Towers' could have appeared on any Glass Hammer album, the jazzy `Meat Prizes' features spiraling Moog runs that would have any Neo prog band taking notice, and the gently psychedelic closer `Secret Matter' is a warm and perfectly hazy soundtrack for balmy summer breezes.

A number of shorter pieces are also just as charming at the longer workouts. `Sealth' floats on a cloud of dreamy acoustic guitar over gentle synth and Mellotron washes, while acoustic ditty `Wandering' serves the same purpose as the Steve Howe solo pieces do on several Yes albums as a breather between the longer stretches.

But the emotionally charged dual Mellotron 11 minute epic `Scotland' may be one of the best instrumental pieces of the year, with numerous themes that will lodge themselves quickly and firmly in your mind! It's full of lovely Tron-flute passages, sky-high electric guitar soloing, murmurring bass that slinks around the backbone of the piece and confident punchy drumming. Dramatic, mellow, delirious and in a few spots ridicuously foot-tappingly upbeat, it's sure to make symph fans weep for joy.

2013 has seen an endless number of strong instrumental albums, and, along with Willowglass's `The Dream Harbour' and `Progenesi's `Ulisse: L'Alfiere Nero', this one will please fans who prefer carefully composed symphonic lusciousness over noodly jazz-fusion or fully improvised works. Trion has now released three terrific releases in a row that all beg for constant replays, and I have no doubt many symphonic prog fans will come to prize this one as a wonderful addition to their collection. `Funfair Fantasy ' is an album of tasteful, delicate and supreme instrumental timelessness bordering in near perfection.

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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