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Van Der Graaf Generator - H To He, Who Am The Only One CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.31 | 1486 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
4 stars At this point, the Band's lineup had solidified, even though they use guest musicians. Nic Potter still plays bass on a few of the tracks, and Robert Fripp guests on The Emperor and his war Room on guitar. This album is overall much more consistent than the last one, with strong playing from all 4 musicians. Killer seems to be a straight ahead rock song, but with some interesting lyrics and tasteful bits mixed in, including of the most dissonant sax solos ive ever heard. This song is pure VDGG, but in a different sense than songs like darkness and white hammer. House With No Door is a piano ballad, but Hamill puts emotion into it, making it beautiful and powerful. Emperor in his War Room is the highlight of the album, with some great flute and Hamill vocals. The song starts slow and builds, with the fast section containing a great solo by the frippmeister himself. the song alternates going fast and frantic with some heavy drumming and slowly moving forward, sounding scared still, and with the flute ever present. the ending is softer again, with Hamill shouting to the night and sounding purely awesome while doing it.

Side 2 of this disc is incredible. Lost is another classic VDGG epic, with a slightly odd opening with flute and sax overdubbed to make a nice sound. And Hammill comes in to imitate the organ arpeggios underneath him. you can hear the drama in Hamill's voice and it is great. at about 2:30, the organ comes in with a distorted riff and the hard section builds up with some interesting sax riffs, overdubbed with itself. then a soft part comes and builds into the most dramatic moment of the song. then it moves into a jazzy section with some nice drumming from evans, and a great solo from Jackson. The song moves through many more changes before ending in a dramatic operatic section from Hamill, shouting "I Love You!" several times. Pioneers over C is perhaps on of the best VDGG songs ever conceived, with a nice spacey intro. then the hammond riff slowly comes in, with Hamill's vocal line imitating it, and some bongos underlying it all. The lyrics are futuristic, like " We left the earth in 1983". the vocals slowly build, then cut off to make way for a great bass riff. the sax imitates it, as does Hamill in this upbeat section. Then the acoustic guitar comes in to strum us into a beautiful section with great sax and singing. the lyrics are still Sci-Fi, and this section leads into a hard rocking part with great organ work and soaring vocals from Hamill. Then Hamill does an a capella part that is perfect. it all leads into the same progression of parts from earlier, but slightly different. the middle of the song contains some great acoustic work from Hamill, as well as some bells and chimes. A free form Sax solo unaccompanied follows, followed by a distorted version of the opening part, and an ethereal ending with Hamill solely singing, and then some hard riffing from sax and organ and pounding drums.

Overall, very close to masterpiece, but they had to eliminate songs like House with No Door and Killer that, while very well done on this record, weigh the other far more complex songs down slightly. The next step would be the best, with them achieving perfection.

The Ace Face | 4/5 |


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