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Trace - Trace CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.88 | 118 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars actually...

After EKSEPTION released their sixth studio album ''Trinity'' in 1973, keyboardist Rick Van Der Linden was forced to leave the band.Not a wise decision,as EKSEPTION had a downfall in their career,while Van Der Linden decided to form a new band the same year,initially called ''Ace''.He auditioned drummer Peter De Leeuwe (ex-EKSEPTION), but he found him lacking in technique,so he recruited ex-FOCUS Pierre Van Der Linden for the drum kit.Bassist of the band was self-taught musician Jaap Van Eik,who had also played with Dutch jazz/rock masters ''Solution''.In May 74' the band recorded their self-titled debut at Soundpush Studios in Blaricum,which was finally released in September by Phillips.

From the very first moments you can easily understand why Van Der Linded was searching for musicians with high technical background,as the arrangements here are sometimes very complex .Gone are the straight jazzy horn sections of EKSEPTION and now the compositions of Van Der Linden remind of E.L.P. more than ever.''Trace'' is filled with the keyboards of their founder,with lots of mellotrons and organ attacks throughout,mostly in a classical orientation.There are also lots of moog synth acrobatics and effects,while the music ranges from organ-driven DEEP PURPLE-like classical adaptions to improvisational,highly complicated interplays between keys,bass and drums.Van Der Linden doesn't stop here.His beloved piano pops up here and there,while a few harpsichord and Horner clavinet echoes make the sound even richer and proggier.What I mostly like in ''Trace'' is some superb,dreamy and melodic organ passages,showing why Van Der Linden is considered one of the best keyboardists in the prog league.The two other musicians join the club in their own way.The jazzy background of Van Eik helps him accompanying Rick's keyboards quite easy, while Pierre Van Der Linden was very familiar with the jazzy/symph style from his previous service on FOCUS.

''Trace'' is an acclaimed work for anyone into keyboard-driven/classical prog music,which is balanced between melody and complex themes.Really essential,while not that original!

apps79 | 3/5 |


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