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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 | 1481 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This album, along with Still Life is my favourite after what I see as VdGG's magnum opus, Pawn Hearts. The oddly titled H to He, Who am the Only One is the direct predecessor to Pawn Hearts and it's here that you can see them really developing their signature dark, avant garde, jazzy prog. It all starts off with the fan favourite Killer, one of my favourites as well. Hammill's dark lyrics describe a fish that lives in the depths of the sea and kills everything. The music is befitting to these lyrics, and is alternately a simple catchy melody and some really twisted free-jazz type music with dissonant sax and organ parts contributing to the tension of the song. That tension is relieved by the next track, the ballad House With No Door, which though lyrically dark is a very mellow song with a dark mood that is rather haunting. The next track makes this worth buying for King Crimson fans, as Robert Fripp guests on The Emperor in his War Room with some of his signature guitar parts that you can tell are him immediately, as nobody else can sound like Fripp. Lost is one of my favourites on this album, as is the track that follows it, Pioneers Over C. Both are mini epics that are among the best tracks that the band has written. The former deals with themes of an unrequited passion and is alternately frantic and beautiful. The latter is about a group of people that become lost in space, confused about their very existence and is quite wonderful musically as well, with a memorable sax melody, a catchy bass line, and some frantic instrumentals. In my view, H to He isn't quite the masterpiece Pawn Hearts is but I am not hesitant to call it a masterpiece nonetheless, as I do enjoy every minute of this album and it is among the band's most intense, dark material.
sean | 5/5 |


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