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Van Der Graaf Generator - Trisector CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 449 ratings

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3 stars No doubt like many fans of Van Der Graaf Generator I was a little concerned at the departure of Sax man David Jackson; after all he was such an integral part of the VDGG sound. Is he missed? Well to be honest, yes, very much but to their credit they've still managed to produce a more than acceptable album. Hamill's guitar features more to compensate but he's not a great guitarist and no substitute for Jackson's dynamic playing. As a result the worst tracks are usually when Hamill plays in a heavier more riffy vein like on Drop Dead, a fairly pedestrian rocker and similarly on opening instrumental The Hurlyburly which is slightly better and strangely Hamill's guitar having a bit of a 50's twang to it at times.

There are some very good moments though; All That Before is the best track to feature Hamill's Guitar more prominently. It has a great grinding riff courtesy of Hamill and played in unison by Keyboard maestro Hugh Banton and a complimentary offbeat drum pattern from Guy Evans, the song almost sounding like it's about to fall apart (deliberately) towards the end.

Over the Hill is excellent. At over twelve minutes long it remains enjoyable throughout and features all the traditional VDGG dynamics with some powerful Banton Organ moments. In fact as might be expected due to the absence of Jackson, the whole album musically rests on the shoulders of his brilliant Organ playing and he rises to the challenge admirably. Hamill also remains in fine voice retaining all the drama of their seventies output.

On the quieter side Lifetime is up there with the better tracks and here Hamill's Guitar is more in keeping with the band sound and adds greatly to overall appeal of the song.

Overall I find this album a more consistant affair than their first post reformation release Present, despite the absence of Jackson but nothing in this album quite competes with the two killer tracks from that album, Nutter Alert and Every Bloody Emperor. Nor as might be expected with such an illustrious back catalogue is it up there with their classic seventies output but an average Van Der Graaf Generator album is better than the best by many a lesser band.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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