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Van Der Graaf Generator - Trisector CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 450 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars One Jaxon short of four stars.

I'd really like to enjoy this album, I'd really like to find something that would make me name this an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Unfortunately the album's name is the best image of the band's state & quality.

Trisector shows a huge and bitter resemblance to Genesis' ...And then There Were Three... hopefully the band does not try to sway the mood in favour of cheap pop. The main resemblance is, how the loss of one band member (David Jackson) results in a drastic loss of essence. Now that Jaxon is gone, I've apprehended his value as a band member. Having always thought it is Peter Hammill, who holds the key to de VDGG sound, I needed listening to Trisector (and comparing it with The Tangent, which made a new home for the brilliant saxophonist & flautist), to find out, how huge a mistake I've made.

I still believe Trisector makes more sense, than Present (with its 1CD-long improv marathon, that leaves me with nothing more than a sense of void and a long-lasting mind-ache), but sounds flat, when compared to the 1970s VDGG albums, or even some PH solo albums.

Back to the currently reviewed album - it can be simply described as a coherent, yet repetitious and uninspiring piece of organ-based musical work. The music is vastly missing something, besides, of course, Jaxon's saxophone. Each and every song is quite good, but their similarity causes, that their goodness gets boring after the 5th or 6th track. Apart from ideas the album, falls short of moods (Yes! Jaxon's saxophone/flute was the key to making a Arrow-like thriller or a torch song, beautiful just like Refugees).

Taking on the songs one by one wouldn't really make any sense, because they all go by the same patterns. Trisector is a ride up & down between simple rockers (The Hurlyburly, Interference Patterns, Drop Dead, All that Before) and similairly simplistic compassionate sad Hammill-ish ballads (Final Reel, Lifetime, Only in a Whisper). Yeah, you can hear the very characteristic Hammill-goes-solo piano compositons, backed up by Hammond organ and percussion... wait... now I get it! It's a PH album, overdubbed with Banton's and Evans' instruments. The guitar, organ, piano and the percussion don't really seem like working together, rather like playing in the same studio. Listen to the Interference Patterns chorus or the intro of Lifetime and you'll get it.

Only Over the Hill and (We Are) Not Here sound a bit different from other tracks. I hate to disappoint you, but different doesn't mean better. Still, too much organ sounds and not enough Van Der Graaf Generator.

Call it whatever you like - boring, plain good, coherent, unimaginative, a Peter Hammill solo album, Hugh Banton and friends - it is gonna be true in reference to this album, but without Jaxon, who made it all miraculously play together, it's gonna be another Good, but non-essential progressive rock album.

Best Song: The Hurlyburly (it really rocks, something like Theme One, it could easily become an opener of a action-movie)

Worst Song: Interference Patterns (starts off really good, but then the chorus comes in and... aaargh the noise!)

Mike_Zed | 3/5 |


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