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Van Der Graaf Generator - Trisector CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 451 ratings

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Prog Reviewer

In October 73, I purchased my first VDGG album (Pawn Hearts) which was almost instantly followed by The Least and H to He. All these before the end of that year. I was fourteen years old.

The Hammill gang has ever since been a companion of mine (even if there was a ten year's break in my music addiction from 86 to 96). Unlike most prog reviewers, I am worried that Jackson is not here. I am missing his huge sax play as well as his delicate fluting exercise. IMHHO they do belong to the genuine VDGG sound and no album without him would ever sound as full Graaf one. This is my personal feeling.

After their long awaited reunion album Present which held an awful experimental CD (and another good one to be complete), I was curious to hear what the band was still capable to propose.

Trisector is made of ten (relatively) short songs of which the opener is fully instrumental. It must been ages since the band didn't release an instrumental piece (Theme One maybe). It is on the upbeat side and to be honest it is quite a good introduction to this album.

One of the best song featured IMO is the wonderful Lifetime. Peter is so moving and convincing during this exercise (as always I should say). It is true that the absence of Jackson is almost unnoticed here. The passion delivered here is phenomenal and this track ranges to the best ones of the band IMO.

Some other pieces are on the upbeat side like Drop Dead and can be considered as out of the normal status. Heavy-pop? Not my cup of tea. Fortunately, an almost classic song takes place in the form of Only In A Whisper: lots of jazz feeling, fine organ play, almost psychedelic atmosphere. This song seems to come out from their early repertoire. It is not easily accessible but I guess that each old and devoted fan must salivate while listening to it.

The heavy mania also stroke the Graaf in these days. All That Before holds very heavy keyboards and a dark mood. If it weren't for this exaggerated hard tone, it could have been considered as another Graaf classic. As such, and even if the band released some heavy tracks in their glory days (Killer) I can only consider this as a good song, no more.

We are brought back again into more intimate, personal Hammill sound (even if this album is signed quite democratically) with the brilliant Over The Hill (which is no Machiavel cover.). Over twelve minutes into the dark VDGG world.

All the darkness, the subtlety, the emotion, the passion of Peter is sweating each second of this great song. For the ones of you who are waiting their more experimental and chaotic style: don't worry there are such passages as well in here. And when the whole band gets back together after such a break, I can only tell that I miss dear old Dave. Still, this song is one of the best of this album and it holds the comparison with some good old ones as well. The vibrant finale is quite a musical experience.

The disjointed Not Here is a good closing track which features again a dramatic Hammill. This is a very good album indeed. Not a masterpiece IMHHO (I hold this status for Godbluff and Still Life), but a much better effort than Present.

Four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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