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Van Der Graaf Generator - Trisector CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.50 | 512 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Seeing the mixed reaction for a latter-day album by one of my favorite Prog bands is always [I know, very specifically] interesting. I really had nothing to expect here. But right off the bat, there's something kind of hokey and AOR about the opener "The Hurlyburly". The organ is the enemy and the friend (strange to have such a weak song in retrospect as the introduction to the album, but... whatever). It doesn't sound like the VdGG that I love quite yet. Part of this may turn out to be the fact that there is no David JACKSON. He always felt like a key figure. And that's an understatement. A classic example of a band (at least in their heyday) where truly all of the cogs worked together to make them sound like said band. No need to say it, but an ideal situation actualized in Van Der Graaf.

"Interference Patterns" feels a helluva lot better. Rolling and dark, this is it. And yet it doesn't sound like old hat either. I'm just happy it doesn't sound utterly flat without sax. Would have been nice if they had had a feature, I'd say.

"The Final Reel", I suppose as the name implies, is a melancholic song. This, as most all tracks on the album are, is driven by keys. Do love Hugh's style. Overall, the majority of the song is pretty static and flat. "Lifetime" is another sad and softie, but ultimately feels a lot more confidently 'itself'.

Guitar leads off on "Drop Dead". Some Heavy Prog/Prog-adjacent Heavy Metal with the organ reminds of DEEP PURPLE or AUNT MARY(?). At least we have HAMMILL. Guy EVANS also has some highlights here as well, but at the end of the day, not super for the track. Where they succeed in this heavier mode is "All That Before". Though initially dominated by Banton's organ, it is quickly led by beefy, virile electric guitar (thank you very much, Pete). A serious highlight. His soloing, even, is fresh as hell. A song that is bright in timbre, but ultimately dark in VdGG-style. Also, satisfying in its very slight compositional changes.

"Only In A Whisper" feels like a return to form following "Drop Dead". Dark and brooding, yet minimal. The keys reminded me of Kerry Minnear. I do like the feeling here, but another track that is a tad stale and static. Continuing in the brood is "Over The Hill", which, as we say in this household, is 'spooky kabuki'. Upward climb, even to something instead triumphant, with gospel-readied organ and crisp, soaring guitar. Is good.

Lastly, "(We Are) Not Here" is another return to classic VdGG. I'll gladly take this to send off any release. The icing on the cake is definitely the nice harmonies at the end.

Ultimately, there was enough to keep this album afloat to make it "Good"; but there was enough to keep it from being "Excellent".

DangHeck | 3/5 |


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