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Trace - Trace CD (album) cover

TRACE

Trace

 

Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 88 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Trace - s/t (1974)

Ok, your going to have this party and you invited all your sympho-prog buddies. How to make a good party AND listen to progressive rock? Well, the answer my friends, put on your cd/lp of Trace.

To give a short impression of what this Dutch super-group has to offer: key-bass-drum symphonic prog with use of many classical pieces played as if they were a rock'n-roll outfit that was given the goal to destroy the building they were playing in. The atmospheres are really that of an up-tempo raging rock band, but instead of harsh guitars and screaming vocals, Trace uses its insane technical possibilities and compositions to completely surprise you with a bulk of energy seldom seen in prog.

Keyboard player Rick van der Linden is known from Ekseption and is absolutely (perhaps along with R.J. Stips) the top of keyboard players in Holland, if not the world. He uses piano's, organs (with that great ELP sound), choir and violin mellotrons and of course the mighty moog. Famous drummer Pierre Van Der Linden of Focus and Brainbox fame is given a cart blanche to show everything he has and I must say it's a truly inspired performance throughout. His drumming is perhaps my favorite element of the record. The great surprise is however Jaap Van Eik of Cuby and the Blizzards fame (great Dutch blues- rock band which you should check out!). His bass playing is perfect, with an awesome technique, amazing speed and great harmonic findings. His jazz-bass on 'Once' is a blessing. This makes up a three-part super-group I was speaking of.

The sound of Trace is very professional and the recording is perfect. Perhaps one of the best of seventies Dutch prog. The style of Trace has of course a lot to do with ELP. Some elements of the band's style and sound could hardly called original, but the way they play classical influenced prog with it's amazing technical achievements and rockin' sound is really something new. Furthermore this debut has no bad moments, no songs and no vocals (oh wait a minute.. during chaotic moments one can sometimes hear primal screams haha). It is a very concentrated effort.

Conclusion. Ok what do we have here: super-group, perfect use of classical music material, a truckload of fun, great solo's and high quality throughout. I know this will not be one of the most original key-oriented prog records, but I still want to give the full five star rating. Trace get's away with hyper-technical prog by showing how funny being pretentious can be. It's rock'n roll mentality is a true winner. Four big stars for the Trace debut. I surely hope it won't take me as long to find a vinyl copy of their second album!

friso | 4/5 |

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