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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

1791 Overture
4 stars Is it wrong that I like VdGG better as a trio? I played Godbluff and Pawn Hearts well beyond their reasonable shelf life in college - my mind was more in tune with walls of organ and groaning saxophone back then, I guess. I find now, though, that the band - Hammill in particular - are more interested in writing songs that require focus to understand rather than waltzing, yelping, and gallivanting all over the room to catch your attention at every moment in case your interest starts to fade. Hearing this album really makes me understand what a mess After the Flood and A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers really are...for all the eccentric fun of the old Van der Graaf, it's a song like "Lifetime" that separates the sheep from the goats; the airy tension in modern VdGG and Hammill's solo writing really gets me when I am not in the mood for a show, but just music.

It wouldn't be the Van der Graaf without convolutions of course, but even here the band's taste has matured - Interference Patterns is just a real mathy treat for prog fans who enjoy their twists and turns in good measure, but even the raunchy chorus I just find gorgeous rather than gross. Most of this album's appeal comes from its more subtle tensions, however - the rhythm section in Only in a Whisper makes beads of sweat form on my brow, and even in the more straightforward rocker Drop Dead the drums have to act as a mediator to the constantly bickering guitar and organ. Hammill's unique brand of vocal histrionics has kept its unorthodox phrasing, funneled into memorable if difficult melodies (no DEATH IN THE SEA, SOMEONE COME AND HELP ME here).

The instrumentation is always full, but never busy, and the music is elaborate, but never frivolous. Prog grown up - this record is full of an adventuresome maturity that draws me back again and again. That the band remains this musically relevant (and this downright good) after 40+ years amazes me. Trisector doesn't just do their legacy justice, but actually improves on it, and I am excited for the band's future prospects.

1791 Overture | 4/5 |


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