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Trespass - In Haze of Time  CD (album) cover

IN HAZE OF TIME

Trespass

 

Symphonic Prog

3.67 | 41 ratings

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Trotsky
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The stuff on the only album from this contemporary Israeli group ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. The only constant is the outstanding keyboard work of Eli Stein, but while some pieces are stratospheric, others are fatally flawed.

The opener Creatures Of The Night alone combines outstanding Bach-influenced keyboard playing and some ferocious jazz organ with cinge-inducing vocal segments that recall some of the worst excesses of Lawton-era Uriah Heep. It goes on for more than 8 minutes, and the discerning listener is constantly torn between excultation and despair. Unfortunately, a fair of the album turns out to be like that.

There are no such problems with the brilliant title track, though. Quite possibly my favourite song of the decade so far, it is a piece I can listen to over and over again. Here Stein's vocal limitations are almost a strength, building on the atmosphere created first by the psych-jazz organ, then the delicate synth and regal guitar and finally an explosive flute hook. It all leads into the massive semi-religious chorus. Most times I listen to this song, I get chills when the tinkling piano lines join in the chorus after what sounds like a cannon blast at exactly 4:36. Brrr!

The other main highlight is the beautiful Orpheus Suite/Troya sequence, which goes through a number of moods with spell-binding virtuosity. Although by this point there's an air of over-familiarity to some of the playing, it's hard to resist. There's even a brief nod to a famous Van Der Graaf Generator moment!

But as I said earlier, there are some less than satisfying moments on this album. Gate 15 for example, is an annoying Latin jazz-fusion instrumental. Sure there's some skilled keyboard playing ( particularly an astral synth jam) in the middle, but I really hate the first couple of minutes ... and the returning of the fusion theme at the end! City Lights is another offender with an awful mid 80s commercial hard rock sort of vocal melody being counter-balanced by brilliant keyboards. The closing ragtime showpiece of Mad House Blues is a little dizzying (and reminds me of those boogie-woogie songs that Keith Emerson used to stick on classic ELP albums to lighten up the mood) and as great classical interludes and really horrible vocals.

Along with The Mars Volta's De-Loused In The Comatorium and Ayreon's The Human Equation, In Haze Of Time is one of the few modern prog albums I return to constantly. However, it is the most backward-looking and uneven of the three. This could have been a real classic album, but it isn't quite there. ... 64% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |

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