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Genesis - Trespass CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 2451 ratings

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5 stars (Can't help that the length of this page - 179 reviews - makes me feel awkward to make it longer, but this once I let myself to write about THE key band of my prog history! I'll keep it short - if I can.) First, what a progress from the naive debut with lousy string arrangements courtesy of Jonathan King. Not that it wouldn't have *some* merit, but honestly the prog legend starts right here. The line-up still misses Steve Hackett and Phil Collins who both appear for Nursery Cryme, but that fact - in other words, the presence of Anthony Philips - only increases the uniqueness of Trespass. I believe that also without line-up changes Genesis would have become a leading prog band, judged by this album. But as we know, Phillips decided to leave due to stage fright, and released his first, very Genesis-reminding solo album no sooner than in 1977.

Six songs in 42 minutes and all of them strong. They were influenced and inspired by In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) and decided to make progressive rock as ambitious artistically as that seminal album - without sounding the same. They got John Anthony as the producer, who (if I remember right) had already worked with the Charisma label mates Van Der Graaf Generator. The result is an underrated masterpiece, overshadowed by Genesis' later achievements. It is angrily complex one moment and beautifully pastoral the next, but all the way the compositions are very mature. Sound quality is not perfect - nor is it on Nursery Cryme - but that certain worn-out feel (in balance with the Paul Whitehead cover art!) fits the music.

As amazing progress (as for the compositions) is the vocals of Peter Gabriel, compared to the debut. Now he has found his own voice! And the use of instruments (12-string, mellotron, piano, flute, organ, bass, etc) is miles ahead of anything heard on the debut. - Psst, Matti, stop comparing this to the debut. - OK. Now, some of you certainly disagree, but I think this is ALMOST as great album as Nursery Cryme. The certain wandering spirit (which, on the other hand, is largely behind the album's uniqueness) was replaced by more colourful dramatic approach, perfected further in Foxtrot. Selling England By The Pound (1973) again has those wandering, meditative moments but with quite different, more polished musical approach.

'Looking For Someone' is a gorgeous opener and sets the mood for the album which is full of sadness, solitude and alienation. 'White Mountain' is a fantastic (I mean also reminding of hero sagas, ancient ballads, Beowulf and so on) track, but sadly suffers more than others from muddy sound quality. 'Visions Of Angels' is relatively simple and pastoral but reaching majestic power. Lyrically it's perhaps the naivest song.

Side Two features two long tracks with a strong narrative level, plus the album's shortest and calmest song, 'Dusk', which I also love. Phillips is very recognizable backing vocalist here, and the flute solo is among the best flute moments in the entire Genesis discography. 'Stagnation' (its ending chords were often played on concerts, also on Seconds Out, segued to Musical Box, wasn't it?) tells of a sole survivor of a global catastrophe. Eerie! And finally, the magnificent 'Knife', which is bursting with anger. Faint- hearted better not listen to its mid-part (including very frightened screams) alone in the dark!

Matti | 5/5 |


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