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D'AccorD - Helike CD (album) cover

HELIKE

D'AccorD

 

Heavy Prog

3.15 | 40 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Helike' - D'Accord (6/10)

Norway's D'Accord is a fairly new band to the wide world of prog rock. Like many other Scandinavian prog acts, this band takes the vintage sound to heart, and attempts to revitalize it with their own charm. 'Helike' is the first many will be hearing of this band, and it portrays them in the light in which they intend; a group of musicians wrapped in the magic of the '70s. Unlike so many however, D'Accord manages to nail the sound and atmosphere that classic prog gives off, although it is not spared a share of weaknesses.

Listeners will notice that this is a two track album, with the two halves being labelled 'Part 1' and 'Part 2'. This gives the album the sense that it is a single epic, much like Jethro Tull's essential 'Thick As A Brick'. I would bet that D'Accord took more than a few notes worth of inspiration from that album, in fact. From the sometimes dainty mood to the liberal use of flute solos, D'Accord are quick to demonstrate where their influences lie. This is not such a bad thing, as the way they evoke this vintage sound is very authentic. The production sounds raw and organic, and the band's songwriting does evoke the bombastic epics of old prog.

The composition of this 'Helike' epic is a little scattered, but full of promising, powerful moments. Especially towards the second half of this album, D'Accord deliver some surprises, and don't let their tribute tip over the scale into mockery.'Helike' is a conceptual piece surrounding the myth of Atlantis, although most of the lyrics sung by frontman Daniel Maage are abstract enough to take one way or another. Maage's vocals are the most distinctive aspect of D'Accord's sound, and at once are both the strongest, and most jarring aspect of the band's sound. Although it is clear that Maage has a strong voice, he often pushes it past the comfort zone, and- paired with a somewhat amateurish mix that favours the vocals too highly- makes me wonder sometimes if his performance is either powerful, ear-cringing, or both. Instrumentally, Maage's vocals are often the only thing that draws a listeners attention. There are moments where different interesting instruments such as the trumpet and flute come in to pay their respects, but overall, 'Helike' is a conceptually ambitious work that could have done with some more depth, musically speaking. D'Accord manage to accomplish the authentic vibe that I so often find lacking in modern prog, but the rest of their act comes off as somewhat problematic.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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