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TRACE

Trace

 

Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 90 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

stefro
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Formed by ex-Ekseption keyboardist Rick Van Der Linden after his departure from the group and belonging to the same symphonic sub-genre that houses the likes of Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Nice, Refugee and fellow countrymen Focus, the Dutch trio Trace produced three albums during the mid-seventies, skilfully marrying complex classical themes, modern rock ingredients and a hint of jazz fusion to create a vibrant and mainly instrumental sound steeped in the traditions of early progressive rock. Whilst, ultimately, they failed to generate the same levels as interest and commercial gain enjoyed by Focus and, to a lesser extent, Ekseption, Trace nevertheless did leave behind an intriguing sonic legacy that showcases just what superb individual musicians they were. Most of all, however, Trace are a reminder of the vast and wonderful world of 1970s European progressive rock and the many exciting and obscure groups still waiting to be discovered by those willing to look hard enough. The trio's debut album, 'Trace' was Recorded at Soundpush studios in Blaricum, Holland, during the spring of 1974 and issued on the Dutch arm of Phillips. The line-up for the album saw Rick Van Der Linden(keyboards) augmented by his brother Pierre(drums) and Jaap Van Eick(bass), with Rick composing the bulk of the material. The album starts promisingly, with Rick's ever-shifting keyboards weaving an attractive melody on the toe-tapping 'Gaillarde' before morphing into brief-but-entertaining Van Eick-penned 'Gare Le Corbeau', one of only two tracks on the album not written by the older Van Der Linden brother. Highlights, however, appear further on, as the fiendishly jazzy 'Once' makes way for the album's twelve-minute centrepiece 'Progression', a classically-spiked organ-led rocker that skims carefully through several interconnected sections, in the process showing off the trio's excellent interplay. It's a marvellous track, and one filled with an array of moods and textures, charting a course which takes in a dazzling keyboard beginning, a soothing, almost psychedelic central section and a driving, drum 'n' bass-inflected denouement. Very much an album for those who dig ELP-style histrionics or the slightly smarter sounds of 'Hocus Pocus'- era Focus, 'Trace' is an impressive album from a talented trio. They arrived probably a little too late to the symphonic prog party, their brief-but-bright career is well-worth checking out, with follow-up effort 'Birds' featuring more helpings from the same classical-prog bowl. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |

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