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Life Line Project - 20 Years After CD (album) cover


Life Line Project


Symphonic Prog

4.03 | 103 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A couple weeks before it's release, my good friend Erik de Beer sent me a copy of LIFE LINE PROJECT'S latest release called 20 Years After, but as usual I decided to wait until the album reached the stores in order to review it with some perspective and after several listens, and must say that this guys are improving each day, this is for sure their best album after Distorted Memories, which was a perfect 5 in my scorecard.

The album is opened by the frenetic There's a Crowd in which Erik has the chance to impress us with one of his almost trademarked Moog solos. It's obvious for the listener that this time the music is influenced by ELP, but with enough own characteristics to make it sound completely original, specially in the more melodic parts. It's always risky to start a long album with an instrumental, but being that the rest of the album is essentially vocal, it's a good option.

After a strong opening, comes Worries and things keep getting better, in first place it's always a pleasure to listen the unusual voice of Marion Brinkman-Stroetinga, and better if enhanced by a Baroque inspired piano and constant radical changes, this is the kind of music that a Symphonic Proghead wants to listen, elaborate, complex but full of memorable tunes. A special mention to Dineke Visser and her magic oboe. The pompous and dramatic 20 Years After works as an introduction to the main theme, and Erik allows himself to fall in the excesses that we love so much. We can listen several Moog, organ, harpsichord and Mellotron emulator solos that capture our passion for any instrument that has a keyboard. Really impressive, the peak of the album?.So far?.

Now it's time for The True Tale of Duplo the Equivalent, a 60 minutes and 14 parts epic that solves the question I have been asking myself about that little one eyed man with green hair that we can see so often in the LIFE LINE PROJECT sites?.Well, the story is told in a simple way but clear enough to understand the criticism towards the extremes of the political spectrum.

"Duplo" lives in the boring town of "Equivalencia", where everybody looks the same, has the same things and make the same work (One day they dig holes, the other they fill them), all have one eye, because they are allowed to have only one point of view. One day at work "Duplo" falls from a cliff and ends in a state called "Ridicula" where he finds the true love with "Unica", a young woman with two eyes who lives in a town full of hollow people obsessed with fashion and uniqueness, after some time "Duplo" becomes the flavor of the month, everybody begins to paint their hair green and even poke the left eye to look like the cool little man. At the end the couple move to a town where they are allowed to be themselves.

Unlike most Prog bands who place special emphasis in poetry and complex concepts, Erik de Beer has a different method,. Makes things simple enough to be understood without problem and goes directly to the point?.Simple and effective??..But this can only be said about the lyrics, because the music is a different story, during the more than 60 minutes of epics we can listen different moods, styles and flavors, the band moves from one genre to another (God even classic 50's Rock), from drama to frenzy and marvelous acoustic sections with Chitarrone and acoustic guitars, with the effective support of Ludo de Murlanos in the percussion and a competent team of musicians that combine orchestral with rock instruments?It's better to listen it than to talk about, so will shut up and allow the listener to have his own impression?Will just say that couldn't find a weak moment and was able to listen the whole hour without interruption several times, being that the Erik has managed to create a different tune for every character, location and situation. Really captivating.

Those of us who know Erik de Beer are familiar with his small Baroque orchestra called "Tempesta Consorte", so the marvelous adaptation of the 17th Century Italian Folk Song "Fuggi Détente Cuore" which the band called One Night in Mantua wasn't a surprise, but I'm sure most casual listeners will not expect the bonus track. In this grand finale, the musicians manage to blend the delicacy of late Peninsular Renaissance and Heavy Prog plethoric of Moog and distorted guitars, simply delightful.

It's always hard to rate an album released by a friend, because it's easy to fall in favoritism, but easier to be unfair with a good job to seem absolutely impartial?.Well, I believe that any rating bellow 4.5 stars would be unfair, but the system of Prog Archives only allows us to give full stars, so will go with 5 stars because I rather go higher than lower, and will also give a strong recommendation for fans of great music.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |


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