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Life Line Project - The Finnishing Touch CD (album) cover


Life Line Project


Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 47 ratings

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5 stars Missing link

The completely instrumental album by the Dutch LIFE LINE PROJECT "The Finnishing Touch" can be considered as a sort of missing link between their classic symphonic rock sound as can be heard on their albums "Beyond Time" (1994); "Time Out" (1995) and 'The King" (2006) and their more fusion like sound as is displayed on their later albums "Modinha' (2008) and "Distorted Memories (2010). It's an album that shows far more instrumental virtuosity than their other albums.

The album is built around an anonymous Finnish folksong that returns in all sorts of styles. After a beautiful and mysterious sounding first version of this folksong in the very symphonic opening track ''The Finnish Overture", the band shift up a couple of gears in the Jazz-rock based 'Tricky Dicky Finds The Rainbows End", showing high level duelling between an unchained and aggressive playing Jason Eekhout on electric guitar and some very virtuoso but melodic soloing on electric piano and synthesizers by Erik de Beer. The composition comes to rest in a more quiet acoustic guitar improvisation by Jody van der Gijze, but immediately after that the band speed up in another jazz-rock orientated piece "Attical Problems" with an even more virtuoso Jason Eekhout displaying his skills between the beautiful and jazzy orientated keyboard parts of Erik de Beer strongly supported by the rhythm section consisting of bass player Iris Sagan and drummer Ludo de Murlanos again the more contemplative moments come from the classical guitar of Jody van der Gijze .

The "Theme Of James The Rover" the only compositional contribution on this album by Jason Eekhout appears to be an unleashed shuffle containing a dissonant but great piano solo by Erik and a really rocking guitar solo by Jason, played over a pulsating rhythm section.

The folksong returns in the "Finnish Interlude" in a beautiful classical sounding acoustic version played by Dineke Visser on oboe only accompanied by the grand piano. It's only a short moment of relaxation because 'The Missing Drink" shows again a more aggressive sound and contains a strong Moog solo.

The folksong returns again in the second interlude. This time the oboe is accompanied by a subtle classical guitar The title track "The Finnishing Touch" is the shortest track and shows a very virtuoso classical guitar version of the Finnish folksong.

"Little Alice" and "I Miss You More" are two oldies taken from Erik's past with symphonic rock band BRANCARD, the first piece showing a multitude of keyboard sounds only occasionally alternated with some guitar parts, while the second one is a very beautiful symphonic rock ballad with ample room for the classical guitar and a beautiful languishing electric guitar solo. "Nimbo" continues this more symphonic sounding part of the album and contains everything progrock fans like more complicated rhythms and tempo changes.

"One Finnish Jazz Minute" is a very jazzy version of the folksong with a main role for the nylon stringed guitar. Another acoustic and jazzy gem is "Saudades de Sor'' with again the classical guitar taking the lead and a short but effective piano solo.

"Without Tears" is another song from Erik's past, this time taken from his "Zoundworks" period. It is a very melodic piece with a latin feel and an excellent flute part played by Elsa de Beer.

"Pulsar" is another up tempo Jazz rock piece, while the Finnish folksong returns for the last time. In "The Finnish Finish". in my opinion the best succeeded version of this simple folksong. It starts with a subtle classical guitar part, supported only by some chords on the keyboards, before it evolves into a compelling folk metal piece with unbridled keyboard playing. After a more solemn lead guitar part, the song turns Into a pure folk song, leaded by the mandolin and supported by a renaissance drum and a harpsichord.

Mostly the bonus tracks are songs that could easily have been left out, but this time the bonus track "Desire" a very beautiful symphonic rock song, is one of the highlights on the album. The main theme of this more than six minutes lasting piece is played in a very touching way on the oboe by Dineke Visser and the song also contains some beautiful themes, played by the flute, guitar and keyboards.

I liked "The Finnishing Touch" a lot and I think it's one of the best L.L.P. albums and therefore I will give it a five star rating.

Theo Schop

Dutchman | 5/5 |


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