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Life Line Project - The Journey CD (album) cover


Life Line Project


Symphonic Prog

3.99 | 72 ratings

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5 stars After having reviewed several albums by my compatriots from LIFE LINE PROJECT I received their latest album "The Journey". This time it appeared to be a double disc set with a lavish booklet containing all lyrics and necessary info with a background of very beautiful pictures, all shot by Helen van der Weck in both the Arabian desert & Ireland.

The first disc contains the full "Journey To The Heart Of Your Mind", a symphonic rock epic of more than an hour, divided into 16 parts all carefully linked together by a beautiful main theme, that reappears in all sorts of shapes, sometimes carrying a vocal part, sometimes in a massive orchestral piece, sometimes in a subtle clarinet/piano duet and even in a solemn pipe organ part. The band already made two earlier attempts to record the complete work and they were so kind to send me copies of both earlier versions and after comparing them, I have to admit that this is by far the best version. In the previous versions the keyboard sounds weren't as massive and vintage as they are in this new version, while in this 2011 version the rhythm section supports the music in a more solid way. The vocals parts all sound much better and the work has been expanded since the earlier versions. It's obvious that this LIFE LINE PROJECT line up with whom Erik de Beer already recorded 4 other albums is far better up to the job than the line ups of the past.

Apart from the basic band, consisting of keyboards, guitar, bass & drums, there is an ample woodwind section (flute, oboe, two clarinets & bassoon) present to alternate with the massive LIFE LINE PROJECT band sound, thus keeping the music interesting and captivating right to the end. Marion Brinkman-Stroetinga is an excellent singer and pieces like "Longing For My Childhood" and "Credo" are all sung in a touching way. I think she fits in with the music perfectly.

This time there are lots of guest-vocalists to fill in the different roles of the story, which is about a person in search of his true self. The pseudo-gospel "Join Us" is leaded by actual L.L.P. singer Maruschka Kartosonto in which she is interrupted by all sorts of people who try to influence her, most of them performed by guest vocalists. There is even a bit of metal with unleashed virtuoso guitars to be enjoyed in parts like "Fight The World" and "Bright Spots". A duel between the bass guitar and the keyboards is fought out in "Free", a piece with fast changing moods and tempos. After the touching Credo the Journey ends with the very oppressive "Final Page" in which the guitars are crying out, carried by a dark and brooding orchestral mellotron dominated background.

The second disc starts of like a rocket with virtuoso up speed solos on Hammond and several Moog synthesizers in "Turn The Key", one of the best pieces on the album. The second disc also contains a number of acoustic pieces, like the two slightly dissonant miniatures for flute & piano and oboe & piano (risky on an album like this, but very well succeeded) and the very beautiful "Collage '11 ", containing both an excellent flute solo by Erik's wife Elsa and a very jazzy piano solo.

The main attraction on "The Narrow Path" is the title piece, a sombre and brooding piece, dominated by the mellotron, interrupted by some beautiful and mysterious pieces by the oboe and the flute and powerful sung by Marion. I think this is one of the best songs from L.L.P., I heard so far.

A cheerful note is struck in "Monkey Business", while "Happiness Theme" provides the album with a very beautiful and powerful symphonic rock theme performed alternating on oboe and lead guitar.

There is even a new recording of an oldie by L.L.P. added, which was written and sung by the very first L.L.P. singer Anja Sides-Dirkzwager, meaning that there can be three generations of L.L.P. singers heard on this album. It's an over 7 minutes lasting symphonic rock ballad, ended by some beautiful soloing on both electric guitar and keyboards. The album concludes in a worthy way with an anonymous French folk tune from the 16th century, leaving the listener with a satisfied feeling.

This album is a milestone in the history of LIFE LINE PROJECT and I think many symphonic rock fans will be pleased with this album, so I decided to reward "The JOURNEY" with 5 stars!

Theo Schop

Dutchman | 5/5 |


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