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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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ProgPanda 2/71
5 stars The title "20 Years After", by the Dutch LIFE LINE PROJECT, suggests that we might have to deal with a compilation disc, but nothing is less true. The title track "20 Years After", a short, almost 4 minutes lasting frenetic composition, revealing all instrumental skills of the band, seems to refer to the Alexandre Dumas 3 musketeers novel Vingt Ans Après. We are seriously dealing with the eighth album by this prolific Dutch band, led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Erik de Beer, who is an absolute master on both keyboards and guitars.

This time all vocals are taken care off by Marion Brinkman, whose warm and pure voice is so characteristic for the sound of the project. Just listen to the second composition on the album "Worries", a beautiful and touching acoustic song of over six minutes with a beautiful chorus and a large role for the woodwind section, here consisting of the flute, oboe & bassoon, undoubtedly one of the highlights of the album.

Guitar player Jody van der Gijze left the band due to school exams, so the basic band is reduced to keyboards (Erik), bass (Iris Sagan) & drums (Ludo de Murlanos). Proving their unbroken strength, the band open the album with a fantastic trio-instrumental, displaying all keyboards, ranging from several Moogs to Hammond, electric pianos and polyphonic synthesizers, solidly sustained by the bass & drums. The track was recorded in one take, so you get a nice impression of how the band would sound on stage.

The main part of the new album is reserved to the more than one hour lasting rock epic "The True Tale Of Duplo The Equivalent", a comic story criticizing both the communist system of equality and the capitalist system of free markets and fashion.

First of all, this huge composition has everything a true symphonic rock lover needs to survive: great themes on both lead guitars and keyboards. It's amazing how many beautiful and solid majestic symphonic themes Erik succeeds in producing throughout the album. In beautiful songs like "Happiness", "Unica" and "Move Out", Marion's voice blends perfectly with the music and every now and then the woodwind section enriches the sound with perfectly arranged interludes and intro's. A fine example is offered in "Evening Thoughts" where flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon supply a nice nocturnal atmosphere, before the complete band bursts out in "Working On The Mountain", with 7:40 the longest part of the Duplo-epic. An almost five minutes lasting intro shows it all, screaming Moogs, hurling Hammonds, a throbbing rhythm section and up tempo twin guitar solo's.

There are also some humoristic interventions, like "Love Is In His Eye", a short and funny parody on the fifties' rock ballad.

Another humoristic page in the Duplo story is "The Guy Is Cool", sung in a very jazzy way by Marion and supplied with a great blues piano solo by Erik.

The "Finale" shows again an unchained Erik on the grand piano, before the music enters in eternal gloom. Fortunately I can mention that all ends well for Duplo.

The album is concluded by an anonymous Italian folksong, first played by a mandolin and a genuine string quartet, before the band explodes in a final musical orgy.

It's undeniable that Life Line Project have a true own and original sound, without copying from the greats. All the same their music is firmly rooted in the golden years of the seventies, without sounding obsolete. This is probably their finest album up to now and it certainly is one of the best albums I heard this year and therefore I won't hesitate to reward it with five stars !

Highly recommended!!

ProgPanda 2/71 | 5/5 |


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