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Deja-Vu - Between The Leaves CD (album) cover

BETWEEN THE LEAVES

Deja-Vu

Heavy Prog


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Progbear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars When Svein Rønning and Knut Lie left Høst after recording their first album, they formed the explicitly symphonic-prog act Deja Vu. The one album they made only got the tiniest of test-pressings on vinyl back in 1976, packaged only in a plain white cover. It's probably the rarest Norwegian prog item, and was exclusively a luxury for wealthy collectors up until its CD reissue in the 90's.

It's quite a pity that it took this long for this album to see the light of day in form of an official release as it's actually quite good. Harald Otterstad is the highlight of the instrumental combo, offering some absolutely sumptuous Moog work, but also enriching it with other keyboard sounds. Hammond, string synth and Clavinet dominate the key-chestration. The sadly late Kai Grønlie is quite expressive on lead vocals, adding much feeling to the music.

About the worst I can say about this album is the cover art is pretty poor. Too 90's "death-metal" looking in style, and un-suited to the music. I'd definitely recommend this album, though. Many a prog fan should be able to glean much enjoyment from it.

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Send comments to Progbear (BETA) | Report this review (#45331)
Posted Saturday, September 03, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars How is surprising theworld of progressive music!!! When you find a lost pearl practically unknown by the majority of the prog maniacs (only one review in Progarchives) you start to think " How many trerasures like this remains in forgetfulness?" Tjis is the case for DEJÁ-Vu "Between the Leaves". The music is a involving merge of hard-rock and symphonic prog. The mainly influences is DEEP PURPLE, MOUNTAIN, something from THE JIMMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE by the hard-rock stream and YES, GENTLE GIANT, ELOY AND PINK FLOYD by the symphonic and space/psychedelic stream. Another very strong characteristic is the use of mellotrons and synths like musical "landscapes" in order to give a pompous atmosphere in some hard moments ( such in a certain Eloy passages) and the harpiscord for make a counterpoint with bass and drums for refine the rhythmic section( which reminds me Gentle Giant) . Highlights for the tracks "Burning Bridges", "Between the Leaves" and "Somebody Cares", this last in my opinion a complete exercise of creation blending with matery this opposite influences. My rate is obviously 5 stars !!!

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#283089)
Posted Saturday, May 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Between the Leaves is the sole release by Norwegian one-album wonders Déjà-Vu With a lineup including two ex-members of Høst (Knut Lie on drums and Svein Rønning on guitar) and the late Kai Grønlie on lead vocals, it's a legendary rarity due to originally only being released as a small test pressing. Sadly, the commercial tide had gone against prog at that point, and the album didn't get a more widespread release until 1995, by which point Kai Grønlie had passed on. It's a shame, because whilst most "lost classics" are at best merely very good albums whose reputations have been artificially boosted by their scarcity, this time around the tag really does fit, with the band playing in a style reminiscent of Yes had they gone in a harder-edged direction after The Yes Album. File this under "missed opportunities".

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#960549)
Posted Friday, May 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I picked this up based on my great appreciation for the hard rocking Norwegian band HOST. After HOST's first album the drummer and guitarist left and eventually formed DEJA-VU which still rocks pretty hard but is more in the Symphonic realm than HOST. Interesting that both bands would release an album in 1976, the last for both although the only one for DEJA-VU as the record label didn't get behind this release, in fact after a small test pressing they dropped the band. The drummer here would later join KERRS PINK. My biggest issue by far with this album is the vocals, I can hardly stand them. They remind me of KANSAS so yeah the guy can sing I just don't like them at all, so sappy. And yes the record label made the right choice in my opinion. Oh, the vocals are in English by the way.

"Burning Bridges" has a powerful sound to start, really impressive. It turns spacey with those background synths, so good. Vocals before 6 minutes and while I'm not a fan of them this is my favourite track. Some nice laid back guitar before 8 minutes. "Between The Leaves" opens with clavinet but soon the drums, guitar and bass join in. So much going on. It settles and the vocals join in after a minute, not a fan at all. "Free Man" has such a great sound to it instrumentally especially the guitar and synths. Vocals just after a minute. Clavinet after 1 1/2 minutes and I love the dark sound but the vocals ruin it for me. A calm with floating synths after 3 minutes as the guitar soars in the background slowly. A great ending to this one as well.

"Flying" has a laid back sound with keys as reserved vocals join in. This is very ballad-like until it kicks in around 2 minutes but the contrasts will continue. An interesting instrumental break starts before 4 minutes. "Somebody Cares" has a cool intro and check out the clavinet and the AREA-like sounds after 2 minutes. It then picks up. The flavour changes 3 1/2 minutes in which sounds amazing but then the vocals join in and kind of soil the rest of the song for me. "Time" has a darker tone to it which I really like. Reserved vocals and keys as it settles around 2 minutes. Good song. "Visions Of Nirvana" is the 6 1/2 minute closer that opens with strummed guitar as laid back vocals join in. We get a pleasant instrumental break before the vocals return. It's okay.

If this were all instrumental it would be easily 4 stars but I just can't get past the vocals. I'm sure most won't have that same problem so keep this in mind.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#1564923)
Posted Sunday, May 15, 2016 | Review Permalink

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