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Life Line Project

Symphonic Prog

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Life Line Project The King album cover
3.97 | 50 ratings | 7 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Opening (5:00)
2. Is This the End? (5:51)
3. Free Passage (2:36)
4. Dusk (4:15)
5. The King (37:58)
- i. Haze and Overture
- ii. Reflections - Saltarello - Reflections
- iii. The Chosen Ones
- iv. Democracy (A Mockery)
- v. Invincible
- vi. World of Steel
- vii. Defeat
- viii. Doom
- ix. Finale
- x. Haze

Total Time 55:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Maruschka Kartosonto / lead & backing vocals
- Peter Van Der Stel / lead vocals
- Yvette Vrij / additional lead & harmony vocals
- Jody Van Der Gijse / backing vocals
- Elsa de Beer / flute & bass recorder
- Dineke Visser / oboe
- Anneke Verhagen / clarinet
- Ada Bienfait / bassoon
- Jessica ter Horst / alto & sopranino recorders
- Bram Vroon / electric rhythm guitars
- Erik de Beer / all lead & acoustic guitars, piano, organ, harpsichord, Moog & other synthesizers, mandolins, lute, chitarrone, 5-string bass, backing vocals
- Ramon Bergwerff / bass
- Ludo de Murianos / drums & percussion, rototoms, kettledrums, triangle, tambourine, cowbell, Renaissance drum

Releases information

LLR CD 21 039 RI

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LIFE LINE PROJECT The King ratings distribution

(50 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LIFE LINE PROJECT The King reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A couple days ago I received a package from Erik de Beer (Multi instrumentalist of THE LIFE LINE PROJECT) with their third album "The King". The first surprise was the nice detail of mentioning this humble reviewer and Prog Archives in the booklet for helping him with the addition of the band to the database....The truth is that most of the work was done by Erik and his sister Dorinde, who wrote the bio and provided the photo....But thanks for the courtesy.

Now, lets talk about "The King", and it's interesting to say that the idea comes back from 1976 but it's only in 2009 when Erik was diagnosed with terminal cancer that he decides to finish this long time delayed project. But sometimes bad things turn into good, the doctors made a mistake and the diagnose was changed to a non fatal disease and the album is ready to see the light and for us to enjoy,

"The King" starts with the dramatic "Opening". From the beginning is obvious that this is originally a 70's project with pompous and strong organ sections perfectly supported by powerful drumming, the Moog solo and posterior organ are reminiscent of TRIUMVIRAT'S virtuoso "Jürgen Fritz". During 5 minutes LIFE LINE PROJECT gives no rest to the listener, jumping from frenetic passages to nostalgic sections, a great opener.

Is this the End? was planned to be Erik's musical goodbye, so the mood is softer and melancholic with a very nice acoustic guitar. The vocals by "Mauschka Kartosonto" are very unusual, maybe a bit too acute for my personal taste, but fit perfectly in the atmosphere of the song. Later the guitar and flute sections are delightful,. but the vocals are not my cup of tea.

"Free Passage" is a short and frenetic track in which Erik gives a lesson with the keyboards, again no rest for the listener, each of the 2:26 minutes is full of sounds and powerful music.

"Dusk is an atmospheric and acoustic song with Medieval moments, as in the case of a ravelling troubadour, the flute guides the band until about the middle, when "Erik de Beer" adds his dramatic guitar, still some soft flute passages appear once in a while, but the song turns nostalgic and stronger.

Now it's the time for "The King", a 38:00 minutes multi-part epic dedicated originally to Ceaucescu but which fits George W. Bush perfectly according to he inner notes.

There's too much inside this long track to mention every one of the 10 parts, from soft to aggressive sections that link perfectly as a puzzle, if I had to choose a couple of sections, I would have to go with the soft and acoustic "Defeat" (More or less in the style of Jan Akkerman) and the vibrant "Doom" with it's clear "Emersonian" sound, but to be honest, enjoyed all the epic.

Now comes the always hard part of rating, because translating all what you have heard during 55 minutes to a 5 points system is too cold and empty, but if I want to be fair, will go with 4 solid stars.

Review by Warthur
3 stars If I understand the liner notes to Life Line Project's The King correctly, Erik de Beer actually started the process of composing the 38 minute title track to the album back in the 1970s, but it was not until 2006 when he attempted to record it after a nasty health scare made it uncertain whether he would ever live to see it completed. Happily for all concerned, Erik's medical issues turned out to be much less dangerous than feared, and in 2009 (which must have been around the same time as The Finnishing Touch was being prepared for release) Erik got the mix and mastering on the King to a point he was happy with and unleashed it on the world.

The centrepiece of the album is unquestionably the title track, with the four previous songs being little more than a warm-up exercise, though a competent enough one at that, giving de Beer a chance to show off his multi-instrumentalist skills. The main epic is, I fear, mildly hit and miss - there's a lot of enjoyable passages, but also some points which kind of bug me. (In particular, there's a vocal section about 10 minutes into it which never fails to drive me up the wall.) It's a reasonable symphonic effort and certainly no major embarrassment, but I can't say that I feel it was necessarily worth the multi-decade gestation period.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The game of life is present on Life Line Project's next work.After being diagnosed with cancer and told to have only months left to live, Erik de Beer wanted desperately to finish an ambitious suite, which he started working back in 1978 with his first group J.S. Quasar and then with Zoundworks.The more serious attempts came upon Life Line Project's formation with an early version clocking at about 23 minutes.His backing group now was Ludo de Murianos on drums, Ramon Bergwerff on bass and Bram Vroon on guitars with three guest singers and a small orchestra, featuring classical instruments like bassoon, oboe, flutes and clarinet.By the end of the recording the diagnosis had changed from cancer to sarcoïdose, but de Beer had also to face his wife depression after such an intense period of pressure.He was convinced to release the album, so this would be launched in 2009 after so many years of working and an emotionally very hard period.

''The king'' had now reached the mark of 38 minutes, a long Symphonic Rock opus, divided in 10 variations, presenting the already familiar style of the band, now showered by lovely acoustic Classical sections, which even have a slight MIKE OLDFIELD perfume due to the surprising use of mandolin.Instrumentally ''The king'' is extremely tight and well-composed, some straight rock tunes are a bit out of place, but most of it is solid Symphonic Rock with beautiful keyboard parts, performed on synths, organ and harsichord by de Beer, and a new guitar hero found in the face of Bram Vroon, an excellent player, which could add some furious chops and memorable melodious lines in the process.While the music is pretty great, I can't say the same thing about the lifeless vocals, both male and female, propably de Beer needed a more professional team to sing the lyrics, because the present vocalists had not enough range to support the music.The drumming is also a bit robotic, but fortunately de Beer and Vroon will dominate the composition with their influences from CAMEL, FOCUS and even THE ENID, creating a powerful and talented duo of guitars/keyboards, flavored by the small Classical injections of the suporting orchestra.''The king'' is not the sole piece displayed in the album, there are four more songs offered in the opening minutes, somewhere between Neo Prog and dark Retro Prog, always guided by de Beer's keyboard acrobatics, especially his organ parts are impressive, much in the vein of E.L.P., with his synth flashing showing strong links to the sound of ABEL GANZ and MARILLION.

Had ''The king'' been recorded with a more expressive vocal team and lacking the few yet present straightforward lines, we would be talking about a great Symphonic Rock fest.The album still comes warmly recommended, because de Beer is an excellent composer and player, while Vroon is definitely the most accomplished and passionate guitarist he ever had in his group.Some great dramatic passages and charming orchestrations are the best highlights of the album.

Latest members reviews

5 stars My favourite Life Line Project album: true 70's style symphonic rock with long instrumental passages, filled to the brim with beautiful themes, tempo changes and nostalgic keyboard sounds. Several woodwind instruments embellish the grand eloquent LLP sound. The album starts with 4 shorter com ... (read more)

Report this review (#1196481) | Posted by PP(Patty) | Saturday, June 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The madness and megalomania of a demagogue, who is prepared to abuse both religion and democracy, form the basis for the story of this brilliant concept album by LIFE LINE PROJECT. Worked out in several stages, this is the final version of this symphonic rock epic. Mastermind and keyboard wiza ... (read more)

Report this review (#875561) | Posted by Whistler | Friday, December 14, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here we have a true seventies' sound, while the year of release shows 2009. Then, reading the booklet I saw that large parts of the title track (almost 38 minutes) were composed in 1978. At that time keyboard & guitar player and mastermind behind the Life Line Project, Erik de Beer, didn't hav ... (read more)

Report this review (#864423) | Posted by ProgPanda 2/71 | Wednesday, November 21, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Strong and solid symphonic rock with a touch of folk, is would you get when you check out the album "The King" by my compatriots and friends from LIFE LINE PROJECT, a project built around multi-instrumentalist Erik de Beer, who is taking care not only of all the keyboard parts, but who also pl ... (read more)

Report this review (#862829) | Posted by Dutchman | Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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