Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Trion Tortoise album cover
3.70 | 74 ratings | 12 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

Buy TRION Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tortoise (5:25)
2. The New Moon (7:59)
3. Hindsight (3:33)
4. Radiation Part 1 (1:27)
5. Jemetrion (6:05)
6. Radiation Part 2 (1:16)
7. The Seagulls (5:53)
8. Hurt (1:47)
9. Tribulaton (7:03)
10. Spectrum of Colours (3:17)
11. Endgame (5:39)

Total Time: 50:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Edo Spanninga / flute, oboe, strings, organ, cello, vibe, Mellotron samples, Elka leslie
- Eddie Mulder / acoustic and electric guitars, bass
- Menno Boomsma / drums

Releases information

CD Cylops CYCL 135 (1993) UK

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Tarcisio Moura for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy TRION Tortoise Music

TRION Tortoise ratings distribution

(74 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TRION Tortoise reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Marcelo
4 stars Do you like mellow music? Do you love Mellotron sound? OK, this cd is for you. An instrumental album where beloved Mellotron is the absolute star, with nice guitars and percussion.

Melodies are gentle, clear and very different from another mellotronic bands whose music is really dark, nostalgic and complex (ANGLAGARD, SINKADUS and even DEADWOOD FOREST). Nevertheless, TRION music remains beautiful, sometimes relaxing. But warning: In this case, simple doesn't mean basic or elementary. Eleven tracks (eleven highlights) are elaborated and captivating, fresh and lush.

Despite the fascinating and always present Mellotron, don't expect '70s retro music or an extremely complex album. But if you like instrumental progressive full of colour and melodic sense, you 'll enjoy "Tortoise" from the first minute to the last.

Review by slipperman
3 stars This is a tricky one. A modern album (2004) by a modern band (formed in 2003), playing material that is absolutely 100% Certified Lost In Prog Circa 1973.and that's a good thing. But when the material is so authentically '70s-sounding, in a style that was wholly progressive in its infancy but not deviating from that formula whatsoever, is this "new" material really progressive? Let's call it prog, but not progressive. (With incredible artwork from Jasper Joppe Geers-which stands right up there with the best from his inspiration, Roger Dean--it's an easy purchase based on the artwork alone.)

Formed by three Dutch musicians who have done time in other bands (Odyssice and Flamborough Head), Trion exists to pay tribute to the bands they thank in the liner notes (greats like Genesis, Greenslade, Gryphon, PFM, Camel, Caravan, Rush, Supersister and King Crimson among them). Characteristics of each of these bands pops up now and again on this all-instrumental album. The playing is formidable, the work of Edo Spanninga in particular, who does an excellent job using "Mellotron samples" that sound as rich and warm as the real thing. His approach reminds of Genesis' Tony Banks circa 1972 in sound quality, while his patient attention to detail--playing to the strength of the song and not showing off in a whirlwind of jamming--is an obvious parallel. The music remains on the mellow side, heavy dynamics barely spiking out from the linear song structures. Each song certainly has its own strong points and a lot of memorability, but it would've been nice to hear a more daring balance between the tones and dynamics. You absolutely cannot miss if you love the aforementioned '70s bands, as there's plenty of enjoyable if unchallenging listening here; lots of solid songs, plenty of beautiful instrumentation, and no doubt a real passion for this treasured music. Let's await their second album, hoping they'll eventually etch out a style of their own. They definitely have the tools, but do they have the muse?

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The idea for this muscial project came from FLAMBOROUGH HEAD's keyboard player Edo Spanninga and was by accident when he tested some recording equipment in order to record Seventies styled music as a fun-project. Eventually Edo was so excited about the results that he recruited other FLAMBOROUGH HEAD member Eddie Mulder (guitars and bass) and ODYSSICE drummer Menno Boomsma to make an album. The name TRION is a contraction of the words 'trio' and '(Mello)tron', simply because the band is a trio and because Edo only used Mellotron samples (flute, oboe, strings, organ, cello, vibe and choir) for his keyboard sound on this album. The music on TRION's debut-CD "Tortoise" is simply structured but it sounds very warm and melodic. It ranges from classical and folk to symphonic rock and has hints from early IQ, mid-GENESIS and YES and bands from the EARLY BRITISH PROGRESSIVE ROCK MOVEMENT like GRACIOUS and SPRING.

The music contains lots of fine guitarwork and moving Mellotron sounds (from a flute like "Strawberry field forever" to a choir like "Afterglow"). Eddie Mulder does a good job with his varied guitarplay (from mellow twanging acoustic guitars to howling electric guitar solos) and Menno Boomsma delivers a solid but subtle background. Some will complain that this album sounds a bit tame or too laidback but others will describe it as warm and compelling music. In my opinion we have to be grateful that TRION got the chance to make wonderful this music, far beyond the emotionless, predictable and multinational sponsored commercial crap from the charts. TRION maniac's alert, this is a Mellotron fan's wet dream!

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars The band got their name by combining "trio" and "mellotron". Yes they are a trio consisting of two members of FLAMBOROUGH HEAD and the drummer from ODYSSICE. And mellotron samples are all over this recording.This is an all instrumental album that is fairly light with guitar, cello, drums, and flute being the main instruments.This is a concept album about a tortoise that you can read about for yourself in the liner notes.

These are some of the highlights for me. First off "Tortoise" has a melody of light drums, mellotron and guitar before keys come in. A nice extended flute solo follows. "Hindsight" begins with a slow pace with acoustic guitar, flue and cello creating the soundscape. The song picks up a notch, and the mellotron and lazy guitar are great.

"Jemetrion" opens with acoustic guitar and flute as light drums and mellotron come in. Halfway through the song gets louder and this contrast continues. Some beautiful guitar after 5 minutes. My favourite song is "The Seagulls" and the sounds of seagulls fade out as some mournful cello takes over. This is followed by a guitar as the mellotron flows. Nice. Flute and acoustic guitar are up next, and the uplifting guitar solo 5 minutes in is terrific. "Endgame" has some more cello and soaring guitar melodies.

I think 3.5 stars is an accurate rating. A lot of the songs start out so mellow and tranquil, and then become more pronounced before they end. I did find I was losing interest in this record before it ended. After repeated listens I appreciated the beautiful sounds these guys created, but would have prefered some variety.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars This is a side project by Falmborough Head´s keyboiards player Edo Spanninga. From his group also came Eric Mulder (guitar and bass) and Odyssice´s drummer Enno Broomsma (brother of Margriet Boomsma, Flamborough Head´s vocalist). Usually I don´t really like those side projects: they are often just self indulgent music, a display of ego trips and/or technique showcases. Fortunatly this is not the case. In fact is more a homage to the music that influenced so many artists and the definitive prog instrument of the 70´s: the mellotron. .

Spanninga explores the mellotron to its full potencial. but he also writes MUSIC! with great melodies and tasteful arrangements. And the other two members contribution is not a minor one. In fact Mulder´s guitar parts are absolute gorgeous! And every song is a winner. Beautiful instrumental music that takes some time to sink in, but once it does, you´re hooked! I keep listening to this album over and over again.

If you´re missing good instrumental music of the caliber of Camel´s The Snowgoose, this is the album you´re looking for. All tracks are very good and varied, but the absolute highlight for me is New Moon, a very fine track that mixes early Genesis with a wonderful Camel-like guitar that is pure joy. Artwork is also great and fits very nice with the music inside.

The best instrumental album I´ve heard in many years! What a great buy! Highly recommended. 4,5 stars.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a ridiculous album and just plain revolting! Why did we have to wait so damn long for a mellotron orgy? Retro-this and retro-that but let it be known that this storied contraption that made many a musician green with envy at getting their fingers on one, red-faced with anger when the damn Mark IVs would go haywire (which was often) and outright ashen when everything would go right (which also was often). But by God, when it decided to evoke majesty, splendor and emotion, it was a mind blowing experience that left one breathless and trembling with glee. Anyone out there who had the privilege (I was lucky to be a teen then) of witnessing "Watchers of the Skies" opening a Genesis show in 1973 and being floored by the sheer aural assault, knows exactly what I mean. There are modern samplers that can reproduce a 40 piece symphony orchestra or a male/female mass choir PERFECTLY but in the every early 70s, the 'tron was still teething and it possessed this metallic gritty sound (as the metal 7 second tapes would grind to a premature halt) that just can't be reproduced (just like the Mini-Moog & the VCS3 synths, the Hammond 3c or the Lowry organs). When the acoustic guitar interacts with choir or string mellotron, something approaching revelation occurs; when the lead electric kicks in, it becomes genius (ex Genesis' "Hairless Heart") . So it's up to our Dutch friends to lovingly and reverently assemble this sultry homage to the big white (most of the time) monster. Starting out as an accident of circumstance , Edo Spanninga asked his Flamborough Head bandmate Eddie Mulder in guitar and bass as well as Odyssice's Memmo Boosma on drums to help him with this project. We now know that what started as this one -off recording has evolved into a parallel band with the day gig, as "Pilgrim" has just been released (On my acquire at all costs list). "Tortoise" is a slick affair with a masterful cover and artwork from obvious Roger Dean inspired Jasper Joppe Goers. As the liner notes very clearly inform, there is a lot of love and respect for this instrument (making a comeback as new production models have allegedly resumed!!!) This is a stellar all-instrumental album with no piano and no synths that starts of with choir samples and massive doses of various acoustic/electric guitars and rock steady drumming. The 11 tracks form various chapters in the saga of a turtle's tale, offering up different textural scenarios for all the various incarnations: flute, cello, oboe, strings, organ, vibe and choir. That there are outright winks at Camel (the supremely splendid "The New Moon" in particular), Genesis (the booming "Tortoise"), early King Crimson (the brief "Radiation" 1 & 2 and the sultry guitar- guided "The Seagulls"), Anthony Phillips (the short but fragile "Hurt"), Focus (the slow burn fiery 7 minute "Tribulation" with its multi facetted guitar promenades) is entirely par for the course but the added little gems are also scintillating: the pristine ultra orchestral cello-tron driven "Hindsight", the playful opulence of "Jemetrion" that shimmers with unabashed charm, the baroque slow pace luxury of "Spectrum of Colours" and the pastoral aural landscape of "Endgame" each bullied along by tremendous Mulder guitar solos that shake, tremble and shine . Way beyond my or anyone else's expectations. Knowing that a follow up is on the way just makes my day! 4.5 rabbit eared trons.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A project led by Flamborough Head's Edo Spanninga in order to compose some music closer to 70's styled Progressive Rock.He recruited fellow bandmate Eddie Mulder on guitars and bass as well as Odyssice's drummer Menno Boomsma and thus Trion were born.The debut of the project was released in 2003 on Cyclops under the title ''Tortoise''.

Spanninga & co. managed to come up with a nice, melodic, retro-sounding effort combining the modern technology with old school equipment and the result is a nostalgic, all instrumental journey into the world of GENESIS, CAMEL, GREENSLADE, FANTASY and the likes.The album is full of short and mid-length arrangements, where the focus resides on melody and harmony, but there are plenty of dramatic and grandiose themes to be found along with some good breaks between acoustic interludes and electric passages.Spanninga fills the sound with a number of analog keyboards, most notably huge waves of Mellotron as well as a fair dose of vintage organs and he is accompanied by Mulder's sensitive guitar style, offering series of melodic solos along with some LATIMER-like jazzy vibes, and Boomsma's solid drumming.The atmosphere is dreamy, ethereal and of course highly nostalgic regarding 70's Prog, with well-crafted orchestrations, which here and there contain also some string parts and delicate flutes.

Definitely a top prority if you are a fan of melodic Progressive Rock or vintage Symphonic Rock.This is a nice piece of dreamy instrumental music by this Dutch trio of talented musicians.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Trion came about when Flamborough Head keyboard player Edo Spanninga wanted to test out some recording equipment. Edo brought in friends Eddie Mulder (guitars/bass etc, also Flamborough Head) and drummer Menno Boomsma (Odyssice) and Trion were born. The name came out of the fact that they were a trio, and also that Edo was going to use the mellotron exclusively throughout the album. This is an instrumental album, but vocals really aren't missed at all, as the music definitely reaches back to the Seventies when prog was at it's most popular. There are times when they sound a bit like Yes, or Genesis, but most of that is down to the main instrument being used. But although the mellotron is an important instrument within the group, there is also plenty of room for some very fine guitar as well as flute and oboe.

The drumming is just what one would expect, restrained yet bombastic, simple, but downright complex. This is music to drift into, to fall into a world that has long gone yet is still relevant today as long as there are people who want to enjoy it. The songs may drift into each other, but the first time I played this I sat there with a grin on my face as this is a joy from start to finish. As it is instrumental and not overbearing there is a danger that some people will only use this for background music but that will be their loss as this is mighty fine. An album that I enjoyed immensely, as will all other progheads who investigate it further.

Originally appeared in Feedback #78, April 2004

Latest members reviews

4 stars Mellotron!!Mellotron!!Mellotron!! ...with this words you can imagine what is this cd about. this lost jewel from Netherlands is a perfect example of what relax,sweet and quality music should be. Eleven instrumental tracks including members from neo-bands Flamborough Head and Odyssice. Someti ... (read more)

Report this review (#85835) | Posted by javierros | Saturday, August 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There have been many, many attempts by modern Prog bands to capture the magic of the 70's, and this is the only album I've heard that really pulls it off. If this had been touted as a Lost Classic from the Vaults, I think most people would have been fooled. One star gets taken off for this not ... (read more)

Report this review (#79709) | Posted by Teaflax | Monday, May 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Although this is a "new" recording, if you like the sort of mellotron sounds featured in '71/'72 era Genesis stuff, you'll love this disc! All the tracks featured are instrumentals, and for the most part the melodies and structures of the music do a great job in harking back to those early '7 ... (read more)

Report this review (#46594) | Posted by Norm Cash | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I love this CD.Mellow ,melodic and well done.I think a comparison to Snow Goose era Camel wouldnt be to far off.Good job Cyclops records this another example why they are one of the better prog labels. ... (read more)

Report this review (#26366) | Posted by James Hill | Wednesday, February 11, 2004 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of TRION "Tortoise"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.