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TROISSOEUR

Prog Folk • Belgium


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Troissoeur biography
A rather low key folk-influenced quartet, made from no-less than three Van Vinkenroye brothers (hence the pun-intended Three Sisters moniker), of which Joris might be familiar to some progheads, since he?s the leader of the Avant or Chamber-Prog band called ARANIS. This mainly acoustic group hails from Belgium?s second city Antwerp (thus are Flemish), but they chose to sing in many different languages. The group featured the only non-brother guitarist Pieter Thys as a frontman, while brother Joris played contrabass, the bro Edwin played the violin and the little bro Rein played the accordion and dabbled on the guitar as well. Their debut Trah Njim album is strongly influenced by medieval-sounding music and features vocals by all three brothers in many different languages, including French, Slavonic and old Germanic dialects. Their second album, named 3S, is definitely a rockier affair with some tracks nearing alternative rock (a few tracks are downright so), but retaining a very folkish ambiance throughout. Surprisingly enough both albums were released on the major EMI label, but the group failed to catch the mainstream public?s attention. But if TROISSOEUR predates ARANIS by a few years, it also failed to outlive it since the band hasn?t released an album since their second 3S in 04.

Recommended to those that like modern prog folk like Espers or Faunfables.

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TROISSOEUR discography


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TROISSOEUR top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Trah Njim
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
3S
2004

TROISSOEUR Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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TROISSOEUR Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
4 Faces In A Box
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
4Faces in a box II
2008

TROISSOEUR Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 3S by TROISSOEUR album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
3S
Troissoeur Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

— First review of this album —
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!!

Well some four years after their debut album, the four sisters reconvened for a second opus, but this time, they amplified their ideas and their sound. Indeed, while there are still tons of medieval-sounding progressive folk, the group expanded quite a bit in the Pagan or Wyrd folk direction, as well as giving in an psychedelic/alternative rock slant? So the present album would hover somewhere between Espers or Long Live Death on one side and Radiohead or Decemberists on the other end of the spectrum, with even a shade of U2. Indeed the acoustic side of the debut album is completely erased, and the present soundscapes also feature much more percussion instruments as well. The group delves into electronic wizardry and tape loops and vocal effects, but somehow, this doesn't erase the original personality of the group.

Opening on the plaintive Little Dole, a piece that brings you back to their haunting debut album, the mood goes soon electric while staying extremely intimate, not unlike some of the era's post-rock albums, but without the doom and gloom atmospheres, even if the 3S mood is down. Tracks like Curoon, the slow and intimate Higher Motions or even outstandingly bizarre Trays have a much rockier (and straighter-rhythms) feel ala Yorke or Bono band. Other tracks, like the great Kjilmé or the haunting Sano Mame, the mood is halfway between the rockier pieces and the more ambient stuff (that searing guitar, soaring in the stratosphere), or even slightly ethnic. In some ways, you'll find some typical Belgian chamber-prog ambiances, the one in Sano being slightly reminiscent of Present.

Another peak of the album is the spell-binding No One Amo, whose polyphonic vocals can even enthral the deadest of your grandparents. The obvious highlight (IMHO) is the 17-mins Paving epic, one that does take indeed its sweet time to develop with some repetitive modal-raga moments, with some searing electric guitar solos, sometimes reminiscent of young Gilmour. The closing Levina features some high-energy moments, but slowly bows out to finally fade into oblivion is such a delicate, in an-almost post-rock manner

A fairly different beast than its older sister, 3S shows just how much a group can evolve in their musical endeavour while remaining more or less faithful to their original intent, even if the two oeuvres are fairly different. It's difficult to really describe such an intricately-woven and complex sonic fabric, but believe me, this is one of the 00's best Belgian album. Must be heard to be believed!!

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 Trah Njim by TROISSOEUR album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.00 | 1 ratings

BUY
Trah Njim
Troissoeur Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

— First review of this album —
4 stars First album from this three brothers (or sisters as they like to call themselves) folk formation that also features a non-brother guitarist with a sombre three skimpy yesteryear dresses as an artwork. The album is almost all acoustic and present a very medieval soundscape throughout, and although the music is very instrumental, the presence of vocals sung in traditional languages (can't define some for sure, but apparently there are some old Slavonic lyrics) is very much one of the group's trademark.

Most of the 15 (rather short >> max 4-mins length) tracks are of the same mould, meaning relying mainly of the percussion-less (except for two pieces) rhythms of the bowed-strings instruments (violin, contrabass), underlined by the mainly-dronal accordion (the better way to play that "thing"), while the guitar can alternate rhythmic patterns or lead lines (which can be electrically amplified). The moods of the pieces are generally medieval, sober, reserved, polyphonic, plaintive and even introverted, which gives the album a sombre ambiance, something enhanced by the gloomy artwork. A few tracks have middle-eastern or downright Arabic soundscape, but are no-less medieval-sounding that their sisters tracks. The album peaks with the energetic (and sometimes demented) second-last Troesj track, a poignant moment that can draw chills to your spine, if caught off-guard.

So this first album might actually qualify in the truest sense of the meaning of progressive folk (ala early Gryphon), instead of being prog-rock with lots of folky influences (ala Jethro Tull). Surprisingly enough, the album carries the EMI logo, but this was released on the subsidiary label Zoku. Don't look for any rock elements in the album, but if you like your proggy/folkish atmospheres, jump on it.

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Thanks to sean trane for the artist addition.

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