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TRIANGLE

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


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Triangle biography
Dutch Neo Progsters Triangle were formed as Square The Circle in 1993 in Rotterdam by guitarist Roland van der Stoep and bassist Jan-Willem Verkerk, both coming from the group Barock, and drummer Paul van der Zwaal, who used to play drums with Dune. The group had an intense live activity around the local area, despite failing to stabilize a solid formation. Eventually things would become better by mid-90's, when keyboardist Martijn Paasschens and singer John Baljeu joined the rest.Two demos were recorded under this line-up, before Baljeu decided to quit in 1997, having strong disagreements around the band's musical direction.The remaining four members, now with Paasschens on lead vocals, recorded their debut in 2000.At the time they were suggested to change their name and Triangle came on surface as a solution, while the band's old name became the title of their debut. Encouraged by the positive reviews and the fact their debut was sold-out in limited time the group started working on new material. Prior to the recordings of the second release, Paul van der Zwaal decided to leave and he was replaced by a former bandmate of Van der Stoep and Verkerk on Barock, drummer Edward Bijnsdorp.The second album ''Retreat'' finally saw the light in 2004 on an independent label. Triangle soon fell on hiatus and just about when everyone has forgotten this excellent band an evening chat between the original members led to their reincarnation in 2012. As for 2013 it is rumored that the band is working on a great comeback, 9 years after their last studio album.

Triangle's sound is a complex Neo/Symphonic Prog along the lines of MARILLION, TWIN AGE, COLLAGE and ABRAXAS. With plenty of shifting moods, twisting guitar runs, atmospheric vocals and deep keyboards, their albums should be of first priority for all lovers of both Neo Prog and Symphonic Rock.

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TRIANGLE discography


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

4.16 | 51 ratings
Square The Circle
2000
3.83 | 18 ratings
Retreat
2004

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TRIANGLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Retreat by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.83 | 18 ratings

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Retreat
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars The Dutch band TRIANGLE in their second studio albun "Retreat", show a strong influence from the greatest icons from the Neo-prog from the 80's - MARILLION, PALLAS and IQ and inside this proposal, they make a perfect musical work. The 'atmospheric sound" recreate the style from these above mentioned bands . All the tracks are very good and the musicians highly capable. However... in my point of view this capability in recreate close to perfection the music of such bands, cause a lack of creativity and even of a self-identity, the great sin from the album !!! Nevertheless I think which this album deserves figure in my collection, I can't give a superior quotation than 3 stars !!!

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars On their debut album Triangle draw inspiration from giants of neo-prog such as Marillion, IQ and Twelfth Night whilst developing their own distinctive style. In general, their extended and epic songs work around contrasting bombastic instrumental workouts reminiscent of IQ or early Marillion and darker, more subdued bass-driven portions that remind me a lot of the better works of Twelfth Night. (Martijn Paasschens, in his vocal delivery, at points reminds me of a somewhat more Gothic version of Geoff Mann). On the whole, this debut album is a remarkably confident piece which manages to simultaneously revive the early 1980s approach to neo-prog whilst at the same time offering enough of a new spin on the idea to give it an appeal beyond mere nostalgia.

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 Retreat by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.83 | 18 ratings

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Retreat
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This second album by Triangle proves that they are still an excellent neo-prog powerhouse as the compositions presented are all of them excellent. Not only the musical compositions, the sound production of the CD is top notch. I think this has been the strength of the band as their debut album was also great in terms of sonic production. I would suggest you turn your power amplifier volume high when you paly this CD; and .. you will be astonished by the time the opening track produces sounds through drums as well as other instruments.

The opening track "The Summer Died" (6:29) is very neo-prog in nature as the way the music is composed not far different with those coming from Pallas, IQ and the like. I was quite a bit disappointed actually with the vocal quality that does not seem to match with the music because he sings in relatively low register notes. If I compare this with Peter Nichols of IQ or Alan Reed of Pallas the timbre is totally different. But it's OK as long as the music flows beautifully. "This Day" (8:15) runs in similar style with previous track using stunning guitar solo and tight basslines throughout the song. "Goodbye" (4:26) reminds me to IQ music especially on the opening part.

"This Vacuum Inside" (8:26) starts nicely in an ambient mode using keyboard that sounds like a vibraphone accentuated by tight bass lines. Guitar in Floydian style enters the scene providing long solo in the background (seems like being mixed that way). The drums enter the music in an excellent way and brings the music in a nice way. Vocal only enters the music in the middle of the song. This is an excellent composition. "We Will Wait" (5:59) demonstrates good bass playing and stunning guitar solo. Again the sonic quality has helped the music easier to enjoy. "Retreat Part 1" (4:21) is an ambient instrumental part that flows seamlessly to the next track "Heroes Are" (6:10), a mellow one at its intro part but it moves into full-blown neo-prog composition. ".A Winter´s Death" (9:46) is in similar vein with previous track. "Retreat Part 2" (3:55) is a nice instrumental piece that concludes the album beautifully.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. Keep on proggin'...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Triangle who?

Who are they? Why are they out of the picture? And who permitted such a horrible cover? Questions that'll maybe never get an answer.

For sure, this is a real lost gem of the neo-progressive land. It will satisfy the lingering heartache in your soul, sometimes the way Disintegration by the Cure did. Some guitars parts remind me so much of Fascination Street, is Porl Thompson aware of the thing?

Floating (but plastic) keyboards, Rothery-style axe solos (every note is felt) and distinctive drum feeling of the 80's. You will be wrapped into a foggy and emotionnal fog listening that record. It goes from soft and eerie to bombastic and dynamic in a blink of an eye. What kind of sick relationship creates such a record?

Again, a true diamond in the rough, a lost gem and a well-kept secret for the neo-prog lover who thinks he heard it all.

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by ChrisDawid

5 stars This outstanding album perfectly combines neo-prog with symphonic prog. Personally, I think that it's one of the strongest debut efforts on the intersection of both genres.

On this album the members of the band manage to create melancholic passages which don't bore the listener and even make him curious. The sound is soft and mellow with very strong instrumental solos as in the first track "Foreword to the Elements of Life" beautiful keyboard solo. Other very good keyboard intros follow on two next tracks. All the tracks are adequate long (nearly 10 minutes) and very good positioned on the album. After shorter, strong, first track follows three very melodious and a bit longer tracks. "Chasing the Shadow" and "The Centre Shines" are truly highlights here. "Amy" is not my favorite track but it perfectly fits on this place and makes a mood change after longer tracks. The second part of the song is much better and create suitable intro for two ending tracks. "Pygmalion" and "Nature's Window" are in my opinion best songs on the album. Very melodious and mysterious, especially on the change to the "Nature's Window" The mellow atmosphere dominates on the whole album but it's still only a background for outstanding instrumental arrangements, except for some moments of stillness, for example on the fifth track "Amy" or on the ending of "Pygmalion" when unaccompanied soft melody comes to the fore. But the strongest point of the band is very various use of instruments what really enhances variety of the whole album. Mood changes appear many times even during one song.

Triangle's masterpiece should be recommended for fans of symphonic and neo-prog. There are all the important elements for a successful effort: good composition, mellow vocal, which fits perfectly into mood of the album and beautiful lyrics. "Square the Circle" still persists unrecognized among many prog-fans. As masterpiece it really deserves more attention. Five stars for this outstanding debut.

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars You got to hand it to the dutch, they always seem to come through in the clutch! (my goodness, have I morphed even so slightly into a budding rapper? Never, screamed back the mellotronic choir!). It's pretty obvious that their prog musicians have continued to Focus without Ekseption or Trace, on finding the Solution! (How do you like that one, Erik?) . The recent crop has been splendid (Like Wendy, Nice Beaver, Trion, Mangrove, Ice, Ayreon, Odyssice, Knight Area, King Eider, Flamborough Head, Lady Lake and a few others.) , seemingly very adept at finding new ingredients to their highly musical formula (We don't bandy about an illustrious moniker like Dutch Masters without respect!). Triangle released this little debutante gem back in 2001 and it made some serious waves (all the way to Indonesia where our own Gatot emptied his soul in reviewing this album). It remains an intriguing album to this day, since it is quite correctly described as sitting between two chairs (a symph and a neo) with the rather angsty neo vocals of Martijn Paasschens causing all the alleged discomfort. Yeah, so he has a somewhat neurotic voice (so does Geddy Lee, Robert Plant, David Surkamp, Jon Anderson among many others.) but that seems to be quite common in the prog genre, so let's just suck it up, okay? The opening instrumental is a real tour de force, brightly introducing the musical savvy of the boys in the band, Martijn laying down some atmospheric keyboard symphonics, nimble piano and spiraling synthesizers leads obviously feuding with the highly adept lead guitarist Roland van Der Stoep, full of swirling reverb and effect-laden tones. As usually the case with the Hollander proggers, the rhythm section is groovy, precise and highly propellant. On "Chasing the Shadows" the vocals are appropriately emotive without any hysterics, chaperoning the themes very nicely with some delightful piano passages. It's with the whirlwind 11 minute epic "The Center Shines" that, even though the multiple interlocking themes shine splendidly, the vocals may seem a tad overbearing, most especially when he howls/ yells "I scream at the sound of my the alarm clock ", which has an almost crude new wave/punk/alternative tone that does really wake you up, to say the least! Even I sit up and scratch uncomfortably when I hear this passage. Tic-Toc, goes the clock, this is a song that has a psychotic/schizo element of unbalance that needs the slightly wild vocalizations! Sorry, but there is context! "The Saddest Show" is a scathing critique of television shows that prey on human frailty and the cynicism of judgment by mass appeal, another 10 minute + musical exploration, loaded with assorted effects and snippets of commentary, only to suddenly EXPLODE with vitriolic abandon in an experimental sound montage where instruments dance , merge and weld , helter-skelter. The gentle choir mellotron end-section is eerily striking, a deliberate slow burn, leading to another vibrant van der Stoep solo and some rumbling bass musings. "Amy" is an upbeat number that is more of a song than a musical piece but remains decidedly non commercial. I frankly find this somewhat bland and it's the only disposable track on this set. "Pygmalion" is listed at 13 minutes 11, it's also the longest. Loosely based on GB Shaw's literary masterpiece, this is another semi-paranoid musical excursion that stretches the boundaries of sanity and fantasy, featuring first a ripping guitar solo exuding all the pain of the universe and then a second, twirling in the gale of utter melancholia when the chorus kicks in. It slowly flickers, bathed in wispy effects until the flame just.. dies. Yep, good stuff! The finale is another 11 minute job, "Nature's Window", a somewhat more angelic piece with a spacier and brighter sound that searches out some more bombastic musical environments, again led by some gorgeous "search & destroy" guitar stylings, heavily molded in the Hackett/Rothery school. Roland van der Stoep is a revelation, lacing this track with tons of atmosphere, full of restraint at one moment and cutting loose with some unbridled power the next . The serene vocals here are quite enjoyable, with just the right amount of feeling. Simple, effective and loaded with emotion and this album's highlight. The bottom line remains that this is highly paced symphonic music that rushes nothing, builds momentum and culminates in a most pleasurable listen. Four corners for this Triangle.

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars 3.5 stars actually...

A mysterious Dutch band with a great and obscure debut.TRIANGLE were formed in 1993 and recorded a number of demos,while being an underground band for almost 7 years.This period would end by the millenium's dawn,when they released their official debut ''Square the circle'' through Zizania label...

...and this is one of the darkest releases ever to be presented by a band,falling generally into the neo progressive rock category.Four out of seven tracks are over 10 minutes,showing that this is a band,who want to develop their ideas.''Square the circle'' is split between demanding instrumental parts,based on soaring guitars and atmospheric keyboards and vocal-led more smooth parts,which contain an obvious dark feeling.This comes as a result of the expressive singing of Martijn Paasschens,the slow-tempo keyboards and the slightly FRIPP-ian guitar work of Roland van der Stoep.Things get even more serious and attractive through the complicated instrumental parts,dominated by the strong guitar melodies,the superb deep bass work and the dramatic symphonic keyboards (mainly synths),which really lead to a fantastic musical combination.Everything in this work shows a band with maturity and incredible talent!Only comparable to COLLAGE or maybe SAENS in terms of complexity,''Square the circle'' by TRIANGLE is a work only for those who like to experience true musical adventures.Strongly recommended!

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars A Masterpiece Neo Prog / Symphonic Album

YOOOHAAA...!!! What a great album man ....!!! Did you ever experience listening to a prog album and you got "hooked" to the music by the time you spin the CD at the very first time? How did you feel? How did it then progress in terms of durability of that feeling over time? Did it fade away or is it still there in your heart even until now so whenever you spin the CD you are deeply engrossed with the music or you are in the "flow" with the music? Well, .this album really blew me at the very first spin of the CD. The music matches 100% of my personal taste, especially in the symphonic / neo prog mood. Am sure if you love early Marillion, Arena, IQ, Pallas, Magenta, Spektrum, Darius, Pendragon, Cast, it is very unlikely that you cannot enjoy this music by the Dutch band. But, I'm not gonna review on the basis of because "I like it" as it's not wise at all to do this way. Prog music must be reviewed in an open mind and an objective way that at the end would help you, my dearest readers of this website, to reach a purchase decision.

I just need to warn you that if you want originality of idea in composing a music, you may (or will) not find here with this album as all music style and moods have been invented before with the pioneering bands in symphonic or neo progressive veins. Nothing new with this album, it's a symphonic / neo progressive type of music, so you can imagine how the band sounds. But if your chief reason is to explore more bands with melodic composition under the banner of neo prog or symphonic prog, yeah man .. you got it here. It's a wonderfully crafted composition! I can guarantee on that.

My big thanks go to Andy Julias, my prog guru, who lent me his stacks of CDs for me to explore and I'm really happy that I have the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful album. Of course, I will buy it myself later as this one is masterpiece. Quite surprising to me that Andy has got this collection because he was typically favoring much more complex music than this one. You know, he is the Producer for Indonesian prog bands: Discus, Imanissimo, In Memoriam, and some more that typically complex prog music, and NOT neo progressive at all. Thanks, brother! (I will review 'em all here. This is the second and the first was SPEKTRUM that I reviewed yesterday).

Having listened to the CD in its entirety for eight spins, this is my detail review of this debut album of TRIANGLE. It's a five star rating and I don't think you need to read this long review, just BUY THE CD! But for those who are curious with this album, this is my view .

Foreword to the Elements of Life (6:34)

First of all, the title itself is good. It's like an opening chapter of a book whereby the readers are introduced to what sorts of concepts or thoughts about the book and how they will be presented to the readers. Using the same analogy, this album opener helps the listeners get acquainted with the band's musical style. It's an instrumental piece that comprises two major sections, I would say. The first one (2:15 minutes) comprises a drum-less music where long sustain keyboard sounds dominate the melody accompanied by soft guitar fills. Structurally, this opening part reminds me to Marillion's "Pseudo Silk Kimono" keyboard work that opens Misplaced Childhood album. Nuance-wise, it reminds me to the opening / orchestration part of Metallica's S&M live album - especially on the way how guitar fills are used and accompanying orchestration sound from keyboard. It's a very melodic keyboard sound that sometime associate me to the opening music of a movie like Lord of the Rings. Powerful one. At the end of this keyboard overture the music suddenly [2:15] turns in with an upbeat tempo music with dynamic drumming and punchy keyboard sound. It flows wonderfully to guitar solo that flows to a grand piano work in a nuance like new age music by Yanni. It's a perfect match between neo progressive, symphonic and new age music, I would say. The guitar solo played in alternate with keyboard is really stunning. This is a heartbreaking instrumental piece with many killing melodies produced in almost all segments. Well, you should not miss this wonderful track man! A masterpiece track!!

Chasing the Shadows (7:29)

It opens with a melodic grand piano solo influenced by classical music in relatively long duration, more than one minute, before the vocal line enters in mellow style. The piano work accompanies the vocal line in a catchy melody texture during the first lyrical verse of the song. At approx min [3:00] the music flows in its full swing in a faster tempo with dynamic drumming, solid and inventive basslines and howling guitar sounds. Wow! Man . what a great musical piece here! It especially comes thru when the music flows with some complex transitions demonstrating an excellent combination of keyboard, piano, guitar and drum. The second verse vocal line enters accompanied with the upbeat music with obvious basslines. (I really love the bass guitar sounds here). The song ends up with the opening verse singing style and melody using piano as well.

The Centre Shines (11:08)

This third track opens with a nice and complex combination of all instruments used followed with a distant voice line, maintaining the complex music as rhythm section. Drumming is dynamic, bass guitar is so obvious in terms of sound and its playing style. Guitar work reminds me to Hackett. At approx min [2:06] the music turns into quieter passage that reminds me to early Marillion's music. When it turns into a faster music, the lead singer demonstrates his powerful vocal accompanied with stunning guitar work. This song combines various forms of music with a smooth transition between forms that has made an enjoyment. The structure is not that straight as the form at the opening is different with in the middle and at the ending part. For example, at approx [4:46] the music turns into a very quiet passage with only soft keyboard sound that later is followed with bassline and howling guitar - very nice one. At approx [6:00] the drums enter the music and provides an excellent accentuation to the sounds. I enjoy this part that later accompany vocal line returning back to music. It's a true masterpiece!

The Saddest Show (10:28)

This is another track with a bit complex structure where the music contains multiple forms that some of them are not the same one to another. It opens with a loop followed with a drumming work and keyboard plus guitar in an upbeat opening and it later turns into a quiet passage with guitar fills and voice line. The singing part flows melodically in mellow style. At approx [2:36] a male voice narration enters the music break. What's interesting is the music at the background that enters in a crescendo until right after the narration is complete. Guitar solo is truly stunning especially it's combined with drum work that was mixed so obvious in this record, augmented with dynamic basslines. Some quieter passage with soft keyboard work gives a good chance for bass guitar to show his lines to the music. Very nice. The ending part provides a nice drumming solo and solid bass with soft keyboard sounds at the back.. Oh what a great composition!

Amy (5:36)

Having been bombarded with relatively long duration songs, the band returns back with a relatively short song. It starts with a music that is dominated by guitar melody in relatively long duration followed with weird melody vocal line, but it's nice and interesting to enjoy. It reminds me to the music of Sinkadus in the nineties. Sometime at the ending part of the track there is an excellent use of Taurus pedal combined with other instruments and produce wonderful sound. I enjoy especially when my power amp volume turns high - it's so great sound!

Pygmalion (13:11)

This sixth track opens with simple guitar fills that bring the vocal line singing the first lyrical verse in a mellow style. The music enters with a full swing but maintaining the same slow tempo with an excellent augmentation of tom drum sounds and howling guitar sounds. This track has a simpler structure as it flows straight with typical choruses. The only thing that has truly made this song very attractive is the long sustain guitar solo in some segments of the music. Yeah man, even if you may not enjoy this track, but the guitar solo is so stunning!! It's killing me man ... In the middle of the track, the msuic explores bass guitar sound and multi-layer keyboard work.

Nature's Window (11:07)

Structurally, this concluding track is similar with Pymalion. The melody and composition is of course different. The beginning part is completely mellow but it gradually moves to a faster tempo that features many guitar solo melodies. The combination between guitar and drums in many segments are truly excellent. There are some guitar fills during quiet passages where the style reminds me to Marillion. The guitar solo at the ending part is excellent - it moves from low to high registers nicely and concluded the song in an uplifting mood.

SUMMARY

Uh . what a long review. Sorry, I choose to do it this way as I believe that the members of the band have worked really hard to compose this great album. It deserves a novel long review, I think. Musically, it's not something original as there are elements of neo progressive, symphonic and new age music blend nicely into this album. But, the composition - songwriting and arrangements - is really TOP NOTCH! With reasonable number of spins, I finally think that this album deserves full five stars rating. I am ready to take the blame as being "naïve" in generous in giving a rating. Not really; because you have NOT listened to the CD meticulously. Once you have, yeah man .. I am sure will agree with me that this is a masterpiece neo prog album! It's now 2005 and this album was released in 2000 while I have not heard any further development from the band since then and in the future. Sadly to hear this but I hope the band should line up together and make the second album. Keep on proGGin' ..!!!

Yours progressively,

GW

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 Square The Circle  by TRIANGLE album cover Studio Album, 2000
4.16 | 51 ratings

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Square The Circle
Triangle Neo-Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "Square The Circle" is the strong debut album from the Dutch neo-prog band TRIANGLE. They are blending 80's and 90's neo-progressive rock to a mix that is somewhere between DREAM THEATER, IQ, JADIS, M'ARILLION, ROCKET SCIENTISTS, RUSH and SAGA. It's all very good: The musicians, the clear dynamic production, the complex compositions, the strong melodies, the clever arrangements and the vocal performance by Martijn Paasschens. Four out of the seven tracks is +10 minutes. The highlights are "Chasing The Shadows", the complex "The Center Shines", the longest composition "Pygmalion" that is +13 minutes and the closing "Nature's Window". The magnificent artwork is made by the "artwork-master", Mattias Norén from Sweden. This is neo-progressive rock at its best, and it might be one of the better debut albums in 2000. Highly recommended!

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