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Life Line Project - The King CD (album) cover


Life Line Project


Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 50 ratings

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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 sarco´dose, 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.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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