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Trion - Tortoise CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.69 | 69 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
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?

slipperman | 3/5 |


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