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Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

4.48 | 1975 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Never heard anything like this.

In 20 years of listening progressive music, I voluntary never got acquainted with Van der Graaf. 'Why' you ask? I'm quite allergic to the 'mal de vivre' in general, and so caracteristic of Peter Hammill's work. Everytime I saw someone who really liked the band, they always had that point in common: a tendency to be depressed. No kidding, they all without exception showed signs of mood swings. Nothing to reassure me, indeed.

But of course, that was a decade ago. Time changes everything, and I do (sometimes) appreciate the tension-releasing anger and screaming madness of VDGG. It's my first toe- tipping into this bizarre world and it's a disturbing record I must say. A blend of intense saxomofone, mental insanity and deep heartbreaks. Woah, your wife won't like it for sure.

The poor guy looks like he's in a lot of pain, with a tortured (but pleasant) voice that recalls a satisfying cross of Peter Gabriel and David Bowie. It must be very difficult to sing an entire show like this, since the voice is going from here to there in many tones, always in a VERY theatrical way. The drumming is stellar, and I mean it like Giles-from-King-Crimson-good . Sometimes it reminds me of Gentle Giant, with a dirty saxomofone giving the bass an appreciable edge. On the rythm section, no big drum fills, but a solid use of ride, snare and bass drum. Not the most inventive or varied organ sounds around, but since the vocals takes so much space, everything is in place nor the less; but without those insane vocals, the music would be rather ordinary except for Sleepwalkers. I'm so speechless, this music is reaching something painful inside of me and tries to bring it back to the surface. Am I the only one feeling this? Addictive and disturbing!

Stone me if you will, but the general feel is close to insanity: borderline-manic-depression- under-pressure, call it what you will; to me Mr. Hammill is not a well man. If it's part of his act, we have here a fantastic comedian!

This is definitely a soundtrack for your nightmares.

Menswear | 4/5 |


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