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Van Der Graaf Generator - The Aerosol Grey Machine CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator


Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 623 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album actually made a lot more sense to me once I understood it was a Peter Hammill solo album. His VDGG mates are the session musicians as it were and then the label ended up putting it out under the VDGG name instead of under Peter Hammill. I have had such a hard time with the rating for this one. For me this truly is a 3.5 star album but the choice to give it the 3 or 4 stars has been difficult.

The album opens with the laid back "Afterwards" which I like a lot. The focus is on the vocals and stummed guitar but we do get some good drum and organ work. A top three. "Orthenthian St. Part I & II" are next and it's fairly relaxed as well but I really do not like parts of this. This is hit and miss for me. "Running Back" starts off quite slow with reserved vocals. This is another track that doesn't do much for me. Not a bad instrumental section part way through with flute I suppose. "Into A Game" is better but not by much, then we get the very short title track. "Black Smoke Yen" is a cool sounding instrumental but it's very short too.

"Aquarian" is simply fantastic ! We get 8 1/2 minutes of bliss with Peter's interesing lyrics along with some excellent growly bass throughout. A catchy chorus here too that is quite uplifting and I like the piano on the verses. A top three for sure. "Necromancer" is fairly urgent sounding but I don't like the chorus at all. "Octopus" sounds great when the organ arrives and check out Hammill getting passionate on vocals. It calms down half way through as it turns fairly dark with organ then it builds. Nice. More chunky bass late. The final top three and a good way to end the album as it shows us the direction this band would steer to.

Just a few too many misses for me to offer up the 4th star sadly. Sadly because this has some great material on it.

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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