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Van Der Graaf Generator - Trisector CD (album) cover

TRISECTOR

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

3.51 | 471 ratings

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alextorres2
3 stars "Trisector", Van der Graaf Generator's second album since reforming in 2004 after a break of nearly 30 years is a pale shadow of their 2005 return offering, "Present".

Crucially for "Trisector", David Jackson, their very talented saxophone player, decided to leave the band last year and was not replaced. Fans of the group will immediately say "irreplaceable!" - indeed, but when for 1977's "The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome" both Jackson and Hugh Banton left, Peter Hammill did at least bring in Nic Potter and, more significantly, Graham Smith on electric violins in order to try and beef up the sound Additionally, for that album and the subsequent tour, the band's name was shortened to "Van der Graaf", perhaps as an indication to fans that this wasn't quite the band's classic line-up.

"Trisector" does not sound like a Van der Graaf Generator album - it sounds more like a Peter Hammill solo album, more so than "The Quiet Zone/The Pleasure Dome" ever did. As such, it is not a bad album - indeed, it is an enjoyable album - the disappointment is felt only when comparing it to the band's strong return three years ago with "Present".

So, sonically the album is a bit short of reaching what you'd normally expect from VDGG. Hugh Banton in particular tries really hard (perhaps too hard!) to make up the shortfall by enhancing the music from his organ and elsewhere Hammill himself plays some meaty electric guitar but neither makes up for the loss of Jackson (or, as on "The Quiet Zone." a fourth virtuoso instrumentalist). In VDGG soundscape terms, "Trisector" comes closest to "Godbluff" but without Jackson it never threatens to approach that album's quality.

Highlights for me are the opener, a rocky instrumental called "The Hurlyburly", which puts one in mind of "Theme One"; and "The Final Reel", which has a good melody and a jazzy feel. Also, "All That Before" is great fun, a humorous song that is a 21st century version of Free's "Alright Now" complete with musical and lyrical echoes of that famous song - Hammill must have enjoyed riffing away on that!

Overall - enjoyable but without the impact of VDGG at their best.

alextorres2 | 3/5 |

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