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Van Der Graaf Generator - Godbluff CD (album) cover

GODBLUFF

Van Der Graaf Generator

 

Eclectic Prog

4.48 | 1975 ratings

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thesimilitudeofprog
5 stars

This album remarks the comeback of the band after a four year break from the music industry. The front- man Peter Hammill released quite a number of albums during that time. The quartet (Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton, David Jackson, Guy Evans) reconvened and recorded a batch of songs that would produce not only Godbluff, but also a good deal of the following album Still Life. I think this is the best album by this band, and I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in emotional progressive rock music. Their music is quite accessible on this record when compared to their previous records, especially Pawn Hearts. The overall feeling is sorrowful, dark and violent.

'The Undercover Man' kicks off the album with full splendor: its crescendo entry and its delicate balance of wind/keyboard sonic display makes it a strong starting point, despite the fact of it being basically a 7+ minute ballad. "The Undercover Man" is absolutely an astonishing piece. It begins with Hammill's voice in a low timbre, accompanied by Jackson's flute and Evans' drums. The track develops, with a slow crescendo of Hammill's voice and Banton's organ. In my humble opinion, this is one of the most beautiful songs ever created by the band. "Scorched Earth" Continuing directly from the previous track with a dirge-like organ, this piece delivers a change of flavor, with a heavier reliance on Hugh Banton's organ, and a heavier feel altogether. Hammill's vocals are as dramatic as ever, with several great examples of his creepy lyrical mastery. Guy Evans' drumming is spectacular during the last few minutes, which is one of the best parts of the song. The third song on the album is the anger laden "Arrow". The song starts with a short jazz improvisation, as Peter Hammill's vocals come in the song becomes a frightening piece of music. The chorus is haunting, while at the same time being pretty catchy. Peter's extraordinary vocals really stand out on this track. The last track on the album is "The Sleepwalkers" I really like it a lot. The intro is just nice and gentle, but when the vocals start, it turns out to be another scary one. The instrumental break shows the whole band in its full power. This track is so intense with the whole band playing at its best than I just felt in love with it.

The musicianship is wonderful, especially how the instruments work together to create interesting time signatures, unusual sounds and beautiful melodies. Above all this, Peter Hammill comes crashing in with his remarkable voice, working it to add to the timbre of the instruments, creating the atmosphere of the songs, with great emotion and drama.

A true masterpiece of progressive rock music.

thesimilitudeofprog | 5/5 |

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