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Life Line Project - The Journey CD (album) cover


Life Line Project


Symphonic Prog

4.00 | 74 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Last week when the postman rang my bell, I knew it was the latest LIFE LINE PROJECT album that "Erik de Beer" told me he was sending, but when I opened it, found it was a double CD with a lot of nice surprises, like offering us the chance to listen the voices of the three female vocalists (Marion Brinkman-Stroetinga, Maruschka Kartosonto and Anja Sides-Dirkzwager )who have formed part of the band's history.

After listening the double CD, is clear that we are talking about two excellent albums released in one package that starts with "Journey to the Heart of Your Mind", a mixture of concept album and multi part epic.

Despite I don't like the name of the epic (well, we are here to judge the music not the name) we are talking about an excellent 60 minutes song divided in 16 parts:

"Blank Page" is a long and frenetic intro for the album that has fantastic keyboard passages with Erik at his best, a magnificent way of opening the album. Pay special attention to the Baroque organ solo around the third minute followed by a Medieval Harpsichord and flute break, it's breathtaking.

"The Journey Begins" is a nice and melodic song where the sweet voice of Marion Brinkman Stroetinga fuses perfectly with the dreamy and mysterious atmosphere only interrupted by synth explosions.

"Join Us" is a hit and miss track, the keyboard and instrumental sections are delightful (remind me a bit of Rick Wakeman, with fantastic arrangements sadly the vocals are not in the level, in my opinion too operatic and a bit forced. Luckily it's quite short and followed by the extremely beautiful "Doubt", a musical piece that works as a nice melodic interlude with a heartbreaking Spanish guitar and Mellotron sections.

After the calm, usually comes the storm, and that's what happens with "Fight the World", a frantic track that has everything that Progheads like me love so much, as dramatic changes, lush keyboards and restless dynamic, and as we can expect, after the storm the calm returns with the melodic "Longing for my Childhood" where Dineke Viseer offers us a beautiful oboe performance.

Surrounded by two interludes ("Turn The Page" and "Dark Page") the keyboard oriented tracks "Bright Spots" and ""Envy" keep the level of the album at the peak, even when the vocals in "Envy" are not in the level of the music.

The medieval "Miss Fortune" is one of my favorite tracks despite the extremely theatric dialogue by "Liset Dulaart" and a second vocalist that I'm unable to identify, not my cup of tea, but even the most reputed conceptual albums like "The Lamb Lies down on Broadway", have to sacrifice some vocals to maintain the plot, after "Miss Fortune" comes the wonderful Interlude "Forgotten Page" with a very carefully elaborate medieval atmosphere.

in the following two tracks ("The King Of Make-Believe" and "Free !"), LIFE LINE PROJECT hits us with everything they have giving no time to breath, but for the grand finale comes the beautiful "Credo" and it's fantastic vocal work plus excellent electric guitar solo.

Erik De Beer & Company close CD I with "The Last Page" one of the most explosive and brilliant songs that I heard by this excellent Dutch band.

But, this is far from being the end, because It's time to listen CD II called "The Narrow Path" that presents 9 separate tracks that cover all the styles and moods that the LIFE LINE PROJECT has offered us during their relatively short but prolific career.

We can find from Mellotron based tracks to musical pieces performed on grand piano, oboe, flute etc, starting with the mysterious "Turn the Key", the Neo Classical " Miniature 8 La Mélancolie" and ending with the Moog based "The French Wrench", but not forgetting the ever changing epic "The Narrow Path" that has everything a Symphonic fan would love.

Well, if I had to choose between quality and quantity, I'd always go with the first one, but if we find an album with more than 100 minutes of good music, we know we hit the jack pot, so even when I still believe that "Distorted Memories" is the best LIFE LINE PROJECT release, I can't rate The Journey with less than 4 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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