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Life Line Project - Distorted Memories CD (album) cover

DISTORTED MEMORIES

Life Line Project

 

Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 70 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars Masterpiece

Four days ago the postman brought me the latest LIFE LINE PROJECT release called "Distorted Memories" (courtesy of my good friend "Erik de Beer", who had the nice gesture of thanking this reviewer and Prog Archives in the beautiful 10 pages booklet, due to the very modest contribution we had with their career), and as usual was surprising.

The first LIFE LINE PROJECT record I heard was "The King", an album performed almost by an orchestra, then received "Beyond Time" where "Erik" plays all the instruments and now "Distorted Memories" in which he returns to a small orchestra format.

Being that "Distorted Memories" will still be released in 7 days, decided to listen it with calm and took a my time before writing a review, so made a copy for my car and left the original CD at home, in this way I had the chance to listen it repeatedly and after at least ten full listens I can assure that LIFE LINE PROJECT has reached the peak of their career up to this moment.

As usual in this band, "Distorted Memories" has a unique an original sound but with great respect for Symphonic Prog of the 70's. The band sounds more cohesive than ever and a delightful keyboard performance by the mastermind of the band "Erik de Beer" allows me to be confident in the future of Progressive Rock.

The album begins with the short but frenetic "Ignition", a 49 seconds intro that announces that LIFE LINE PROJECT is going to hit us with all they have, an impression that is corroborated by the explosive "Distorted Memories", in which Erik and his fluid electric piano is complemented brilliantly by "Josine Fraaij" and her magical violin.

It's important to mention hat along with "Distorted Memories" I received a Vivaldi "Concerto" performed by "Tempesta Consort", an orchestra directed by "Erik de Beer" something that makes me understand from where his passion for Baroque music present in the LIFE LINE PROJECT albums comes, which they tastefully blend with good Rock when necessary; Great Combination of sounds and genres. "Life Line Suite" is a track that has everything a Prog listener will expect, melodic but elaborate music, radical changes, dramatic executions and again strong and vibrant passages. Even when the attention is always focused in the keyboards, this time "Elsa de Beer" in the flute and "Jason Eckhout" in the guitars make of this piece of music a memorable one.

"Frozen Heart" is a softer song in which "Marushka Kartosonto" appears with his nice voice and absolutely peculiar style, it's true that in a previous review I said her voice was not my cup of tea , but after some time I noticed that if it wasn't for her dissonances at the softer sections, "Frozen Heart" wouldn't be as interesting as it is.

"Caelum Aurum" is a weird track that starts with a delicate acoustic guitar and morphs into an oriental influenced piece of music with a touch of ELP (enhanced by a strong guitarist and a mini orchestra). Prog, Heavy Rock, Folk and a bit of Jazz can be found in this fantastic piece, with an elaborate bass section by "Iris Sagan " and a breathtaking violin execution.

"Interlude" as it name implies, works as a moment of relief, the acoustic guitar and atmospheric mood are absolutely relaxing, it's interesting to feel the almost instantaneous connection with the vibrant and strong "Reaper of the Keys", clearly influenced by "Jürgen Fritz" frantic and clean style, but at the same time original enough to notice this guys are creating 100% original material. The Moog sections are simply outstanding.

"P.C. Left is Right" starts mysterious and haunting, with the oboe providing a nostalgic mood, but again after a couple minutes it morphs into a Hard Prog oriented track with passionate vocals and no time to rest...Hard to describe, but there's something that reminds me of ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA with ELP Moog sections.

"Acoustic Spring" is another soft acoustic interlude, but this time with a Medieval atmosphere provided by the flute and lute (or mandolin), relaxing and a moment to breath before the energetic "Steam Roller" in which "Erik de Beer" bombards us with several keyboard passages all supported by "Ludo de Murlanos" and his powerful percussion.

"The Final Word" is a dramatic 13+ minutes epic where "Marushka Kartosonto" gives a heartbreaking vocal interpretation, singing in a totally different style, less dissonant but incredibly strong. Sometimes the epics are the greatest risk in an album, being that you need to cover 13 minutes with different sounds, moods and atmosphere but keep the cohesion and rationality, something LIFE LINE PROJECT does incredibly well. Excellent song, the highest point of the album

"Distorted Memories" ends the Medieval/Early Baroque inspired "The Dancing Dutchess", even when much more elaborate, has a strong resemblance to "Joy" by THE VENNTURES, the combination of Harpsichord, Moog and Synths is fascinating, good closer.

Now, let's go to the rating. When I reviewed "Beyond Time", had to stay with four stars, being that it's a 70's album refreshed for the XXI Century, by "Erik de Beer", so I believed that 5 stars would be too much, in the case of "The King", even when it was an excellent album, there was something missing, so again had to stay with four stars.

In the case of "Distorted Memories" I have no excuse, it's the best album that LIFE LINE PROJECT has released, not a single weak track, flawless performances, and I believe it's essential to understand the new tendencies of Symphonic Prog, so will go with 5 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 5/5 |

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