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Van Der Graaf Generator - Afterwards / Necromancer CD (album) cover


Van Der Graaf Generator

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars No reviews for this delicious single? So I have to write one.

VDGG's debut Aerosol Grey Machine (which originally started life as a Peter Hammill solo album) shows this magnificent band pretty unmatured and it lacks the emotional and stylistic depth they found shortly afterwards (after adding the unique sax/flute player David Jackson). It's a bit similar case as the GENESIS debut: both are rather naive and unpresentable of what was to come, but not without charm. These two songs are in my opinion the highlights.

'Afterwards' is a soft and melodic song with a laid back tempo. Hammill's tender vocals do an excellent job here, and the playing has an ethereal psychedelic flavour, starring Hugh Banton's organ and piano. The lyrics are not very easy to figure out what's it about, for example what metaphorical meaning the petals of a flower have? A beautiful song no matter how you look at it, I think.

'Necromancer' comes close to the dark, mystic style that VDGG was heading at, even if it remains less epic in structure (in its 3˝ minutes). Just by adding some sax it would fit perfectly amidst songs like 'Darkness' and 'Killer' on the next albums. I remember how I was introduced to VDGG by a Finnish radio series about prog (titled Kuun pimeä puoli) when I was probably 18. The programme dedicated to VDGG was broadcast during my holiday travel to Greece but I asked my mom to tape it. It was indeed the right thing to do! 'Necromancer' was among the songs in that programme that immediately raised a deep interest towards this band.

As I have said before, a single can get five stars from me only by including great songs outside of albums. But four solid stars for this one, definitely.

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Posted Friday, August 9, 2013 | Review Permalink

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