Van Der Graaf Generator – Trisector

I don’t know if I’m cracking up…

I must admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Van Der Graaf Generator. Their music I can appreciate for it’s darkness and texture, but you’ll never catch me playing a marathon session of their albums. Still, I very much appreciated listening to this, their latest effort – Trisector. The circumstances may have helped, me walking around Paris looking for myself, or maybe it’s a slightly different VDGG album than usual – who knows.

So what’s there to enjoy? Sandwiched between the rocking opener The Hurly Burly and the adrenaline pumping keyboards work on the final We Are Not Here we find a variety of proportions, which unfortunately does not always work to advantage of the former Pioneers over C. Almost plain rock tracks like the opener and Drop Dead (The Clash on keyboard steroids?) are not exactly what one would expect from this band. This is however more than made up for by the spooky keyboards work on Interference Patterns, and the typical Van der Graaf Generator darkness of Over the Hill. The latter is best described by means of the last words of the first vocal part: a roller coaster ride. Just imagine Peter Hammill singing those words, after which Hugh Banton’s organ takes you slowly up to the highest point before letting go and leaving you to yourself on the way down. There are times when when I don’t put a 12 minute epic on repeat – but not so this time.

A final remark from me on All this Before. The lyrics are obviously inspired by someone either cracking up or getting old, but what struck me most is the main theme. I cannot help but think this is a free organ improvisation on the main theme of The Kinks classic You Really Got Me, and even the vocals go a long at some point… Now there’s a question to ask Peter Hammill in the Trisector competition!

Overall, Trisector is a more than decent album, even though it’s a bit unbalanced and less progressive compared to older Van der Graaf Generator works. Not their best, probably also not there worst.

N.B. thanks to EMI for the preview copy of the CD provided to the ProgArchives admin team. Official release date is March 17th, 2007.

(this is a copy of my album review posted on

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