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(48 min, Musea)
TRACK LIST: 1. Song of Winds 3:38 2. Morning Lights 21:33 3. Ripples 12:16 4. Vivaldish 5:39 5. Forest Birds' Fantasy 4:59 PERSONNEL: Gil Stein - keyboards; recorders; vocals Gabriel Weissman - drums Roy Bar-Tour - bass
Prolusion. "Morning Lights" is the second studio offering from the young but very promising outfit TRESPASS from Israel. They are a power keyboard trio working in the field of Symphonic Progressive.
Analysis. Some major influences in the music of Trespass are obvious, as the rich and bombastic style of bandleader keyboardist Gil Stein is strongly rooted in the work of Keith Emerson and late Rick Van Der Linden (Trace). One of the weaker aspects of the group - the vocals - to my regret has not improved much since their first album, therefore let me better concentrate on the music. The opening track, Song of Winds, is inspired by Johannes Sebastian Bach, and is melodically beautiful, offering swirling keyboard solos in conjunction with the delicate sound of a flute. This is the shortest track on the album, but it makes a perfect introduction to it. In contrast to its predecessor, Morning Lights is the longest composition in the set and is probably the highlight of this CD. The music is very intense and dynamic, abundant in theme and tempo changes. Being loaded with a wide variety of keyboards, the title track will be a sheer delight for fans of classically-inspired symphonic Art-Rock. Although the quite mediocre vocals risk spoiling the fun, there are plenty of instrumental sections to enjoy during this 21-minute-long track. Despite its suggestive title, Ripples has nothing to do with the song of the same name from "A Trick of the Tail", or Genesis in general either. It starts off with the sounds of harpsichord, masterfully supported by the bass line, gradually making way for a mellow Hammond organ. Again, the vocals leave much to be desired, but the rhythm section is superbly executed here, which in combination with the powerful keyboards makes Ripples a very pleasant listening experience. Then follows Vivaldish, and of course, already from its title you can get the idea that this opus is one way or another linked with the Great Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. In fact, the music is based on the maestro's Violin Concerto in A-minor. Had I not known Vivaldish is performed by Trespass, my first thought would've been this is an obscure variation on Classical from the Trace repertoire. As if to justify its title, the concluding composition Forest Bird's Fantasy is indeed abundant in the sounds of nature (birdsong, rustling leaves, etc), but not to the detriment of the music, which bears a handful of classical influences and is as usual filled with various keyboards which are responsible for all the central events here, running to the steadily-groovy rhythm section, from time to times receiving contributions on the part of the flute. Listening to Forest Bird's Fantasy is like hearing a musical fairytale in the style of the Russian classical composers.
Conclusion. Although I expected something more groundbreaking from Trespass after their very promising debut outing from four years ago, I still regard "Morning Lights" as a very good album by a good band. Never overly complex, but instead mostly accessible, entertaining and beautiful all alike, this music can make an uplifting start for the new day. "Morning Lights" can be highly recommended to fans of Trace and The Nice, though I believe connoisseurs of ELP should still find something here that is suitable to their refined taste, too.
EK: November 13, 2006
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