Trespass - In Haze Of Time

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Musea Records
Catalog Number: FGBG 4387.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 43:05:00

You'd probably expect that a band called Trespass would be Genesis influenced, yes? Well, no, this one isn't. However, for the most part, this Israeli band's sound is rooted in the 70s; most certainly in the vocal delivery, as it brought to mind for me many a prog release from "obscure" 70s bands. In fact, until I looked at the recording date for this CD, I figured this was a reissue of some long forgotten prog recording. It was, instead, recorded in 2001 and released by Musea in 2002. As it happens, according to the press sheet, composer Gil Stein hadn't even heard of at least some of the prog rock well-knowns - ELP and Focus, for example, are mentioned.

Trespass are a trio comprised of Gil Stein on keyboards, vocals, recorders, and some guitar, Gabriel Weissman on drums, and Roy Bar-tour on bass. In Haze Of Time is their debut release. ELP, since we mentioned them above, don't really come to mind except maybe in some of the keyboard phrases of Stein. Listening to some of his work, it is, on the one hand, hard not to think he was influenced by Emerson. Even when taking out the "same instrument" and same root influences factors. By the same token, some of those keyboard tones also have an 80s pop sound. And I must say that The Flower Kings also come to mind briefly. Stein's use of recorder adds a folk feel to "In Haze Of Time," and truly "some guitar" is accurate, since its use is overall minimal, though it does feature here. Keyboards are the dominant lead instrument, as you might expect though on most tracks the arrangements are credited to the band as a whole (all the lyrics are credited to Stein).

Trespass' sound is a mix of jazz, classical and rock - the ingredients found in progressive rock both in the 70s and, of course, today (and in some non-prog genres, too). Along with the jazz elements, some symphonic touches colour the music, too (the keyboards that open "Creatures Of The Night" for example). They do better as an all instrumental band, though the vocals aren't bad at all. I just prefer their instrumental interplay. "Gate 15" has a rather a big band feel, though all done with keys, as well as being a touch Latin-esque (think, but not too hard, of Miami Sound Machine's "Conga"). Bar-tour's bass tone is deep, sounding more like an upright bass than a bass guitar. At about five minutes in, some quirky effects are added, sometimes shrill, but not ear-piercingly so. It's nothing if not energetic. Knowing that this band is on the bill for BajaProg 2003, I can almost imagine the band playing this live. That live feel was something the band was shooting for.

"Gate 15," and the other two instrumentals "Orpheus Suite" and "Troya" are the highlight tracks on the album, showing off the trio's playing skills at their best. The former is at first a fully symphonic piece with organ, trilling recorder, throbbing bass, and taut drumming, all of which soon quicken in pace into a frenetic, jazzy piece with Stein playing one of his few guitar solos (though sometimes it sounds more like keys). It's a mix of old world and modern that seems particularly European. It blends seamlessly into "Troya" by means of a drum solo. This is a darker and less symphonic piece, though no less driving that the piece that precedes it. It seems the more "progressive rock" of the two pieces. Again we get Stein playing another nicely done guitar solo. Nothing fancy or fast, but like the best in the business, each note conveys meaning. No, it's the "ivories" where Stein excels, but then he was for a time a student at the Rimon Music School, which, according to his bio, is "an extension of 'Berklee'". At Rimon he won the first prize in a general composing competition and got another scholarship to the school. He was even offered one to Berklee School Of Music in Boston, but had to turn both down for various reasons.

The album ends with the rag "The Mad House Blues" which could have been a track on Queen's A Night At The Opera (sans Mercury's distinctive vocals). You hear the phrase "tickling the ivories" a lot as a euphemism for playing the piano, but Stein truly tickles them here, adding in some more trilling recorder to boot.

On the negative side, Weissman's rolling drums on the first part of "In Haze Of Time" rumble strangely? as if they are mic'd a little too close or as if something else is rattling, vibrating, close to the mic, reacting to his drumming. I find it distracting.

But that's really the only flaw I find. Though, as I said, while adequate, vocals are not this trio's strongest suit. And, when everything is considered, this is really a rather good debut. A quick check of their website says they are working on their follow up.

Creatures Of The Night (8:29) / In Haze Of Time (6:53) / Gate 15 (7:19) / City Lights (5:10) / Orpheus Suite (5:12) / Troya (5:24) / The Mad House Blues (5:18)

Gil Stein - keyboards, vocals, recorders, guitar
Gabriel Weissman - drums
Roy Bar-tour - bass

In Haze Of Time (2002)
Morning Lights (2006)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IL

Added: March 9th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1096
Language: english


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