Trespass - In Haze Of Time

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

If there is one thing that numerous fans, critics, and musicians alike have noted about progressive rock, it's the fact that it sometimes isn't really very progressive in an evolutionary sense. Ok, so they have probably also noted pretentiousness, long and winding song structures, fantasy lyrics, glitzy capes, terrible reunions, and what have you, but the fact is that the genre often seems content with rehashing the same old glories over and over again, regardless of pretty much anything going around it. As a result, a good number of fans are reticent to dig into the offerings of new bands that don't really have anything going for them save the fact that they sound like the classics. On the other hand, there is still a legion of progfreaks more than willing to go retro all the way, to which the constantly growing popularity of The Flower Kings is certainly witness. If you're one of the latter, and happen to like the work of cornerstone trio ELP, chances are you're going to like Trespass.

Not that this young Israeli band has emulated the aforementioned prog legends to the point of sounding like yet another clone to the point of ridiculousness, but the similarity in style is quite strong, so that one is immediately and irrevocably drawn to the reference. The ensemble used is pretty much the same, save for the relatively abundant use of recorders by mastermind Gil Stein; the songwriting style is often quite similar; and Stein's virtuoso keyboard playing is actually quite reminiscent of Keith Emerson's, if only with very subtle shades of Rick Wakeman. What actually works to this unit's advantage in this regard is that it has focused almost solely on the frenzied persona of ELP, so that the flurry of notes and beats somewhat compensates for lack of good songwriting. More on that later, my dear reader, please allow me to continue at my own pace. Suffice it to say for now that these guys, particularly Stein and hyperkinetic drummer Gabriel Weissman, are taking no prisoners and pulling no punches with their dazzling technical abilities.

Not only that, however, but Trespass also draws favor due to its relative variety in general approach, which involves elements such as baroque, pastoral medieval romanticism, and bar brawling anthems ? la ELP in the general classical rock concoction. Moreover, some of the compositional ideas and themes are actually pretty good, with ?City Lights? earning high marks for its undeniable catchiness and quick urban pace and the title track coming in at close second with its waltzing seriousness and pensive, although not quite coherent, lyrics. However, as one pays attention to the rest of the material, and even to the solos played on those two highlights, things quickly begin to fall apart. Solos are drawn out to an almost unbearable extent, themes repeated too much for their own good, good ideas lost in a blur of dullness, and songwriting basically taking a really serious backseat to flash. In fact, were it not for the energy that these musicians inject into their compositions, In Haze Of Time would more often than not fall flat on its face.

Which is actually the first impression that the listener gathers from the album, so that repeated listens are necessary to overcome the negative perception and absorb the structures and themes of this album more appropriately. After that occurs though, it becomes impossible not to tap one's foot with excitement at certain key moments throughout the record, and the balance between good ideas and execution and lackluster structuring and songwriting reaches a deadlock. One is thus left with yet another band with great potential that could use a lesson in the ?less is more? tradition, as well as a more original sound, but which doubtlessly will still quench the thirst of many a fan of acrobatic rock of the classical/symphonic variety. Before the entire world can join such fandom and truly admire the work of Trespass, however, there is yet potential to be realized and much work to be done.

Similar Artists: Similar artists: ELP, Cairo, The Nice

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: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1724
Language: english


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