One of the musical surprises of 2009 was the eponymous debut album of the Norwegian prog rockers of D'AccorD (see review), a band that got its inspiration from bands like Jethro Tull and Genesis. The band was founded in 2008 by frontman Daniel Mage (vocals, flute) and Stig Are Sund (guitars). Together with Martin Sjoen (bass), Bjarte Rossehaug (drums), Arstein Tislevoll (keyboards, backing vocals) and Fredrik Horn (piano, keyboards), they recorded the always difficult second album Helike (2011, see review). This was a very ambitious project containing only two long epic pieces lasting more than twenty minutes each.
The new album, simply called III, represents a variation on the musical path they have taken. Whereas Helike was a massive conceptual piece, this time D'AccorD recorded shorter and more diverse tracks. The impulses from the progressive sound of the seventies are still present, just like the remarkable complexity in the music. But on III they have included more rock songs with a rougher edge, which are the elements for a prog rock album with a salient variation of the songs.
III was recorded at the fully analogue Cowshed Studio in London, where, among others, The Beautiful South and Jamie Cullum have recorded. The band wanted a more authentic and real seventies sound on this album; therefore the recordings have a raw and real live feel. All songs on the album were recorded live to a 24-track analogue tape with minimal overdubs. This live sounding classic album was mixed and recorded within ten days. The analogue mastering was done at Fluid Mastering in London, a place that was used by Deep Purple , Elvis Presley, Jethro Tull and many others.
The album mainly reflects the influences adopted from several heavy rock and prog bands like Genesis, King Crimson , Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and Jethro Tull, just to name a few. Due to the one hundred percent analogue technical facilities the album captures the authentic sound of the seventies with great vintage synths and organs. It almost seems as if this sound has been 'beamed up' from the past to be placed in 2014. For people who long for the old school classic sounding progrock, the third album by D'AccorD is a must have. As far as I'm concerned III is the best release of 2014 so far!
****- Gert Bruins (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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