Triangle -
Alert & Alive

(CD 2016, 59:20, TRIA003)

The tracks:
  1- Alert(3:37)
  2- Reunion (Instrumental)(3:33)
  3- Aligned(7:42)
  4- Revealed(8:25)
  5- Dourbie(7:18)
  6- 794078(9:14)
  7- Go(7:28)
  8- Alert & Alive(12:03)


Triangle? Wow, long time no hear from these Dutch neo proggers. I have known them for a long time, ever since they still called themselves Square The Circle. After changing their name, they made two album in the early 2000s, Square The Circle (2000) and Retreat (2004), both of which I still fondly remember (but admittedly haven't played for ages). Then things went silent and I more or less presumed they had gone the way of many other bands and ceased to exist.
At some point in time the original members Paul van der Zwaal (drums), Martijn Paasschens (vocals and keyboards), Roland van der Stoep (guitars) and Jan-Willem Verkerk (bass) got back together and decided to make some music again, resulting in their third album.

The CD comes in a stylish and dark-ish looking booklet that also reflects the music well, because this seems to be in the darker side of the neo prog-spectrum. This is very well illustrated by the 8 and a half minute Revealed that is among my personal favourites on this disc. It is a truly great piece that is a bit hampered by the sound. A more powerful and open production would have brought out all the qualities of this piece. But even so, the dark, instrumental middle/second half creates some awesome tension. I recommend checking out this piece.
Having not listened to Triangle for quite a while, I was surprised to sense clear wave influences in the music. One of the best places to spot those would be the track Aligned. This song alas also serves well as an illustration for the band's weak spot: the vocals are a bit... well, I struggle to find the right word. Wooden, maybe? Forced? I can't recall that they stood out negatively on previous releases, but of course also Martijn hasn't gotten any younger over the past decade. And they're not really bad either.
One of my other favourites would be 794078 that seems to combine the dark sides of IQ (keyboards, guitars, the way they bend some melodies) with dark wave. The latter impression mainly comes from the metric rhythm patterns and the vocals.
The 12 minutes long title track starts with industrial sounds before guitar slowly joins in. Here we find Martijn also singing in the range that comes most natural to him without straining his voice. Musically, I'm a bit reminded of Egdon Heath's The Killing Silence (1991) which is a great reference. The middle part is a wonderfully arranged piece that makes me wonder how it would have sounded with some orchestration and a flute in there. Even better probably.

Even though I can't rate this as highly as I did the previous albums, I must say “Welcome back, my friends”, and I hope to hear more from you. Triangle have the talent to make some great music and I hope that they have some more on offer for us in the future!

***+ Carsten Busch (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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