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D'accorD: Helike

Judging this album by the cover — which you're never supposed to do — the second CD from Norway's D'ccorD should be a power-metal extravaganza. But push "play" on Helike and you'll be treated to a majestic intro that swallows the band's Genesis, King Crimson and Yes influences whole. If this thing could reference vintage Seventies prog any more than it already does, it would have a Roger Dean logo on the front.

An ambitious beast of a concept album about the ancient Greek city of Helike that sank during the winter of 373 BC, the album consists of just two songs: "Helike Part 1" (20:45) and "Helike Part 2" (23:33). Vocalist/flute player Daniel Maage sounds uncannily like Peter Gabriel when he gets excited, which is quite often, and he's backed by four impressive players who realize their sum is actually greater than their parts. Despite some mighty solos, it is the collective sound of D'Accord summoning the ghosts of prog past that make Helike so likable.

Track Listing:
1) Helike Part 1
2) Helike Part 2

Added: January 27th 2012
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Score:
Related Link: Official D'AccorD Website
Hits: 2987
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

D'accorD: Helike
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-27 01:41:39
My Score:

D'Accord is a Norwegian progressive rock band with a new album Helike under their belts, the follow up to their self-titled debut released in 2009.

In many ways Helike is a throwback to '70s progressive rock. First of all the album contains two songs, reminding us of those long epics of the '70s. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the music takes its inspiration from that glorious decade most of us know and love and the band makes no bones about it. As long as the music is done well I have no problem with artists borrowing from the past and folks, this music fits the bill. Close your eyes and you just might think you are listening to vintage prog.

Daniel Maage fronts the band adding vocals, flute and keys. The rest of the band are Stig Are Sund (guitars), Martin Sjøen (bass), Barte Rossenhaug (drums), Årstein Tisevoll (keys, backing vocals) and Fredrik Horn (piano, keys).

Simply entitled "Part I" and "Part ii", both tunes play over twenty minutes in length. In "Part i" folky rhythms slowly build into a heavier progressive sound. It took a bit of time to get used to Maage's vocals but eventually they started to click. Maage has a voice similar in style to Peter Gabriel and I found Genesis to be a major influence here. The band melds softer parts into their heavy sound which keeps the music interesting. "Part ii" is a little heavier than "Part i" with influences from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and again Genesis. The Hammond solo is quite intense, ripping the surrounding soundscape to shreds. It's one of those spine tingling moments that ideally captures all that was right with music forty years ago.

D'Accord didn't reinvent the wheel with Helike and they would probably be the first to admit it. If you are tired of the 'new prog' sound or have a yearning for something a little retro, give Helike a spin and prepare to travel back in time.

D'accorD: Helike
Posted by Denis Brunelle, SoT Staff Writer on 2012-01-15 07:35:05
My Score:

Here we have the second output from this Norwegian act. The band was formed back in 2008 and have released their debut in 2009.

Helike is a very ambitious project that deals with the enigmatic story about the city of Atlantis. The album includes two long lasting compositions; each one clocking in at over twenty minutes, a very ambitious and dangerous move. You really need to have some nerves and backbone to consider such a project, and D'Accord did a not so bad job actually. Now, you have to realize what you are attempting to face when dealing with the 70's progressive scene. I mean the obvious source of inspiration of those Nordic fellows is nothing less than the ultimate masters, Genesis. Then you can hear references to other giants of the time like King Crimson and Pink Floyd. D'Accord does not have neither a Peter Gabriel on vocals; Steve Hacket on guitars or Tony Banks on keyboards; the three most important elements of Genesis' sonic structure, as far as I'm concerned. Instead, they have some hear piercing/high pitch vocalist, a good guitar player and a somewhat shy keyboard player. Nonetheless, those guys have come up with some interesting progressive music, even if not original. I found the musical breaks especially tasty and reminiscent to vintage prog. Part I contains a myriad of good moments brought to you by: vocal harmonies, nice musical breaks; dramatic/heavier times; bits of theatrical vibe and a cool reference to Pink Floyd's "Brain Damage" on the side. Then on Part II, you have progressive time signature, mellotron; more good musical breaks; a very well executed King Crimson sound alike passage; Hammond organ solo and some darkened tones as well. To add a sense of concept and epic, the album opens and close with the sound of waves.

All in all, Helike is an okay progressive work, with well played musical parts. The songwriting can use some refinement and the vocals are their weakness. It would also help finding their own sound and leaving the more secure/copycat style.



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