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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
Related Link: Official D'AccorD Website
Hits: 4152
Language: english

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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.

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