Former Background Magazine reviewer Erik de Beer founded The Life Line Project in 1988. Erik realized this musical project when he worked as a teacher, who had to arrange a lot of music that was not his cup of tea. Thus, he started to compose his own music, his life-line project to symphonic rock. Erik writes in the booklet of his new album Modinha that the title track is the central theme. It changes throughout the album from classic to folk and from jazz to metal. Well, listening to Modinha I noticed that most of the fifteen compositions contain fluent rhythms, featuring bombastic Hammond organ runs and fat Emersonian Moog synthesizer flights, supported by a propulsive rhythm-section. Especially the drumming is very energetic. I was not surprised to read that Erik wrote two songs as a tribute to two legendary names in the prog rock history.
Keeper Of The Keys is a tribute to Bob Moog with, of course, spectacular Moog sounds, swirling Hammond and swinging piano. Joy is a tribute to Rick van der Linden. This track sounds like ‘ELP meets Europe' with bombastic keyboards and fiery electric guitar. Along the bombastic ELP/ Trace inspired sounds, Life Line Project also delivers a lot of variety. You can enjoy a wonderful build-up from classical guitar and grand piano to jazz in Modinha - Jazz Intermezzo, but also a pleasant duet between electric guitar and flute in The Chase. There is warm classical guitar in the vein of Steve Hackett in the short piece Modinha - Oraçao , sparkling piano in Song For Lara and a captivating blend of classical and progressive rock in songs like Night On The Freeway and Modinha - Final. The use of the distinctive Roxy Music-like oboe sound in the dreamy Sonho with wonderful strings and piano is also interesting. Modinha - Final is one of the highlights on this album with beautiful flute play by Erik’s wife Elsa, cheerful mandolin and an exciting vintage keyboards sound.
I’m very pleased with Jason Eekhout and his varied guitar work in songs like Dark Procession with heavy guitar play, Stampede with biting wah-wah, fiery runs in Subjective Object and howling guitar in the exciting track Another Dayride. In my opinion, his contributions provide for an extra dimension in the music of Life Line Project. If I compare this new album to the amateurish and simply recorded music Erik de Beer made in the nineties, I have to conclude that his music very much matured. With Modinha, the Life Line Project delivered a pleasant and varied keyboard oriented prog rock album with a melodic and accessible sound that will especially please prog heads, who like vintage keyboards and classical music.
*** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013