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D'AccorD: D'AccorD

Not often do the very first notes on an album give you a complete taste of exactly where a band releasing their debut are coming from, however the crescendo that introduces Norwegian band D'Accord leaves absolutely no room for any doubt. With a quick snare snap the guitars and organ bind together and elevate themselves into an unashamedly 70's styled prog delight. Within two minutes of twelve minute opener "Play By The Hall Rules", Genesis (even the title reminds of Rutherford, Banks and Gabriel), Uriah Heep and a dash of Yes and Deep Purple are strongly leant on to create a sound so authentically of the era that "retro" is not a representative word, as this is not a band mimicking the classic sound of prog, this is a band living in the classic sound of 70's heavy rock and prog. Hammonds abound all over the place, bass guitar runs ebb and flow and staccato chords and wailing solos mingle, mesh and meander through a vividly created back drop. Daniel Maage's vocals have the character, confidence and vulnerability of early Gabriel and the resemblance to the one time Genesis man is remarkable in places.

Vocals are not Maage's only forte, as he wrote, produced and mixed every note on show on this fine debut album and his knob twiddling has been put to great use as D'AccorD sound authentic to the genre they reside in, in fact even the drums sound like they were recorded thirty five years ago. That's not to say that it's a dated production, as the sound is clear, bright and sharp, however the essence of prog is captured and the expert mastering from one time Pink Floyd engineer Andy Jackson adds to the authenticity.

"This Is One" finds Maage breaking out his flute to add (obviously!) a Jethro Tull air to proceedings, however it's actually the fine guitar work of Stig Ari Sund that the track is based around and along with guest keyboard player Fredrik Hadn, whose work is tremendous across the whole disc, they combine to form some intricate yet instantly accessible passages. D'AccorD do mix things up a little with "BIN" and "Time To Play" as they add in sprinkles of jazz and early Floyd like psychedelic swirls, it is all done though within the reverential nod to the past and as closing track "Capitale Vendito" gently sways into view with a plaintive piano and flute the quieter moments of Roger Glover's The Butterfly Ball are even brought to mind. Once more Hadn's keyboard prowess is of huge benefit to the band (they really must make him a permanent member of D'AccorD) and along with the subtle building drums and bass of Bjartu Rossenhaug and Martin Sjoen the music grows slowly into an angular organ stabbing attack with the strong vocals from Maage adding an uneasy character. Sund gently strums one minute, while attacking his guitar the next and as things hurtle towards their conclusion he firmly takes control to bring order to the chaos.

Considering that D'AccorD is a debut album, its maturity and focus is surprising and with repeated listens the intricacy reveals ever more nuances. Sounding like it was made in and for the 70's and with excellent artwork (also by guitarist Sund) D'AccorD have put together an album that sounds welcomingly familiar and conveys the band's intentions perfectly. Some may wonder at the reverential fondness for the past, however if any of the influences mentioned above interest you, then this is highly recommend.


Track Listing
1. Play By The Hall Rules
2. This Is The One
3. BIN
4. Time To Play
5. Capitale Venditio

Added: March 17th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Band's Web Site
Hits: 1742
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

D'AccorD: D'AccorD
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-03-17 16:02:12
My Score:

D'Accord is a Norwegian progressive rock band that plays classic vintage prog in the vein of Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Genesis. Playing on their debut album was Daniel Maage (vocals, flute), Stig Are Sund (guitars), Bjarte Rossehaug (drums), Frederik Horn (keyboards, saxophone) and Martin Sjöen (bass). I reviewed their sophomore effort Helike a while back and really enjoyed it. I am happy to say their first is just as good.

If you dig the sounds of the '70s D'AccorD just might be the band for you. This music is brimming with nostalgia and I mean that in a good way. So many memories came flooding back while listening to this album and like any 'good' music it brought a smile to my face.

The album's first track "Play by the Hall Rules" is almost like a tale of two songs. The first half is all heavy progressive rock with huge rhythms of Hammond and dramatic vocals. As I mentioned in my review of Helike, Maage's vocals may take a while to sink in, however, there is no denying the passion he brings to the table. In my opinion they are a perfect fit for the band's retro sounds. The second half of the song is more calming and pastoral with soaring guitar leads and lovely atmospherics with a nod to Pink Floyd and Genesis. "This is the One" features ripping guitar and organ with Maage's excellent flute work recalling classic Jethro Tull. On "Bin" the band mix dreamy sections with '70s style psyche and heavy prog, an ebb and flow between light and heavy sounds. "Time to Play" is just a delight to listen to. Stabbing guitar chords disrupt a bucolic soundscape before a beautiful piano motif with Queen-like vocals enters the fray. The tempo increases into a heavy prog workout with raging organ and sax. The band offer just the right combinations of soft and heavy. Gilmour influenced lead guitar completes the picture. More Gilmour inspired guitar work can be found in "Capitale Venditio" with shades of Genesis and of course Pink Floyd.

While D'AccorD is not making the most original progressive music these days there is no doubting the quality and passion that went into their debut album. If the sounds are this enjoyable that's all that really matters in the end, at least for this reviewer.


D'AccorD: D'AccorD
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-01-23 07:33:50
My Score:

This self-titled debut from D'AccorD is a sure fire retro feast folks...that's right, this five piece band brings out their guitars, Hammond, Mellotron, Moog, flute, bass, sax, and drums, for a ride that is a complete throwback to acts such as Genesis, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Cathedral, Mirthrander, and Yes. Not unlike Wobbler, D'AccorD focus on the sounds of the classic 70's and house them within lengthy, adventurous songs, though this band throws many more hard rock elements at the listener. Opening cut "Play By the Hall Rules" is a 12-minute joy, the first half a rocking Purple/Heep organ & guitar fest, before the mid section brings in some haunting "Watcher of the Skies" styled Mellotron and Peter Gabriel influenced vocals. If you dig the band The Watch, you'll love this piece. "This is the One" brings together heavy, Heep styled riffs and plenty of Tull-ish flute blasts, while "Bin" is a more atmospheric rocker, lush chords mixing with beefy riffs and acrobatic flute. The pastoral "Time to Play" is a homage to Trespass era Genesis, as well as Fireball era Deep Purple, and closing epic "Capitale Venditio" is a prog rock tour de force, complete with raging Hammond, layers of textured guitar work, and strong vocals. On this one you can hear some references to vintage Pink Floyd.

While D'AccorD is probably not the most original album you'll hear this year, I don't think it was intended to be. These guys have put together some wonderful 70's inspired songs here that bring back memories of all those great bands of the era, and for that we can applaud them. Hopefully this one gets some exposure within the prog community, as there's a lot to like here.



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