Trion - Tortoise - 2003


Trion tells the tale of Jemetrion ...
...the story of a tortoise that is following its dreams.

While testing newly acquired recording equipment Dutch Flamborough Head musicians Eddie Mulder and Edo Spanninga together with Menno Boomsma, brother-in-law of the latter and also active in Dutch band Odyssice, recorded some tracks and musical fragments that were based upon the diverse sounds of the Mellotron. No need to introduce this instrument to symphonic and progressive rock lovers: without it the genre might not have existed!


The result of their test-recording sessions ended up in the album “Tortoise”. It contains eleven beautiful instrumental pieces based upon samples with sounds of cello, violins, flute, oboe, choir, vibe and even organ, all coming from Edo Spanninga´s mellotron. Next to that we hear very nice acoustic and electric guitar play of Eddie Mulder, who even plays bass guitar fairly good and last but not least the adequate drumming of Menno Boomsma.

They named their project Trion, a combination of the words trio and tron, which is short for mellotron. Not only the music on this album very much revives the atmosphere of the symphonic prog of the seventies, but also the beautiful artwork of Jasper Joppe Geers does, with its Roger Dean like landscapes.

Opening piece “Tortoise” (5:25) immediately sets the tone for the album with a recognizable mellotron “soundwall”. The second track “The New Moon” (7:59) is more varied with rather aggressive electric guitar chords contrasting acoustic guitar play. The overall atmosphere of this piece, impressioned by typical organ sounds, melodious guitar play and soft flute sounds, very much reminds me of early Camel. Not only in this piece the guitar play of Eddie Mulder resembles that of Steve Howe. Also his nice and driving bass play strikes the ear and this also applies to track 5 “Jemetrion” (6:05) where both electric and bass guitar play a main role. A pity that this song fades out.

Track 3 “Hindsight” (3:33) imaginates a probably peaceful period in the life of the tortoise the pieces of this album tell the story of. It features emotional and sensitive violin and oboe sounds guided by acoustic guitar. A short electric guitar solo leads this piece to an apocalyptic finale. “Radiation part 1” (1:27) is based upon ambient sounds where “Radiation part 2” (1:16) is a short up-tempo jazzy intermezzo that fades in and out.

Although sounding more sad, track 7 “The seagulls” (5:53) is also a beauty, with nice themes, beautiful arrangements and touching guitar solos. “Hurt” (1:47) is the sort of acoustic guitar piece we know from Steve Hackett. Full mellotronsounds and marvelously weeping guitar solos feature track 9 “Tribulation” (3:17) and is followed by “Spectrum of colours” (3:17) and the last track “Endgame” (3:07 instead of the 5:39 mentioned in the CD booklet) for which the same descriptions apply.


A very fine album with lightweight instrumental symphonic music that radiates a more than pleasant atmosphere. Highly recommended.

author - date - rating - label

Wim Verweij - January 2004 -   - Cyclops