Sjef Oellers 3-March-2001 Lost Years in Labyrinth

This sampler album from the Belle Antique label includes four groups of Japanese avantgard-ish progressive: Zypressen, Il Berlione, Lacrymosa and Soft Weed Factor. The CD opens with Il Berlione, who deliver three excellent tracks in their signature style which mixes fusion, an angular RIO-ish style and King Crimson-ish progressive rock. Next, Zypressen adds two compositions of beautiful chamber prog sounding a bit like Flairck crossed with Art Zoyd. The two long tracks by the Soft Weed Factor are, relatively speaking, the weakest. The band contribute two long, worthwhile fusion oriented tracks with a slighty experimental edge. Decent compositions and well played, but not as engaging as the other three bands. Lastly, the band Lacrymosa contributes two excellent compositions. As always, Lacrymosa's music shows strong influences from classic music (especially chamber music and modern, 20th century composers). On these two tracks the band sounds like a cross between Opus Avantra and Art Zoyd. This album maintains its high quality level right to the end, which is quite rare for samplers. A lot (if not all) of the material can not be found on regular releases of these groups.

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