Rear cover Trisector
Front cover

1. The Hurlyburly
2. Interference Patterns
3. The Final Reel
4. Lifetime
5. Drop Dead
6. Only in a Whisper
7. All That Before
8. Over the Hill
9. (We Are) Not Here

The album was released by Virgin/EMI on 17th March 2008
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Front cover Trisector promo
Front cover
Review in the Dorset Echo
Scan: Tim Toogood
Review in Mojo
Scan: Douglas Fergus
Review in Uncut
Review in the Sunday Times Review in Classic Rock
Scan: Douglas Fergus
Round Table Reviews
The German magazine Eclipsed has featured Trisector as its Album of the Month

"Because for the first time there is neither a sax nor a violin, Trisector gives us a new VdGG sound; it sounds familiar and strange at the same time. A wonderful album."

Front cover
Scan: Markus Westerbarkey


Trisector review and piece in Good Times (Germany)

Scans: Adrian Haegele


Review in Record Collector
Scan: Stephen Andrews

From The Organ - Feb 28th:
This week the best new things we’ve been listening to were...
VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR - Trisector (Virgin) – When Van Der Graaf made that comeback a couple of years ago with those unexpected shows and the Present album people refused to believe it was going to happen until they were actually stood there in front of us singing of black days at the bottom of the blackest sea.The euphoria, the disbelief and the celebration is behind us now, one of the finest bands ever are properly back and the second album from this new period of Van Der Graaf life is here.

Stripped down to a trio of original 1968 members now – Hugh Banton, Peter Hammill and Guy Evans - the first thing to say about Trisector is that there is material on here to stand up next the best from any period of the band’s many lives. Peter Hammill is on top form with his extremely personal lyrics - inward looking, unflinching as ever as age takes hold; the melancholy, that wonderfully distinctive voice, that clock that’s always ticking and a lifetime spent unlearning all that he knows.

The twelve and a half minutes of Over The Hill is classic Van Der Graaf Generator with all those breathtaking rollercoaster rides and stabs of jarring drama that lead us to that euphoric grandness. We Are Not Now is seriously progressively challenging rock – Van Der Graaf are not the kind of band who you expect to just rehash things, they don’t here! There are moments on Trisector that are genuinely pushing at musical edges – and if you want emotion that Peter Hammill is still the (emo? This is the real stuff). The best moments more than make up for the risks that don’t really pay off – the album opens with a rather uneventful four minute instrumental that really did lower my expectations and had me fearing the worst.

Start your first listen with the opening moments of Interference Patterns lose yourself in more ceremonial quicksand... Another very fine album from probably the greatest English band ever.

Exclusive review for this website by Jim Christopulos:

It's interesting to think that just a few years ago Van der Graaf Generator didn't exist as a group. It's also impressive that, through almost thirty years of inactivity, their sizeable international following kept the memory alive via fanzines, appreciation societies, web sites, and internet discussion groups. That same following also helped the cause by laying down their hard earned cash for a plethora of back-catalog reissues and compilations that sprang up during the group's prolonged sabbatical, keeping VdGG somewhat viable in the eyes of the record company suits. The band, although defunct for more than a quarter of a century, never faded into oblivion as so many other groups from their era had done.

Happily, VdGG fans were rewarded for their loyalty in 2005 when the group reformed for a new album and a series of majestic concerts. It was a wonderfully surreal year for those who never had the chance to see the band, as well as for those who never thought they'd see them again. Personally, it just seemed a preposterous notion to me that I'd ever get to witness a VdGG concert. It seemed ludicrous that I might look at the leading European music magazines and newspapers to find glowing reviews and articles about the "new" VdGG album, or their "recent" concerts. I kept having to pinch myself as a reminder that this was actually happening, that this was the here and now.

Fast forward to 2008. So much has happened in the three years since Present was released. The group put out a live document of the Royal Festival Hall reunion concert, a major lineup change occurred (which many found shocking), and a series of successful concerts (with the group now stripped to a trio) were performed in 2007. And now, there is the imminent release of a brand new CD, Trisector. So… the '05 reunion wasn't the end of it. Van der Graaf Generator is an ongoing entity with no foreseeable end in sight (or, at least, as 'ongoing' as any group of grown men approaching their 60's can be). To me, that's excellent news. I'm still pinching myself. Long live Van der Graaf Generator.

Trisector shares one important similarity with Present. There is a palpable sense of excitement and fun in the performances on both albums; one can sense that the musicians are really enjoying themselves and it's infectious. For the Present sessions, it was probably the joy of coming together after so many years as old friends (and musicians with the shared experience of an intense musical past) to create something new. For Trisector, it may be the knowledge that they've completely handled the intimidating, daunting prospect (on the surface) of creating music with a lineup that some thought looked impossible on paper. The absence of saxophonist / flautist David Jackson is noticeable, but only because he's so closely identified with the "classic" VdGG sound. When The Quiet Zone / The Pleasure Dome was released in '77, many writers of the time noted the departure of Jackson and Hugh Banton… yet went on to call the album a refreshing return to form. VdGG fans the world over can rest assured that the new trio lineup sound as viable, current, and exploratory as ever. Yet, happily and rightly, they sound like no other version of Van der Graaf Generator.

The songs on Trisector sound like true "songs", worked out and arranged with loving care until they've reached their final, perfected form. Whereas much of Present came across as a (successful) attempt at cutting and pasting sections of a great jam together, adding vocals to it, and titling it, there are parts of Trisector that are so damn complicated and complex that they must have required hours of rehearsal. But, in true VdGG fashion, they pull this off with ease and make it sound totally natural. Then there are other moments where the group shifts gears and produces music which is calming and sublime, finding beauty in simplicity. Trisector certainly does run the gamut in its nine songs with music alternating between calm, chaotic, relaxed, cracked (verging on gleeful insanity at some points), glorious, wicked, simple, and complicated. And the production never smothers the project. Even in the complexly arranged passages, there is a nice organic rawness to the sound of the album.

"Hurly Burly" kicks off the disc, and it's like no VdGG song you've ever heard. Peter Hammill's electric guitar is great on this instrumental rocker, it's like Dick Dale jamming with VdGG (I'm serious…). It would be a great tune to start shows with in '08. The band also scores on the album's other rockers, "Drop Dead" (a guitar-led 4/4 workout) and "All That Before", a humorous take on aging that will be familiar to anyone who saw VdGG on the '07 tour.

"Final Reel", "Lifetime", and "Only in a Whisper" glide more toward the calming end of the spectrum, but they are highlights on an album brimming with excellent material. Hammill's singing on "Final Reel" is gorgeous; it's wonderful when he overdubs a low register vocal take beneath a higher octave take, and it's never sounded better than it does here. It's well known that he's stopped smoking since his heart attack, and maybe that has nothing to do with it, but the vocal performance on the album as a whole is his best in years. Guy Evans' drumming on "Final Reel" and "Only in a Whisper" is spot on, simultaneously employing a jazzy, shuffling groove but still playing with a command that holds it in the pocket. "Only in a Whisper" also sees Hammill (I'm assuming) laying down a great Rhodes piano track while Hugh Banton effortlessly accompanies on bass guitar.

Banton's organ work actually comes more to the fore on this album than on any other past VdGG offering. Obviously, going from a four-piece to a three-piece is going to open up some musical space, and he shines with perhaps his most inventive and inspired performances yet. During some of the more frantic sections of songs like "Interference Patterns", "(We Are) Not Here", and the album's epic, "Over the Hill", Banton dazzles the listener with his technical prowess (especially when one considers that he's playing the bass pedals as well), while at the same time managing to instill a soulfulness in his playing which just seems natural to him.

The aforementioned "Over the Hill" is the one epic on the album and seems to be similar to "Childlike Faith in Childhood's End". There is one crystallizing moment in the song that encapsulates, to me, the strength of the album as a whole. VdGG launch into a particularly off-the-wall, flipped-out groove that builds and builds into a maddening serious of bizarre notes played over and over until, suddenly, they break into the (almost) chorus of the song, with a swinging drum groove, triumphant organ chording, and Hammill singing about living our lives as if God's on our shoulder. It's glorious.

And so is the album. They've done it again. In Trisector, they've come up with another challenging, rewarding chapter to the VdGG story, executed in a completely unpredictable way. As only VdGG can. I think I have to pinch myself again.

Review by Jim Christopulos co-author of "Van der Graaf Generator - The Book"

Van der Graaf Generator's new album Trisector was released on Monday 17th March 2008.
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"There are nine pieces on the album, one of them instrumental. Unusually for VdGG, only one of these is more than ten minutes long - indeed, five come in at under five minutes. There are, of course, passages of great complexity but there's also a confidence about the group at the moment which allows them to leave some simple things as they are. These are songs which dictate their own terms, often with a healthy dose of gallows humour, always with a measure of invention. VdGG Trio
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"It's far from an over-manicured record. For the most part it is the sound of the three musicians both stretching and enjoying themselves in locked-on sympathetic playing. As ever, it doesn't sound like anyone else - even past versions of VdGG.

"But as ever, there isn't another group quite like Van der Graaf Generator."

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