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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Halloween

Laz

Review by G. W. Hill

Most of the lyrics to this album are poems written by the late horror writer H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937). The music is fusion-tinged progressive rock. This makes a unique combination

The musicians on the album are Jean-Phillippe Brun, Giles Coppin, Phillippe Di Fasostino and Yann Honore. For ordering information, contact Musea at 68 La Tinchotte, 57117 Retonfey, France. You can also email them at museaorder@id.net.fr.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Wood
After a Ukish intro, the cut drops into a weird, textured chorus. This poem is about a wondrous city doomed because "a drunken minstrel in his careless verse, spoke the vile word that should not see the light, and stirred the shadows of an ancient curse." The song features many interesting prog elements, including Genesisish stylings and a powerful guitar break.
Waltz
Featuring a very off kilter prog arrangement, this one is solidly prog, while really calling to mind no one in particular, with the exception of Genesis at moments. There is a section that focuses on spooky keys and theatric spoken word that really sets a haunting mood.
Just For You
This is a pretty and intricate instrumental.
Yule Horror
Dark tones start this cut. As choirish vocals and bell sounds enter, the feeling of doom increases. This is pretty, but dark. Even the violin which enters adds to this texture. The lyrical vocals bring the piece a bit more mainstream, but it is still quite dark. Consider this an ominous sounding track with Genesis leanings and solid prog intensity. The poem which makes up the lyrics to this piece refers to a dark druidic celebration of the Yule. "For these pow`rs are the pow`rs of the dark, from the graves of, the lost druid-folk." A rather jazzy jam appears after a time. It goes on for a while before giving way to a fairly dark ending.
Iron Mickey
This instrumental begins with somewhat Yesish tones, although leaning a bit toward the harder edge of Asia. The intro gives way to a very jazzy sort of jam, somewhat in the vein of UK or Kansas. The cut runs through many changes, while still moving in that jazzy, progish mode.
Suburb
Suburb, with twistedly dark tones, features some considerably inspired instrumental work, particularly the violin. The lyrics to the piece are in French. There is a false ending, followed by a slightly twisted and fairly frantic (at times) keyboard buildup. The sound on that buildup is somewhat ELPish.
Blue Nightmare
A very strange sounding intro, actually reminiscent of a section of music used in classic Star Trek, starts this piece out. Anyone familiar with the show will know this music from the episode The Menagerie. It is the music that accompanies the weird happenings. As this instrumental carries on, drumming moves us out of the weird section, and into a fusion-styled guitar solo. This guitar solo is followed by a nice percussion solo. As the percussion solo continues, the Star Trekish tones return.
Laz
A frantically paced, progish intro leads to a moody verse portion. This is another poem by Lovecraft describing a strange and unholy lake. The song features a neo-classical instrumental break. This break drops down into dark tones fitting the subject matter. The break moves into a solid prog direction, and when the verses return, it is in their moody mode. A twist shows up in the form of sections of the lyrics done over a staccato, funky prog rhythm section. This gives way to a progressive break featuring some wonderfully powerful instrumental work. That segment drops back down for a pretty and haunting violin solo that ends the piece and the album.
 
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