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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Philharmonie

Le Dernier Mot - The Last Word

Review by Gary Hill

Released in 1999, this disc is sort of the swan song of French group Philharmonie. It is a fine prog album, and should stand as a great monument to the band. With a very jazzy sort of feel to it, this album is a series of prog instrumentals.

The lineup on this disc is Frédéric L' Épée, Bernard Ros and Voladia Brice.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Rondo Argentin (Argentinean Rondo)
Sedate prog tones in progressions that are quite Crimsonish begin this cut. The band expands in organic modes on these beginnings. After a time it starts moving in a rather jazzish sort of manner and then shifts gear into a slower segment. The cut begins building up from that pint in a great jazzy melodic manner, almost Red era Crimson oriented, with a little Metheny thrown in for good measure. This mode takes the piece into the next fast moving prog segment. It then drops back down from there, and begins another climb. It is quite a jazzy piece with some great proggy elements. 
Métamorphose (Metamorphosis)
Harder rocking jazzy prog stylings make up this cut, again quite Crimsonish. This one gets rather chaotic in a definite KC way as it continues, with Red era stylings coming to the fore again. This is a killer prog jam that gets very dramatic and triumphant in texture just before ending.
Sans Réponse (No One Answering)
With a nice buildup, dramatic acoustic tones begin this one, feeling just a bit like KC's "Night Watch". The cut builds on this texture in jazzy fashion, steadily building. It is an atmospheric composition that features some great textures at times.
Bruine (Autumn Rain)
Tapping tones begin this cut, bouncing about as it builds. The melody line here feels just a little like Western movie music at times. As it builds, this piece becomes very strong. 
Hannibal ä Capoue (Hannibal at Capoue)
Beginning with sedate, spooky orchestral type sounds, the piece begins getting even more creepy and mysterious as it continues. The bass begins to really jam, moving the composition into a more harmonious musical direction. Drums join and the number continues building. Still, the central sound here is an atmospheric sort of riffing. It dissolves into a drum solo and then erupts back out into a great prog jam, just a tiny bit Genesisish. That brief mode ends the track.
Campanile
Building slowly, melody begins to take this cut. It is a very nice mood piece, but doesn't really go anywhere. 
 
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