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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Le Seul Élément


Review by Gary Hill

I don't know if this is progressive rock, but it's clearly progressive music. It's mostly atmospheric and dark, but there are plenty of variants here. This is spacey music for sure. It's also so compelling. It's related to a lot of modern prog along with things like Tangerine Dream, but I've not heard anything quite like this. It's such a cool album. In fact, this is an early entry with the potential to land in the "best of 2017" list.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
Track by Track Review
C. abyssal

Space music turned classical starts this. As the cut grows in a rather ambient way, it's very menacing and dark. There is definitely an ominous, unsettling vibe here. This piece might be strange, but it's also quite powerful.

Mersey mad beat
Still rather strange and dark, this has more energy. It's not ominous like the opener was. It's a bit more "fun." It's electronic and rather symphonic with all kinds of layers of sound stacked around it. It somehow feels both organic and artificial. There are some shifts and changes, but overall nothing changes quickly on this. It does get pretty well powered up later.
Rien n'est beau comme on l'imagine
Prominent piano is heard at the start of this. Other elements are arranged with that to create a dense soundscape. As this eventually works forward there are vocals in the mix. They are more processed and serve rather like an instrument. This is another that is rather ominous. It's quite dark and a bit creepy. This gets quite loud and powerful as it works forward.
Starting sparse and a bit strange, this gradually works outward from there. The music builds gradually like waves coming ever further into shore with the tide. It drops back to an echoey kind of atmospheric element mid-track, but then rises up with a powerful and abrupt crescendo.
There is still a freaky, dense kind of sound to this. Yet there are some of the purest symphonic elements here at times. The vocals bring an almost Gregorian chant feeling to it, but with a definite processing involved. This is a powerful piece that's one of the most accessible here. Yet, it doesn't lose any of that off-kilter charm in the process. It drops to some really freaky atmospheric space mid-track.       
This is really spacey and quite trippy. It has some seriously processed vocals over the top of the musical mix.
Decrepitude Love
More classical in a lot of ways, this has plenty of the dark weirdness on hand. This is a short piece at just a little over two minutes in length.
Her Eyes (feat. Bestial Mouths)
There are a number of layers of processed vocals on this. It is the most "song-like" thing here, though. Yet, this is quite synthetic in so many ways. It's freaky stuff that is dark and creepy and also very cool.
Rather slow moving and quite trippy, this isn't a big change, but it's great stuff.
Soho (feat. thisquietarmy)
Slow and rather stripped back, there are some hints of an echoey Americana in the mix here. As this works forward the focus is on atmospheric space music. This is dark and trippy and very cool.


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