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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Solace Supplice

Liturgies Contemporaines

Review by Gary Hill

With musical references that reach from modern progressive rock to Gothic rock and much more, this is unique and inventive. It's clearly not prog in the traditional 1970s sense, but it is definitely progressive art rock. The lyrics are all in French on this, but honestly, you don't need to understand the words to enjoy the performances.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Le tartuffe exemplaire
The sound of the BBC opens this. The track drives out into a powerhouse jam that is modern and yet also tied to fusion. The vocals come in over the top of that, and the track drives with a lot of energy and style. This gets pretty intense before it's over.
Sunset Street
This is not a big change, but when it's as good as the opener was, that's not a complaint.
A demi-maux
I dig the cool groove this tune. The vocal performance has a more dramatic element at play. The horn section later in the track is purely on fire. I think this is one of my favorites of the whole disc, really.
Les miradors
There is a weird pounding element as this starts. The number drives out into more hard rocking prog jamming from there. The arrangement drops back a bit for the entrance of the vocals. There is a dramatic instrumental movement later that takes it into some killer passages.
Cosmos adultérin
This number has a lot of style and charm. It's a dramatic and potent prog rocker.
Schizophrénie paranoïde
I dig the hard-edged guitar sound on this thing. There are some dramatically driving moments further along the road on the song.
Au cirque des âmes
With some strangely off-kilter angles to it, this number has some definite European music elements at play. It's tempered with a hard-edged guitar based prog concept that intensifies later.
En guidant les hussards
Keyboards start this piece. The song has a much mellower approach. It is also slower. There is a lot of jazz in the mix. The saxophone solo is tasty. There is some more rocking guitar later, more as icing on the cake. That said, the tune does get more intensity infused later.
Liturgies contemporaines
A moody tune, I'm reminded a little of Muse as this gets going. It's a great song. I'd actually I'd consider this to be one of the highlights of the disc.
Dans la couche du diable
Including a drop down to piano section, this is a somewhat moody and quite powerful piece of music. In fact, this might be my favorite. It has a lot of balladic stuff at play. I don't speak French, so I don't know what the lyrics are about, but this seems packed full of emotion. It powers up for a melodic, but crunchy, guitar solo later. It remains more driving after that part.
Marasmes et décadence
This is a real piece of high art. It has a lot of dramatic mellower electronic concepts at play. There are some spacey elements at times. The cut gradually builds upward as it continues. Eventually this works to some seriously soaring progressive rock jamming. This is definitely a contender for best tune on the whole album.
 
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