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ExCubus - Mémoires incubussiennes CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.56 | 22 ratings

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3 stars You know you've got some good old-fashioned pompous prog when the notes are strictly in French. No matter and all the better, I mean it's music not literature. This Montreal foursome, drowned as many bands were during prog's heyday in the early 1970s, reconvened in '07 toward releasing some oldies and re-recording some newies with help from a couple extra ax players. The results were pleasing, and Mémoires incubussiennes proved one of the better vintage releases of the year. With Mike Phaneuf's coupling of a Hammond with a nice Arp sound, 'Bléatis' could be confused for an early but less developed and polished ELP, and 'Abomination d'une quarte de triton', which would've been more effective tacked onto the opener, is left hanging a bit, both cuts sounding more like works in progress. 'Parade de l'Armee de verre' is more cohesive and finally gets the progressive ball rolling with the disc's first real composition, a decent 5 1/2 minute faux Baroque bit, but again opportunities are missed by treating next track 'Teeth' as a separate animal instead of part of a larger whole.

Up next are the sessions from 2007-'08 with the same good fidelity, the difference being bassist Marc Delage's not-too-bad singing and clear evidence of Britain's folkrock boom during the band's first incarnation, as on 'Apple Tree Paradise' and sister piece 'Tales of the Tree'. Creepy and dungeonesque 'Pendergast' with its cheesy vampire theme is the longest thing here at nine minutes and is good but not great, with closer 'A Child's Funeral' leaving us still a bit peckish.

ExCubus, formerly Incubus, were a perfectly fine heavy symph band but they leave us wanting more. Maybe the 2011 follow-up to this showed more alacrity and maturity, but I would only suggest this one to a hardcore organ-prog buff.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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