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Octobre - Nouvelles Terres CD (album) cover

NOUVELLES TERRES

Octobre

 

Crossover Prog

3.44 | 24 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Octobre 's second album Les Nouvelles Terres (the new grounds. to be broken) came out the next year, and was definitely more adult, but not less Flynn-esque. Better produced (recorded at the same Studio Six), with greater means as well (guest musicians), with a weird artwork (those flashy red lipsticks marks), it is a bit unfortunate that the album's title is more ambitious than the resulting music, but nevertheless this album is the worthy successor of their debut. Right from the starting blocks with the catchy opening title track to the lengthy closer (6-mins+, but this is a max for Octobre at the time), you understand that musically the album will be more refined, but maybe a bit too over the top for true rockers.

Starting with the attention-grabbing title track chorus, the album starts strongly with Légaré's funky bass play, Flynn's vocal moods changing like Queen's Freddy mercury could, Dorais' searing guitar. Le Chant Du Guerrier (warrior's path) represents a facet that separated Quebec's spirit from the rest of Canada: they felt for the Amerindians. This track is highly dramatic and ambient, where the electric piano dominates and there are Magma-like choirs. The instrumental tour de force of Passage Du Flambeau (passage of rites/flame), where the group is in full progressive flight, where Dorais' electric 12-string guitar shines behind Flynn piano. The longest Generations (this used to be the group's centrepiece of their live shows as it could climb up to 12 minutes) where there are some brilliant instrumental passages is a suitable closer, ending surprisingly abruptly, but with full right.

There are some less perfect tracks where Flynn shows his lounge singer instincts. Violence shows that Flynn has not lost his sense of rebellion, even if the track is filled from cheesy string and choir arrangements, which will come to full fruition in 76's Autoroute Des Rêves album. The dramatic piano-laden Voyage En Mer (sea trip) is also filled with some synth-string arrangements and it only convinces the listener partially.Finally there are some more meaningless songs like the light-hearted Quand La Nuit Se Réveille (celebrating Montreal's lively nightlife >> this writer checked that almost every WE ;-) and the embarrassing filler Ma Chanson.

Although Octobre will never break out from the Francophonie (trying Ontario and later, France) and the group's success will remain a bit confidential (although they will play at several high-profile gigs/festival including opening for Crimson), this album shows Octobre close to their apex and although there are a few "fautes de gout", the musicians are all top-notch. Octobre's second album is not different than their other, and just like them it is an acquired taste and not likely to please those not mastering French enough to get the lyrics.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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