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Octobre - Survivance CD (album) cover

SURVIVANCE

Octobre

 

Crossover Prog

3.91 | 33 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Third album from the Flynn-lead Octobre, named after a made-up word (survivance would mean ability or aptitude at survival), and by now Octobre is at the top of its game, as was starting Quebec's progressive rock boom. Offenbach, Maneige and Octobre will found a short-lived partnership to play more gigs, then play with Harmonium (who was to become huge in their home province) and Beau Domage. This lead to recording Survivance, recorded again at Studio Six at the end of the summer of 75, with another non- committing artwork sleeve.

Starting out on the superb (and relatively lengthy) almost-instrumental Tendre Torture (sweet/soft torture), Octobre shows that Flynn's songs were not their only strength, and the ever-changing track is a small tour de force. Christiane Robichaud's choirs are to be heard on both instrumental, each starting the vinyl sides. In this regard, Baptême De L'Air (aerial christening) is another stunning instrumental that shines like the sun. At the time, Quebec's political conscience was in full bloom, and the artistic/cultural revolution in full prime, and En Famille celebrates a festival where 100 000 partied on the Mont Royal and celebrated like a family feast, but something is brewing in Flynn's mood as not right. La Valse à 11 Temps is definitely one of Octobre more "prog" tracks, sounding like Crimson would had Fripp been from La Belle Province. Of course, you understood that the track is in 11/4, no doubt a remnant of their concert with King Crimson headlining.

L'Oiseau Rouge (red bird) is one of the best-produced tracks where the group's full dynamic range is emphasized, and they sound like Supertramp (Asylum) meeting Mahavishnu Orchestra, if you can picture that. The closing title track is Flynn's more personal text on the album about his feeling in the music industry, and Hebert's excellent drum rolls save the track from sinking in cheesyland. Another filler is Encore Ce Soir, no doubt inspired by the whining of Flynn's girlfriend.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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