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Atoll - Musiciens - Magiciens CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.54 | 90 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars "Ange" has paved the way for lots of Frenck (prog) band. Some will have the same theatrical approach while others will try and step back a bit. I would say that "Atoll" is probably somewhere in between.

The opening number indicates that the music that will be displayed on this album won't be second rate. Gentle but strong "L'Hymne Médiéval", is the best way to launch the epic piece of this album. "Le Baladin Du Temps" is very much premonitory of even better things to come, IMO.

Vocals are nice and not too demonstrative here. But what is really fantastic is their music. Complex, sensitive, melodic, full of medieval fantasy. Their sound is of course influenced by Crimson (once again) and Genesis; but we are far from having a clone here. Atoll sounds very original, fresh. What it's even more remarkable with this album, is that it does not sound outdated. Bravo for this superb piece of music.

I might not be as positive for the title track. Too jazzy, I'm afraid. Great rhythm though and good sax. The magic is back with "Au Delà des Ecrans de Cristal" (beyond the crystal screens). Again, a very middle-age oriented title fully in-line with the concept. This song has an upside beat and the demonstrated a grand maestria throughout the song.

"Le Secret Du Mage" is the weakest song of this work. Vocals are a bit irritating, as the rhythm. It seems that "Atoll" is in such a hurry ...Which is the complete opposite with "Le Berger". Nice and peaceful flute intro, this song is extremely melodic. Another fave of mine.

"Je Suis D'Ailleurs" was the last song of the original album. It sounds more as an improvisation track than a well-composed song I'm afraid. I guess that it is time that this album ends (even if it is on a low note). Even if a small part of the last section will bring us back again in the very good symphonic style.

The last remastered version (Musea Records) holds four live bonus tracks of which two unreleased album songs : "Fille de Neige" and "Je Fais un Rêve". These songs were recorded at a concert that took place in Metz (June, 23rd 1973). The sound is not great but I guess that Musea was willing to add these for the document it represents. One can imagine how much stronger the band should have been on stage. "Au Delà des Ecrans de Cristal" and "Musiciens Magiciens" will complete this track list. Of all these live moments, "Je Fais un Rêve" is the most beautiful one. A jewel of a melody. Rather strange that this number did not make the album...

This debut album is promising. Let's hope that promises will be kept. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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