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Maldoror - L'Arbre-Cimetière CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.93 | 51 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Maldoror" stroke hard with their debut album. As soon as the listener has heard the short opening number (the title track, part I) he knows that something special is on its way. It is fully reminiscent of KC and is to related with the opening number of "Caricatures" (from "Ange" : "Biafra 80"). Fantastically scary.

The relation with "Ange" cannot be avoided. The theme of the album takes apparently place during the medieval ages and the vocalist Christophe Bellière (very pleasant I must say) sounds rather theatrical, you know like Descamps (Christian). There is even a Descamp (Stéphane) who is holding the bass here...

This is truely of symphonic jewel of an album. If by any chance you like bombastic music, intricated instrumental parts, Crimsonesque filiation (the early days one), you will definitely like this album. French knowledge is a plus of course, but it is not as necessary as for the early "Ange" production. This album can fully be appreciated without understanding all the lyrics (but still, it helps...).

At times, it gets harder ("La Convocation", really good, "Les Nouveaux Mondes"), some narration instead of sung vocals also take place here and there to introduce some tracks ("L' Ouverture Du Procès" for instance). This song is emotive and lyrically probably the most cruel for our hero "Iken" when he is being told that there is only one law : the one of the power in place ("nous restons les maîtres du pouvoir" - we remain the master of the power).

Very interesting narration to start "Le Pouvoir Des Mots". I guess that anyone suffering in a dictatorship must feel the same than "Iken". To face a trial in front of some puppets who already have made their own judgement and condemned the accused whatever he might say is probably a daily business in those countries (whatever when it takes / took place). Anyway, "Le Pouvoir Des Mots" is another strong number. It is also the section of the album that holds the longest tracks (from "L'ouverture Du Procès" through "Simples Physiciens") as well as the most complex ones.

"Simple Phyciens" starts like a funeral party and is a very emotional song. The second part is wild and is more in the "Atoll" style. Let's put it this way : it is just grandiose. Some religious reference with "Ainsi Soit-Elle". Some sort of prayer for the dying truth (so be with it). Nasty (the content of the text I mean not the song) and pessimistic.

"La Sentence" could have been a KC song : strong guitar, repetitive riffs, great drumming, very powerful backings. Our hero will hear the sentence of his "big trial" (grand procès). One of my fave on this excellent album.

Another highlight is the closing number : "L'Arbre Cimetière - Le Grand Livre S' Effeuille". Extremely dark (lyrically). A short phrase will completely upset the listener at the end of the song, so if you would like to be surprised do not read this review further because it will reveal some VERY astonishing words.

You can't wait ? OK, here you go : "Iken, wake up, it was only a dream. You are REALLY dead" .

As if the whole story just did not take place. It will be followed by two minutes of silence and the last section features the sound of a gravedigger at work. Brrrrrrr.

Some more craziness in the lyrics would have been appreciated but maybe that "Maldoror" did not want to do this to avoid an even more evident similarity with "Ange". To a certain extension, "Atoll" is also a source of inspiration. But these are good ones, right ?

Five stars (nine out of ten actually). Do listen to this album, please.

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |


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