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Treponem Pal - Treponem Pal CD (album) cover


Treponem Pal


Crossover Prog

3.91 | 2 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars A nice album of pleasant song-based progressive rock. This is the kind of prog that doesn't rock out, so if you're looking for heavy prog, this isn't the place to go. This is the original Treponem Pal, a 1970s French band, by which a metal band, also French, took that name and released a string of CDs through the 1990s (and sporadically afterwards). So if you're looking to review some CDs from the metal band, go to Metal Music Archives.

I have actually been aware of the 1970s Treponem Pal since 1996 when Aeon Music was selling a copy of the 1977 LP, as well as the 1989 debut from the other band (and the catalog had to describe it as "Completely different from the other entry (which is mainly progressive with pleasant vocal harmonies), this one is pretty much heavy metal" or something like that). Recently I was finally able to acquire the LP and have to say it's a pretty nice album, an obscurity worth having, but won't set your world on fire. Sadly this was never reissued, so you have to get the LP. Luckily copies go for fairly cheap. It's unbelievable this was released on the same label as Etron Fou Leloublan's Batelages (that is Gratte-Ciel), since Treponem Pal is much more conventional, so obviously you'd want to avoid Treponem Pal like the syphilis bacteria this band was named after if you're looking for music that's like Etron Fou Leloublan. I don't believe prog always has to be complex and challenging, if they go for great melodies I'm all for that too, and Treponem Pal certainly delivers. Nice vocal harmonies, at times sounding a bit like a French answer to Barclay James Harvest, although maybe a bit of Camel sneaks in with the flute playing. "Within You" is a typical song on the album, the lead vocals are a bit raspy, but there's also some nice synth playing from Pierre Delas (Moog, Elka Rhapsody). He could have easily ended up in a full-on symphonic prog outfit, because his playing is in that symphonic style, although the musical and vocal approach of this album is undeniably crossover prog. "I Need You" is a nice soft rock ballad, you can almost imagine it being a hit. "Mosquito Fly" shows a less serious side of the band, while "Rightnow Paradise" and "Evensong" are the most out-and-out proggy stuff here, and certainly the album's highlights. The former also features some nice jazzy passages, some Latin influences, and just plain catchy music. It's obvious the music isn't the most original out there, but then I don't go after a band because they're "not original", after all I am after the music quality. Overall, a very good album, but the mellow approach isn't the most mindblowing or intense, and it's not one of those obscurities that are so mindblowing that you need to share every proghead it. It's the kind of band who knows who they are and don't attempt to play beyond their abilities. But it's still a nice album to have, I'd give it three and a half stars, but not giving that option, four stars it is.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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