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Ripaille - La vieille que l'on brūla CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.46 | 44 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars An admirably adventurous spirit and command of the theatrical notwithstanding, this sole surviving output by French band RIPAILLE is far too uneven and derivative to even qualify as a flawed masterpiece. The influences spread wide as the horizon but as deep as the outer edge of soil that melts every summer on the tundra. Beyond the obvious over-enunciated vocal machinations of GENTLE GIANT and the medieval veneer of GRYPHON, I hear plenty of ANGE dramatics, but also occasional phrasings of MALICORNE and arrangements drowned in anachronistic synthesizer whirs more endemic to the symphonic prog of SYNOPSIS. But with that group's "Minuit Ville", the electronics enhanced the classical aspects, whereas here they effectively quell any folk charm in its tracks. Inspired passages end too soon, while restless doodling drones on ad nauseum. You really just need to listen to "Epilog" to get the full sense of the debauchery and decide if you want any part of it. From the more conservative prog folk perspective, however, the consistently eerie and restrained "Le Jardin des Plaisirs" and, less so, "La Veuve de Nicolas Kremer" represent the only pieces that should have escaped with a tad more than 50% of their content, had much needed record company quality control not gone as bankrupt as the label.

While I am going to go with two stars here and not a half more, many esteemed critics think of it highly, so if you enjoy the sort of musical flagellation I've described, by all means indulge. Myself, I'm off to attend a ritual virtual burning ceremony.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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