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Saelig Oya - [ Chaos - Chaos ] CD (album) cover

[ CHAOS - CHAOS ]

Saelig Oya

 

Heavy Prog

3.92 | 6 ratings

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Finnforest
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of my favorites for the year 2015

Saelig Oya are a French band who have released an impressive debut [Chaos - Chaos] in 2015, on Musea Records, building on the proud and eclectic history of French progressive bands. I barely know where to begin in describing this gourmet meal of sounds, I hear bits and pieces of Lazuli, Paatos, Porcupine Tree....I hear Bjork on occasion.....and most endearingly to my ear, I swear one of these guitarists must be a Syd fan. Often throughout the proceedings I hear little guitar scratches and haunting side melodies that so remind me of some of Roger Barrett's work. Maybe only coincidence rather than influences, as is often the case.

As albums should be this wonderful 6-track gem clocks in at just under 40 minutes. I love a band that can be succinct and make every second count. Saelig Oya are almost instantly commanding both musically and vocally. The dual guitars are perfect mood building in the vein of Tea Club's McGowan brothers, complimenting each other often as they strive more for overall sound than individualism. The rhythm section adds to this approach of nuance over bombast, intuitive, yet interesting enough for active listening. Equally as powerful and enticing are the exotic, haunting vocals of Ms Pean, who sings in both English and French. (I would lobby her to switch to all French on future recordings, I love French and Italian vocals.) She has a voice full of emotional intrigue, capable of light beautiful moments as well as a powerful push when the loud guitars kick in. She sometimes sounds like Bjork a little bit but certainly she has a style and sound all her own.

The six well constructed songs are full of drama and mood. Quiet passages with soft singing and spidery, chilly guitar lines can turn to powerful vocals surfing heavy, sometimes near-metallic riffing. Here and there are more eclectic modern sounds as in parts of "He Walks" that features a dual male/female, near-spoken dialogue which was a nice touch, along with the cool bass and drum parts they devised. The opening of "Remember Each Day" has one of those Syd sounding vibes before the track goes almost Porcupine Tree in scope. The last three tracks have so many beautiful vocal/guitar collaborations! "Dancing Queen" (not an Abba cover) is an enrapturing piece of music that sounds like it could be on the "Vespertine" album--I would encourage everyone to check out the live video of this song on their website, which shows off the talents of all five musicians in a well recorded visual of great ambiance. Then head to their Bandcamp to check out a few others and I believe you'll be hooked. The album also has a CD issue.

Not only one of the year's bright spots but a band to watch going forward. Loved it.

Finnforest | 4/5 |

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