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Morse Code - La marche des hommes CD (album) cover


Morse Code


Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 72 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Morse Code (previously known as Morse Code Transmission) shortened their name for this, their third album. This was also their first album in French and saw them moving away from their more psychedelic origins.

The title track opens the album and introduces a heavy prog rock sound not unlike a French-speaking cousin of Uriah Heep. Electric guitar, Hammond organ, piano, synthesizer, bass and drums along with lead vocals by Christian Simard carry the song through its harder rock course but not without interludes of piano and synthesizer-led instrumentals. About halfway through, however, the song takes an abrupt turn into Yes territory with a loud buzzing bass and more symphonic prog approach. The song is completely different with harmony vocals singing each line to the same melody in between lines of music and more short instrumental passages. There's a break with a long and slowly building passage led by organ and drums as bass and guitar join. This part releases back into the second part of the song with that loud buzzing bass. The whole track of 11:16 comes to a rather quick ending. This is a pretty excellent track by which to be introduced to the band.

"Le pays d'or" is a short piano-based song that is slow and light and though not particularly memorable to me, it provides a strong contrast to "La marche des hommes". It does include a bit of Mellotron and some scratchy, straining, weepy guitar as the song builds in emotional power. Some may like it more than others.

"La ceremonie de minuit" features acoustic guitar and alternates between a simple but space rock-styled part and this acoustic part with a wavering Hammond sound. A good inclusion for this album.

"Cocktail" is a grooving danceable instrumental piece with a flute solo and an uplifting melody played first on Mellotron and then on synthesizer. The piece has such a groove to it that the record company had them remix it so that it could be released as a dance single for clubs. I don't find any extreme differences between the two versions (both are included in the Prog Quebec reissue of this album) and simply enjoy it for its very blatant mid-seventies sounds.

The final three tracks see the band continuing to write with different approaches: "Une goutte de pluie" sounding a lot like 69/70 era Pink Floyd, slow and dreamy with organ and piano but some flute too; "Qu'est-ce t'as compris" another grooving rocker with a great proggy intro but a rather simple song melody with simply grooving rock; and "Probleme" which sees more of the band's softer but powerful side

This is quite a noble effort, using a pretty full but standard spectrum of seventies prog instruments: flute, organ, Mellotron, synthesizer, and acoustic and electric guitars along with a lead vocalist and harmony and backing vocals. The album shows a strong variety of songs without being incongruous. The only points I find detracting from a truly excellent album are the unfortunate standard rock number that "Qu'est-ce t'as compris" collapses into and the somewhat forgettable "Le pays d'or".

Though frequently compared to Genesis, I feel Morse Code are less like Genesis here than they may be to some other bands other reviewers have mentioned.

An excellent addition to any seventies rock collection and a very good addition to any prog collection. Three and a half stars rounded up.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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