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Atoll - Musiciens - Magiciens CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.57 | 102 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars French Sympho-Prog band, Atoll, released 4 albums of semi-complex music during the seventies, of which this, their debut release, 'Musiciens Magiciens', presents us with a potentially high quality progressive rock from a band which strikes me as trying to find its feet ; tackling the usual (prog) traits of clever time sigs and abrupt tempo changes, sometimes rather uncomfortably - as displayed during the 11min+ mini epic 'Le Baladin Du Temps - and utilising a fine array of classy sounds (particularly regarding the Keyboards) - the playing can't be faulted, though the tuning of certain instruments can - some guitar and clavinet parts sound woefully flat to these ears, and lead vocalist Andre Balzer seems to over-sing in a somewhat weak, falsetto styling which annoys the hell out of me. These short-comings aside, the compositions are fairly well arranged and performed, opener 'L'Hymne Medieval' (where the vocal harmonies work well), 'Au-Dela Des Ecrans De Cristal' (alternating between 'rockier' and mellower 'atmospheric' sections) and the dynamic piece 'Je Suis D'Ailleurs', really show off the talent of the players and are relatively enjoyable tracks but the album as a whole misses the mark somewhat. Vast improvement will come with their next 2 albums, where everything comes together almost perfectly. 4 stars, just.
Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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