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Saens - Escaping from the Hands of God CD (album) cover





3.68 | 55 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars When I discovered this work some years ago (in 2004 or so), I was quite impressed by this French band. Of course, I have a tendency to like these bands and appreciate their efforts since:

- they are so close to my culture (which is the same actually),

- they don't have the same exposure than English bands, - it is much more difficult to ''make it'' in France for a rock band (whatever the genre).

The quality of the musicians, the wonderful interplays, the complex song writing are a permanent experiment during this very good album. Of neo-prog, there is no question here. Don't get me wrong: I have listened to an awful lot of these albums (and not only the ones I have reviewed on this site), but such a song as ''Babel Lights'' is definitely heading the symph genre much more than anything else.

It is one of the epics from this offering which should please any prog lover. The great guitar work is just magnificent. I would have expected more lyrics probably (why not in French?). Some grandiose and fabulous text like some other great French prog bands have created? But these won't be available. I guess that it can only affect French speaking persons (to whom I belong FYI). Still, this opener is sumptuous and a highlight already.

It is true to say that this album is a lengthy one (over seventy minutes), but when one holds so many great tracks, there is no harm. Long compositions, diverse music using a lot of influences like the Oriental ''Ayanda'' can only be of high interest to any proghead.

There are little relation with any other bands here, and that's a positive assessment IMO. The music is original, pleasant, melodic and tasty. Some jazz feel during ''Ayanda'' which is not my fave of the whole (but you might know my difficult relation with this musical style).

There is no need here to have a vocalist who sounds as Peter Gabriel, no synthesizer solo to emulate Tony Banks, no guitar breaks a la Steve Howe, no bombastic keys like Wakeman or Emerson. No, what you'll get is brilliant and GENUINE music. Creative, crafted, impressive. At times heavy or intriguing (''The Crawler'', without its carpet).

Some songs might have been shorter, that's right. If you would exclude the short ''Epilogue'', each track clocks at over eleven minutes! I have always been a fan of long tracks (and I am almost fifty by now) but at times, it is not always necessary to extend your ideas too much. To be in accordance with this concept, I'll try to be short in this review by now!

These guys are bloody skilled and write very good prog music as far as I'm concerned. As many French bands, they are totally undervalued and should definitely deserve a lot more attention from the PA community. ''The Crawler'' is another great track with some passionate vocals and wonderful guitar play. It is another highlight.

I believe that it also necessary to mention that the lead vocalist does a very good job: there aren't so many French bands out there who decided to sing in English with such a maestria. Chapeau!

I am only concerned when I see only ten commented reviews for such a good work (but I have made this comment often already). Do have an ear to this fine work, you won't regret it. While more non- prog bands are featured on PA, it is an obligation IMHHO to promote the ones who faithfully represent the music we love so much.

The beauty developed during ''Alone'' is just magnificent. Again, vocals are super and keys are not behind. This band plays fantastic music. To show their roots, the metaphysical ''Requiem'' is sung in French. It is a very much lyrical track (in the genuine sense of the word), heavily religious-oriented with lots of choir parts (which I am not so found of to be honest), but the second half of this song is another great moment of ''Escaping from the Hands of God''. Even the tranquility and the softness of the ''Epilogue'' is moving. A nice and simplke way to close this very special album.

I wouldn't rate this album with the masterpiece status because of ''Ayanda'', but it is a solid and highly interesting album. Four stars. No question about that.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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