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Saens - Prophet in a Statistical World CD (album) cover





3.55 | 33 ratings

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4 stars While recording the official album, the band was willing to include one of their previous project they had been worked on for quite some time. It was called ''Dodecamania''. But when they compared it with the other songs, the band didn't feel it belonged to the new project.

One of the executives of the Cyclops label, suggested to include some work from their debut album to allow the addition of a bonus disc to ''Prophet In A Statistical World''. They re-worked the two long songs available, adding new English lyrics. This bonus disc is very much welcome for those of us who can't get hold of their first album under the name of ''Sens'' which was later on changed into ''Saens'' for copyright reasons (amongst others).

The result is excellent (but I can't compare with the original). I preferred to comment more extensively this bonus CD since my fellow colleagues already described the official album with skills.

The central piece is the long (over twenty-three minutes): ''The Gevaudan Beast''. Gévaudan is a region in the South of France in which many people were killed (over a hundred) by an animal during the years between 1764 and 1767. The animal was called ''The Beast Of The Gévaudan''. Many, many people tried to trap the beast, but most of the attempts failed. It is only in 1767, after that a big wolf was killed that the attacks ceased.

This is of course an excellent storyboard for an epic prog song, don't you believe? And the music is accordingly fine. Of course, there are some passages which are borrowed to ''Supper's Ready'' (but not too much). It is a fine combination of pastoral moment, powerful guitar breaks and even some opera- oriented vocals (towards the end).

At no moment did I feel any weak passages, nor dullness while listening to this very good symphonic neo prog epic. A definite highlight of this double CD set and a wonderful discovery for the fans. I have read the French lyrics of the original version (it is available on their official web-site) and I can tell you that the play between the Beast (the preparation of the ''meal, the preparation of the act), the feeling of the victim and the kill of the Beast is quite an ode!

The ''Dodecamania'' project appears here under the title ''Souffrances De Pierre'' (almost sixteen minutes). It is sung in French and can be considered as a middle line between ''Ange'' and Crimson. A weird and oppressive atmosphere. We are from the neo-prog here, as far as I'm concerned. A mix of symphonic (or classic as I prefer to name it) and eclectic prog. To be discovered by all means.

The lightest of the three bonus track is ''Games Of Patience'' (over twelve minutes). Again some sweet ''Genesis'' mood, gentle instrumental break. It is probably the most neo oriented song, with guitar breaks fully in line with Barrett (''Pendragon'') or even John Mitchell (''Arena''). Which simply means that there are passionate and great. I quite like the closing section with fine vocals (although some reviewers have criticized this aspect of their work).

About the official CD, it is clearly separated in two parts. Part A is deeply influenced by several sci-fi authors: Orwell (''XX84''). Is this a coincidence that at times, it sounds as a Bowie track? I guess not (remember ''1984''). Aldous Huxley inspired ''Lenina''. It holds several neo-prog feel (mainly Banks oriented synths). H.G. Wells is present with ''Time Machine'' of course. It is a darker and heavier song. Synthesizers are very much used but are combined with fine guitar parts.

The track I prefer on this first part, is ''Forbidden Dreams''. The guitar work is just wonderful and the Floydian atmosphere felt during the intro is a wonderful musical moment. Vynce Leff is really gorgeous on this track.

As a contrast, the band created their own ''Statistical World'' during the second part of the album. I have to say that it is less efficient. Some fine Eastern influences are combined to some very nice fluting during the title track. Probably the most sophisticated one from this section. Not brilliant but varied and complex.

My fave from this spart is the long ''The Prophet''. This one has a definite neo feel to be honest (but I have always tried to be so). Very emotional guitar and quite a pleasant melody during the vocal parts but not only. The concept of the ''Statistical World'' is almost permanently present in this part of the album. Here as well.

I like this band. I feel that their type of music is very close to the classic prog I have been fed with but it is true to say that some tints of neo are spread in their work as well. I would say that the bonus CD raises the level of this recording (seven out of ten). Upgraded to four stars.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |


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