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Ange - Le Cimetière Des Arlequins CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 188 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Le Cimetière des Arlequins' is one of my fave Ange albums, and may be considered as a perfect sample of their prog style delivered at its top level of energy and expressiveness. While not being an ensamble of top-notch virtuosos, the group works really well as an ensamble, performing both their hard-edged compositions and their softer acoustic ones with the same conviction. I particularly enjoy Brezovar's guitar playing (also doubling occasionally on flute in order to enhance the ensamble's instrumental picture) and Jelsh's tight drumming, though the most impressive thing is Christian Decamps' theatrical singing, which comprises recitations, whisperes, exclamations, and of course, also mere singing: Christian is actually the link between the anglosaxon prog influence and the nouveau chanson tradition. The keyboard parts are mostly played on organ and mellotron, serving mainly as massive ambiences for the most climatic passages: both Decamps brothers create these ambiences, sometimes in an etheral manner, some other times punctuating a gloomy, sinister mood. The opening track is one of the most popular tunes of their whole repertoire, though it was originally penned by Jacques Brel. Right from this point you can tell how important are the influences of early King Crimson, 70-72 Genesis, and The Moody Blues for Ange. The same attitude goes on with track 2 and the two 'Bivouac' tracks, the latter including a bit of fusionesque stuff. In the middle of these two numbers, 'L'Espionne Lesbienne' delivers some burlesque fun under a pastoral guise, in a perfect interplay of acoustic guitars, flute, some slide guitar picks, and occasional drumming - effective, without being bombastic. 'De Temps en Temps' brings us back the spirit of the first track, while 'La Route aux Cyprès' displays an air of reflective melancholy: once again, the acoustic guitars and the flute lines bring to mind visions of an evening spent lying on the grass of a forest. The closing title track is the real gem of this album: a stunning piece of work that depicts what I like to think is a surreal world of puppets. The limbo-esque ambience is disturbing (thanks to the sombre textures delivered on organ and mellotron), specially in the crescendo created by the increasingly hysterical last sung part; right afterwards, there's still a horrific mechanic-like sequence that culminates the creepy, dark picture with oppressive grandeur. This album signifies the announcement of more good things to come from Ange.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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