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ExCubus - Mémoires incubussiennes CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.61 | 29 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars In the mid 70's in Montreal existed a Hammond-driven prog rock quartet Incubus (there was also a US group of that name in those years) that could've been often compared to Emerson Lake & Palmer and haunted the scene from 70 to 74, but never released an album, although they had started on it (sessions took place in January 74 in Hérouville, France), when, they called it a day in late 74. So when three out of four original members reformed in 2007, they certainly weren't going to name themselves Incubus, since the name had been used once more, by a metal group whose fame belittled both previous groups. So while wanting to refer to their early 70's heritage, they chose to rename themselves ExCubus. ProgQuebec approached them about the session tapes of 74 and once through them, they selected 4 songs that they saw fit to release. The rest of the tracks present on this first album are the work the group (now a quintet) to rekindle the flame of their gone-by dreams.

So Mémoires Incubussienes includes both the historic session and another recent one (January 2007) and the least we can say is that the latter one is definitely worth or the former, the former having no valid reasons for not seeing the light of day, except for the lack of luck and group quitting. The first four tracks develops a symphonic rock ala ELP, but with a solid guitar player answering the local Emerson. Actually the group might also sound between Atomic Rooster, Egg and even Anglagard. Of these track, the most interesting is Abomination D'Une Quarte De Triton, which is clever but complicated musical trick removing some triton quart (or whatever, you figure it out), seconded mello- fest of (Morning) Glass Army Parade. If the first track had some wordless vocals, the other three tracks are instrumentals, but something tells me, that this was probably not intentional back then.. that the session had stopped before they could have added the vocals

As for the 2007 sessions, they sound like a very credible retro-prog, sometimes close to the Scandinavian school that should have all progheads climbing up the curtains in gleeful joy, three of them sung in English with Tales Of The Tree not being a tale. Clearly meant as the second era's centerpiece is the 9-minutes Pendergast, comes with the full dramatics and a great outro. The closing Child's Funeral is a fitting goodbye with full choirs in the last seconds. All four tracks appear to have been written back in the 70's if I judge by the booklet.

Well, ExCubus will be defending the local and Canadian colors at the next FMPM next Sept 09, and it looks like a shoo-in as the festival's surprise performance. Hopefully the group will pursue with second album, but this time with new songs, although this is always a dangerous bet a proghead has to deal with.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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