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Atoll - Musiciens - Magiciens CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.54 | 91 ratings

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4 stars The 70's French Symphonic Prog scene is (after the English bands) my very favorite subset of Symphonic Prog Rock. Atoll is possibly my favorite band of them all and this debut features some of their very best work. The sound is deep, colorful, and phantasmagoric... listening to this beautiful music is like being in a wide-awake dream. It almost doesn't seem real.

'L'Hymne Medieval' is among the best songs. The rich vocal harmonies here are absolutely mesmerizing. The rhythm section pumps out a relentless funky beat; it's impossible not to move to this song. The guitarist is quite good and writes very memorable riffs and solos... his playing reminds me of Caress of Steel-era Alex Lifeson. The synthesizers mainly stay in the background and add a lush trance-inducing chill to the music's charming atmosphere.

'Le Baladin du Temps' is my favorite moment on the album... more wonderful vocal harmonies and free flowing musical clouds...

'Musiciens - Magiciens' is another great song that makes it impossible to sit still... you are compelled at the very least to nod your head to this excellent rhythm section's tight playing. The song features a good sax solo and some trippy-yet-funky pimp-wah guitars that sound perfectly at home here.

'Au-dela des écrans de Crystal' start off like a long lost 'Yes' masterpiece (circa 1972) and 'Le secret du Mage' continues in that same vein with some very thick Squire-esque bass thumping. The vocal harmonies on these two songs sometime remind me of classic 'Yes' as well.

'Le Barger' is a gentle and bittersweet track featuring flute solos... it provides a lovely sleepy-eyed respite from the aggressive previous two songs.

'Je suis d'ailleurs' continues the magical floating daydream and ends the album on a beautiful note.

I think this is an under-rated gem from this brilliant band... and they were only going to get better!

AdamHearst | 4/5 |


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