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Ange - Le Cimetière Des Arlequins CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.52 | 188 ratings

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4 stars Le Cimetière des Arlequins is a crown jewel of 70's French Theatrical Prog. I think this is Ange's most consistently spellbinding release... I would even say it's the most under-rated album in their catalog.

As usual, the songs are very vocal-centric: Christian Descamps is the star of the show. His histrionic caterwauling creates a singularly bizarre atmosphere... no other band 'feels' quite like Ange, even those who tried their best to mimic them.

Sometimes i really wish i knew what Descamps was saying (i can't understand a word of Français), but while i'm actually listening to the music it never even crosses my mind. The vocals don't need to make sense... not comprehending the literal meaning of his words only adds to the abstract brilliance of his delivery.

The music on this album is sometimes repetitious, but always in a good way. The rhythm section often pound out simple straightforward rhythms which build a slightly Bluesy (or tribal) hypnotic effect that i would liken to The Doors... especially on the magnificent opener 'Ces Gens-La' with it's Bluesy start-stop dynamic.

Francis Decamps' keyboards play a huge role as well... droning organ sounds hang above every song like a thick mist and create a very dark, surreal, dream-like mood... a perfect template for his brother's ranting and raving.

French-literate people will undoubtedly have a different reaction to this music than other listeners... but i'm not sure if that would make it better or worse. All i know is i love this album and never tire of it. Every song is amazing, manic, and deeply engrossing. Only the soft madrigal 'La Route aux Cyprès' shows a slight dip in quality.

4.5 stars

AdamHearst | 4/5 |


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