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Dionysos - Le Prince Croule CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 36 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Second and seminal album from this solid pioneering quintet of La Belle Province. Again released in 70 (but on a different label, the first release of Zodiaque), and graced with an abstract artwork, Le Prince Croule (the prince crumbles) is the logical continuation of Le Grand Jeu, but the quintet have learned a few tricks and Prince is a definitely better album as well as a concept album, revolving around a crumbling realm and a revolution.

Starting on the heavy dramatics of a Hammond and some prime guitar squeals; Dionysos unleashes into the Prince's new day (Lever Du Prince), telling us nothing has changed and they're ready for some solid proto-prog but with French lyrics, even if Thibert's vocals are an acquired taste. Chanson Du Courage (too bad for the abrupt fade-out) and Demain La Vie (a fantastic "prog start" ala Crimson) are both excellent, but Terreur Et Masque has a real Uriah Heep feel due in great part to the saturated Hammond. Most of the album is well in the line of what's been described so far, with plenty of good solos and when the needle lifts from the wax of side A and lands on the flipside (Prince Jardine means the prince is gardening), while it's still clearly the same group, the songwriting has taken on another dramatic turn with Mort De L'Aigle (death of the eagle) and some truly demonstrative and descriptive playing that the power is shifting and the reign is over. There are some Spanish hints in the most dramatic of times. Ballade Inquiète is the prince realizing his carelessness, but he wonders way too late and the 13-mins+ title track is closing the story with again plenty of instrumental dramatics and some inventive vocals (at times anyway, and they're still an acquired taste), .

For some reasons, the group will remain mute until 74, when they will write and play the soundtrack of a play, Sam Sheppard's Tooth Of Crime, which to my knowledge was never edited into vinyl or CD. They will take 75 off and come back with the vastly different Changé D'Adresse. Together with the debut album, Dionysos' early career still have to find a legit Cd reissue (poor boots exists), while the inferior later albums have been out for a while) and unfortunately the vinyls are not the cheapest around. But if you must have only one, Prince Croule is it.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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