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Harmonium - L'heptade CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.11 | 330 ratings

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5 stars L'Heptade is Harmonium's masterpiece, many levels above the otherwise brilliant Les Cinq Saisons. L'Heptade takes more time to grow but once it takes hold of you, it never leaves. This is one of the few albums that I listen to repeatedly with the same level of enjoyment every time.

L'Heptade diverges from Les Cinq Saisons in many ways, and follows from it in others. Drums have made their way into the musical mix, and so has classical music - and that is where L'Heptade's magnificence lies. This long, mellow, calm and melodical album managed to superbly blend the symphonic and folk elements from the band's previous albums with classical-inspired compositions and instrumentation.

So indeed, some movements in the songs are long. But once you begin to grasp the album's whole purpose, which requires a number of listenings, everything falls into place. These long movements which seemed, well, long, on the first runs suddenly have a legitimate role. This is a carefully crafted album, where the occasional emotional bursts are built slowly and delicately, and where each wait is more than worth it. The many strong moments which this album intended to build are overwhelming. Some of them simply grab you and take you away - you become dreamy, paralyzed, until the music brings you back to Earth, waiting for more.

As I have said previously on reviews of other ambiant-oriented albums, if your cup of tea looks like extreme/tech metal, growling and stuff, don't bother trying this fine and subtle work of art as you will likely waste your time. This is also an album which is better played in some circumstances, and not so in other circumstances. The longer, mellow movements certainly make this album an excellent choice for a sophisticated backgroud music whenever you cannot afford to lie on a couch and just listen to it from start to finish. And what a finish : Comme Un Sage is marvelous.

L'Heptade counts among the best examples of what prog was meant to offer.

SentimentalMercenary | 5/5 |


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