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The Box - D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant CD (album) cover

D'APRÈS LE HORLA DE MAUPASSANT

The Box

 

Crossover Prog

4.20 | 42 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gooner
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Talk about a late bloomer. I'll get my noble statement out of the way right off the bat. This 2009 album _D'Apres Le Horla De Maupassant_ by The Box, IMHO, is a prime contender for the best prog.rock album of the decade(2000-2009). Yes...and I've heard a lot of them (since I host a radio programme). On par with anything from Porcupine Tree, the newly reformed Van Der Graaf Generator and the popular Nemo. One word to describe this millenium masterpiece is _sprawling_. Another would be _moody_.

Elements of Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Barclay James Harvest, quartet- era Genesis, Talk Talk, Brian Wilson, Bark Psychosis, Nemo, Ange, Steve Morse-era Deep Purple. All the aforementioned are tossed together into the unique world of Jean-Marc Pisapia's THE BOX. This sounds like THE BOX and no one else. The aforementioned are simply inspiration. Quebec prog.rock such as Morse Code and Pollen may also be an inspiration, but that's for Jean-Marc Pisapia to know, and for you or I to find out.

The intro of the album might remind you of the ethereal space intro of ELP's Tarkus. When this ensemble breaks out instrumentally, it's a cross between Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator and modern Deep Purple. When the guitarist solos, he sounds not unlike Steve Morse at his crying best. The heavy parts do not approach prog.metal, but hard rock prog.. Very unlike Porcupine Tree where they appear to be hanging out with Opeth a little too much (which I find somewhat irritating). In short, the instrumental parts sound like Van Der Graaf Generator recruiting Don Airey and Steve Morse while getting Tim Friese-Green(of Talk Talk) to make sense of it all.

Mel Collins/Jaxon-like sax appears slightly on one track(Incubus). There's a wonderful reoccuring sinister sounding keyboard riff that just sends you like a mellotron would. Back-up vocals are very pastoral and angelic(like a mixture of Barclay James Harvest/Brian Wilson/Porcupine Tree). All lyrics and vocals in French, but Jean-Marc Pisapia's delivery is very enjoyable in a borderline baritone/tenor. _Chat Noir_ reminds me of the instrumental piece by Curved Air called PARIS BY NIGHT. _Inpenetrable Mystere_ has a that unique The Box droaning keyboard sound from their very first self-titled album. If that's not all, in comes the Latin(yes, LATIN chant!). _Sans Hypnose_ has a Captain Beyond groove with Kerry Minnear(Gentle Giant)-like keyboards, although the solo is very Tony Kaye(Yes, Badger). _J'ai Vu_ is reminiscent of Zeppelin II meets Talk Talk(wow!). Nice reverbed piano. This album could be a great companion to Marillion's BRAVE(turn the lights out and turn it up). The only track that harkens back to The Box's early pop.prog is the closer _Super 61_. Not quite prog., but not quite New Wave either. A track that French band AIR would be proud of. It sounds like AIR meets Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum and Jobim(brazillian beat) and Bacharach. Pure magic!

This album is not likely to make Jean-Marc Pisapia a rich man, but it may make him a hired gun in prog.rock for production values alone. Truly groundbreaking. 5 solid stars.

Gooner | 5/5 |

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